By Andrew Merle
The food you eat plays a key role in how your brain performs. Certain foods boost your mental power and should be consumed regularly if you want to be at your best. Here are the top 10 foods to make you smarter:
- Dark Leafy Greens. Leafy greens (kale, spinach, arugula, collards, chard) are packed with brain-healthy nutrients including vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. Consuming a big salad daily is associated with the brain being 11 years younger!
- Fatty Fish. Fatty fish — including salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring — are loaded with brain-boosting Omega-3s. Aim to eat fish at least 2 times per week for optimal brain health benefits.
- Berries. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries contain flavonoids that improve memory and boost cognitive functioning. Berries also have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
- Coffee. Coffee has been shown to boost concentration and mental functioning, among other performance benefits. Drinking 3–5 cups of coffee per day is associated with a decreased risk of dementia by 65% and Alzheimer’s disease by 64%
- Nuts. All nuts are healthy but walnuts and almonds in particular have been shown to improve memory and brain function.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols and monounsaturated fat — good for both brain and heart health.
- Avocados. Avocados have also been shown to support brain health, while simultaneously lowering blood pressure.
- Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate (85% cacao or above) has many health benefits, including improved blood flow to the brain.
- Eggs. Eggs are rich in important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, which the body uses for memory and communication among brain cells.
- Turmeric. Turmeric is associated with numerous health benefits and curcumin — the active ingredient in turmeric — has a proven impact on cognition and mood. Adding this spice to your meals will make your brain and body work better.
Include these 10 foods in your diet to make you smarter on a daily basis and over time as you age.
Andrew Merle writes about the healthiest way to live in media outlets like Medium Magazine, Fast Company, TIME, The Observer, Business Insider, HuffPost, Quartz, and Thrive Global. Visit AndrewMerle.com, which is recognized as one of the best blogs on the Internet. He is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and holds a Certificate in Nutrition from Harvard’s Department of Nutrition.