Looking for top foods to boost your child’s brain and memory? You’ve come to the right place.
You may have heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” While we certainly won’t transform into the foods we eat, our food choices play an important role in improving and maintaining brain health. As a mother, you are most likely aware of the importance of a wholesome, nutritious, and well-balanced diet. Giving your children the right kinds of food can help keep their brains healthy and sharp, especially during this time of growth and development.
In this article, we’ll tell you what foods help restore memory, foods that increase intelligence, and foods that are natural brain boosters. Read on to find out how you can reap the benefits of these nutrient-dense, brain-boosting foods.
12 Foods That Are Good for Your Brain and Memory
What are the 12 brain-boosting foods? Let’s take a look.
When it comes to brain-boosting foods, fish almost always tops the list. Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a main building block of the brain that is responsible for developing cell membranes including the brain cells and neurons. Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce age-related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
Our brain contains a large amount of fat, most of which are the omega-3 kind. Hence, eating two fish servings weekly helps increase brain performance like memory, better focus, mood, and decision making. Also, an omega-3 deficiency can cause depression and other learning problems.
1. Fish rich in omega-3s are:
2. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants like flavonoids and brain-boosting components like cocoa and caffeine. Antioxidants are essential for brain health as our brain is prone to oxidative stress. This stress is the leading cause of most brain diseases and age-related cognitive failure.
Research states that flavonoids promote blood vessel growth and neuron development in the parts of the brain that are responsible for learning and memory. They are also credited with stimulating the brain’s blood circulation. Additionally, dark chocolates are a proven mood booster and can help increase positive feelings.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are full of zinc, a mineral crucial for improving memory, thinking capabilities, and nerve signaling. Its deficiency can cause diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and also depression.
These natural brain boosters also contain a high amount of magnesium, iron, and copper. Magnesium is crucial for memory and learning while copper helps regulate the nerve signals. The deficiency of both can cause neurodegenerative disorders and migraines. Tasty and healthy, pumpkin seeds are one of the best foods that improve memory and concentration.
These green tree-like plants are natural brain boosters that are full of vitamin K which is known for increasing cognitive capabilities and improving brain power. Broccoli contains a high amount of a compound called glucosinolate which in turn produces a compound called isothiocyanates upon breakdown. These are responsible for keeping oxidative stress at bay and also enable the central nervous system to function correctly.
Broccoli plants and seeds are also rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties that can protect the brain from ailments.
Deep indigo and red-colored berries are a treat not just for the eyes and taste buds but are also great foods for the brain. Berries are high in flavonoids called anthocyanins, an antioxidant associated with learning and memory function. The antioxidants in berries help in enhancing communication between brain cells and increasing brain plasticity. They are also packed with anti-inflammatory components. Just sprinkle some on your breakfast cereal or blend them into a smoothie. Other berries rich in antioxidants are:
This often-overlooked deep red vegetable is a great supplement for brain health. Its key component betaine promotes the production of serotonin which is a vital mood stabilizer. They are also high in folic acid that helps improve our mental and emotional health. Additionally, beets have high levels of dietary nitrates that increase blood flow to the brain.
This keeps your brain sharp as increased blood flow to the brain’s frontal lobe is associated with enhanced cognitive awareness and reaction time.
Creamy and nutrient-dense, avocados are perhaps nature’s perfect food since they have a plethora of health benefits. Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, avocados promote blood flow to the brain and increase the information-carrying capacities of brain nerves. Avocados also contain high doses of vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and copper. Folate prevents the development of brain tangles that are believed to be the cause of Alzheimer's disease.
Avocados are one of the best foods that increase intelligence. Just one avocado a day can improve your child’s memory and problem-solving skills. Indeed, this is great brain food for studying.
Poached, scrambled, or hard-boiled eggs make for tasty recipes that are quick and simple to make. Regular consumption of this nutrient-rich food can fuel your child’s brain and increase cognitive performance. Eggs contain choline and lutein, essential nutrients that help in memory, learning, and brain development.
Peanuts are legumes that are rich in unsaturated fats and protein which keep your energy levels high throughout the day. Peanuts contain a natural non-flavonoid antioxidant called resveratrol that prevents inflammation, cancer, and other brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They also possess a high level of vitamin E and minerals that strengthen cognition and boost memory. If your child doesn’t like whole peanuts, you can also try peanut butter.
If you’ve been wondering what is the best brain food for memory, kale is your answer. Filled with brain-healthy nutrients like folate, lutein, and vitamin K, kale is a dark green leafy vegetable which is often regarded as a superfood. It is high in vitamin C, minerals, and brain-protecting antioxidants like beta carotene, polyphenols, and flavonoids.
Vitamin C acts as a natural antidepressant while vitamin K is an essential nutrient for verbal memory. Kale also contains an almost perfect ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s and is a great source of magnesium. If kale salad sounds unappetizing, try slipping it into a stew for lunch or dinner.
A key ingredient of most curry powders, this ochre-colored spice is great food for brain power. It’s full of anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Its active ingredient, curcumin, can pass through the blood-brain barrier and directly enter the brain. Curcumin is linked to the growth of new brain cells and age-related mental decline. It also enhances memory and eases depression by boosting the production of dopamine and serotonin, hormones responsible for improving mood.
Tomatoes are high in antioxidants like lycopene and beta-carotene which are essential for protecting and preventing damage to brain cells. They are an inexpensive way of boosting brain power since you can add them to simple salads or serve them as a side dish for steak. You can also make baked tomatoes which are a super easy and quick appetizer for any occasion.
Top 5 Brain Foods
What are the top 5 brain foods? Let’s take a look at this list.
1. Whole Grain
Whole grains have complex carbohydrates which are a great source of energy for the brain. Whole-grain foods also maintain cardiovascular health which in turn increases blood flow to the brain enabling better comprehension, speed, enhanced concentration, and optimum brain performance.
Some whole-grain foods are:
- Brown Rice
- Whole-Grain Bread
- Bulgur Wheat
- Whole-Grain Pasta
2. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and healthy fats that help improve memory. They also contain vitamin E which protects cells from oxidative stress, reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and contributes to improved cognitive levels.
Some nuts and seeds good for brain power are:
- Sunflower Seeds
3. Coffee and Tea
This is one is for the parents! Coffee and tea contain caffeine which is an antioxidant and a great brain booster. Green tea is rich in amino acid L-theanine which helps pass the blood-brain barrier and enhances neurotransmitter activity.
Benefits of coffee:
- Aids concentration
- Increases brain’s processing capacity
- Reduces risks of cognitive decline, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease
- Improves mood
Benefits of Tea:
- Boosts alertness
- Antioxidants protect the brain from mental decline
- Green tea helps improve memory
- Helps you relax by increasing the alpha wave frequency in the brain
4. Green Veggies
Green leafy vegetables contain nutrients like beta carotene, lutein, vitamin K, and folate which are great for brain health. Remember, the more vibrant the color, the higher the nutrient concentration per serving. These plant-based foods also reduce cognitive decline.
Some excellent green vegetables are:
Soybean and its products are rich in antioxidants known as polyphenols. Polyphenols are associated with improved cognitive abilities, learning, and memory. They also protect neurons against injuries caused by neurotoxins.
The dipeptides compound containing amino acids that are obtained from soy foods can help reduce the risk of dementia and diseases like Alzheimer's. They are also great substitutes for fibre and protein-rich foods like meat.
When it comes to brain health and wellness, eating foods that are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can do wonders. We have provided you with a variety of food options that are full of nutrients that can help improve your child’s memory and concentration. Now, it’s time to see how you can incorporate these delicious brain-boosting foods in your children’s diet.