7 Foods That Boost Your Brain Power

7 Foods That Boost Your Brain Power

Recent research has shown that our midlife brain health indicates the future of our cognitive function as we age, so during perimenopause and beyond, it couldn't be more crucial to nurture our body and mind from the inside out.

While many factors contribute to our brain health as we get older - including adequate sleep, regular movement and exercise, managing stress - what we eat can protect and nurture our brain.

By incorporating foods that we know offer a benefit to our brain health we can enhance cognitive function, memory and overall mental clarity. Here’s 7 foods that can help you improve your brain power:

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are often referred to as a ‘superfood’ and it’s for good reason! These tiny berries are packed with antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, which are known to enhance cognitive functions by protecting the brain from oxidative stress. Research suggests that blueberries can improve memory and may even delay brain aging.

Why not try adding a handful of blueberries to your breakfast, or adding to smoothies, yoghurt, or oatmeal, to give your brain a nutritious start to the day?

2. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fats that our bodies cannot produce on their own. Omega-3s are critical for brain health as they help build brain and nerve cells, essential for learning and memory. Studies have shown that people with higher levels of omega-3s have increased blood flow in the brain and perform better on cognitive tests.

To reap the benefits, aim to include fatty fish in your diet at least twice a week. Grilled, baked, or added to salads and pastas, these fish are not only delicious but also a smart choice for your brain.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric, a bright yellow spice commonly used in curry, contains curcumin, a compound with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, helping to improve memory and stimulate the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a type of growth hormone that functions in the brain.

Adding turmeric to your diet can be as simple as spicing up your dishes. Try it in soups, stews, or even in a soothing golden milk latte. Regular consumption can help keep your brain sharp and your mood uplifted.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is not just a vegetable powerhouse for physical health; it's also great for your brain. Rich in antioxidants and high in vitamin K, broccoli helps strengthen cognitive abilities. In research, Vitamin K has shown benefits in supporting brain health by enhancing cognitive function and improving memory.

Incorporate broccoli into your meals by steaming, roasting, or adding it to stir-fries. It’s a versatile veggie that can be paired with numerous dishes, making it easy to enjoy its brain-boosting benefits.

5. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they are packed with brain-boosting nutrients. They contain magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper, all of which are important for brain health. Magnesium is essential for learning and memory, while zinc is crucial for nerve signaling. Iron helps prevent cognitive decline, and copper aids in controlling nerve signals.

Enjoy pumpkin seeds as a snack, sprinkle them on salads, or mix them into your favourite granola. These seeds are an easy and delicious way to support your brain's health. 

6. Dark Chocolate

It’s good news for chocolate lovers! Dark chocolate is a brain-boosting food - hurrah! Dark chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa contains flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants. As we mentioned before, flavonoids are known to improve blood flow to the brain, enhancing memory and cognitive function. Additionally, the small amount of caffeine in dark chocolate can increase alertness.

Enjoy a piece of dark chocolate as an afternoon pick-me-up or add cocoa nibs to your morning smoothie - indulgent AND great for your brain.

7. Nuts

Nuts, particularly walnuts, are excellent for brain health. They are rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, which is known to protect brain cells and support cognitive function. Walnuts, with their high DHA levels, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, have been linked to improved brain performance.

Incorporate a variety of nuts into your diet by adding them to your breakfast cereals, salads, or simply enjoying them as a snack. Their brain-boosting benefits and versatility make them a perfect addition to your daily routine.

Nurture your brain power

Your brain is a powerful organ that deserves proper nourishment. Incorporating these seven brain-boosting foods into your diet can significantly enhance cognitive function, improve memory, and reduce brain fog and alongside regular exercise and stress management can help to improve your brain power.