You are What You Eat: So Eat These Smart, Brain Boosting Foods

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 26, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Opt for 'brown' cereals, wheatbran, granary bread and brown pasta.
  • Oily fish contains Essential fatty acids that cannot be made by the body.
  • Consuming blueberries may delay short term memory loss.
  • Tomatoes could help protect against development of dementia.

Our brain is a hungry tissue and it uses up to 30 percent of each day’s calories. Thus, adequate nutrition becomes crucial for fuller mental function. Your diet can affect the clarity of your thoughts, concentration, intelligence level, memory, and ageing of the brain.

With ample choices and so many different approaches by various experts, finding the right food for brain often proves to be a tiring chore. But most experts have found that the best sources for brain health are some very common foods.

Let’s learn which foods provide the building blocks for brain health and growth.

foods for brain

Whole the Grains

Mind wandering off to a different set-up other than the present situation is a common problem with most children and adults.   If you are one of them, your brain probably is short of a steady supply of energy. Whole grains with a low GI (Glycaemic Index) release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. This glucose enhances our brain’s ability to concentrate and focus. Brown cereals, wheat bran, granary bread and brown pasta are some great options.

Go the Fish(y) Way

Our bodies cannot make essential fatty acids and therefore these have to be obtained through diet. Oily fish is the most effective way to get EPA and DHA (Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fats. The main sources of oily fish include salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers. Other good sources are linseed (flaxseed) oil, soya bean oil, pumpkin seeds, walnut oil and soya beans. It has been observed that low levels of DHA can put one at the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.

foods for brain

Be Berry Brainy

Tufts University in US collected evidence that consuming blueberries may act effective in improving or delaying short term memory loss. They are widely available so, you don’t have an excuse to not eat them.

Take Tomato Power

Tomatoes contain powerful antioxidants called lycopene that could help protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells which occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer's.

Vitalise with Vitamins

A study of a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment found that after two years of intervention with high doses of B6, B12 and folic acid there was significantly less brain shrinkage compared to a subset given placebo treatment. Many foods are excellent sources of folate—fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, breakfast cereals, and fortified grains and grain products. It’s best to avoid foods that are heavily fortified with folic acid.

foods for brain

Seed the Pumpkin

Eat a handful of pumpkin seeds daily to get the recommended amount of zinc which is a  vital nutrient for enhancing memory and thinking skills.

Go Nutty

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that a good intake of vitamin E might help to prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Nuts are great sources of vitamin E along with leafy green vegetables, asparagus, olives, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains.

Fats, proteins, sugars, alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco are all brain power zappers. You must avoid or reduce their intake to boost your memory power.

Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Read more articles on Healthy Eating.

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  • Smita27 Mar 2014

    My father always pressed me to eat fish. But, i never liked the smell. I guess I should listen to him now.

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