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  • Stephanie Metzger, RHN

Brain Food - it IS what you eat!

There are lots of healthy foods that have positive impacts on brain health.

Here are a few foods to start including in your diet to help improve your brain function and health and to boost your memory!

1. Fatty Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines, are all high in Omega 3 fatty acids. These are not only essential for learning, memory and brain health, but they also can also slow age related mental decline and help prevent Alzheimer's disease.

2. Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These powerful berries may help improve your memory and slow aging of the brain. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, dark cherries, acai berries and goji berries are also great!

3. Coffee - the caffeine and antioxidants in coffee can help boost alertness and mood. These compounds may also offer protection against Alzheimer's. Green Tea is also a great source of caffeine.

4. Dark leafy greens such as kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, spinach and broccoli are loaded with Vitamin E and folate. Broccoli also contains vitamin K and a number of other compounds that may improve brain health.

5. Pumpkin Seeds are a great source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper as well as antioxidants which are important to brain function.

6 Dark Chocolate and cocao powder are loaded with flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants that will help boost memory and mood and may help protect the brain. The darker the chocolate the better!

7. Nuts contain healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and other plant compounds that are great for your brain. Walnuts and almonds are fantastic!

8. Oranges are high in Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and key nutrients for preventing mental decline.

9. Eggs - this superfood is loaded with vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline. Choline helps create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the body that helps to regulate mood and memory. Eat the yolk, that's where the nutrients are :)

10. Flaxseed & Chia Seeds - a great source of essential fatty acids!

11. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that could help protect your brain against free radical damage.

12. Avocado is a great source of Vitamin K and folate, as well as Vitamin B and Vitamin C. They are also packed with monounsaturated fats or "healthy fats".

13. Sunflower Seeds also contain Vitamin E that will help give your brain a boost.

14. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is rich in polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the brain.

15. There are also some spices and herbs that are great for brain health - Turmeric, sage, ginkgo biloba, gotu kola cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, rosemary, oregano, saffron, ashwagandha, ginseng, lemon balm - to name a few.

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