The best everyday foods for a healthy brain

Everyone wants to be smart, alert and on top of their game, right? It’s a no brainer, pardon the pun! But do you know which foods are the best ‘brain power’ foods that will help to keep your brain functioning optimally? 

Let me make it easy for you with the following short list. Simply include these everyday foods regularly in your diet for a happy and healthy brain.

Everyday brain foods

Close up of pan fried salmon on a dinner plate

1. Oily fish

Oily fish makes number one on my list – salmon, tuna, mackerel or sardines. Two servings per week is the recommended amount.

These types of fish contain DHA, a type of Omega-3 fat that can improve memory. There are now studies emerging to show that Omega-3’s may help in the fight against Alzheimers Disease.

Closeup of mixed berries on a chopping board

2. Berries

Berries, especially blueberries. The anti oxidants in berries can fight the inflammation that causes ‘brain fog’ (along with other nasty conditions in your body.) The flavonoids may also help to improve spatial memory.

So pop some berries in your morning smoothie, on top of your brekkie bowl or grab a handful to snack on.

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A large broccoli floret

3. Leafy green vegetables

Leafy greens like spinach and broccoli have been shown to improve our ability to absorb and remember verbal instructions. Green veggies also contain good amounts of folate, which along with vitamin B12, has been shown to improve cognitive function in older adults. 

So make sure you eat your greens with some fish for dinner, especially as you get older!

Close up of two boiled eggs in egg cups
Turmeric scrambled eggs on a slice of toast

4. Eggs

I love eggs and I think of them as nutritional powerhouses, because I believe that they are good for us in so many ways, including our brain health.

Eggs contain choline, an essential nutrient that has shown to be beneficial in early development, and has also shown promise in treating Alzheimer’s.

The general consensus now seems to be that we don’t need to fear the cholesterol in eggs as was once thought. Common sense should always prevail though.

A handful of walnuts

5. Nuts, especially walnuts

They’re high in anti oxidants and they contain alpha-linolenic acid (AHA’s) which the body uses to make DHA – see point 1. Walnuts are also rich in polyphenols and Vitamin E which help to protect the brain from inflammation.

Sprinkle a few on your breakfast bowl or on top of a salad. A handful of walnuts is also a great healthy snack.

3 blocks of dark chocolate stacked on top of one another

6. Dark chocolate 

Dark chocolate and cacao powder are packed full of antioxidants and flavanoids, which may enhance memory, and slow down the decline associated with ageing.

If you need any more reasons to eat dark chocolate, it’s also been shown to enhance mood. As always, use common sense when it comes to portion size!

Close up of a bowl of Roma tomatoes

7. Tomatoes 

Red and orange coloured vegetables contain caretonoids, shown to improve cognition and memory over time. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, a mood boosting photochemical which can protect from depression-causing inflammation.

The redder the tomato, the more lycopene it contains, and cooking your tomatoes will release more lycopene than eating them raw.

Now let’s add them into your diet

So there you have them, my top 7 healthy brain foods. The good news is that they’re all everyday foods, so it’s not difficult to incorporate them regularly into your diet. Remember to look through my RECIPE INDEX for ideas while you’re here.

Don’t forget to take small steps when you’re making a change, or when you add something new into your diet.

Planning ahead is your best bet for success, and I’ve got lots of free TOOLS & RESOURCES that you can use, including the free menu planner below.

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This planner will also show you a simple portion control method, without measuring ingredients or counting calories.

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