The right food choices for a healthy brain

Not only a healthy body but also a healthy mind ensures a healthy, better and successful life. Mental disabilities and disorders like depression and anxiety etc. are reported to be the common problems of the present generation. They lead to a decline in brain functions.

Instead of wasting money on those expensive medications and psychological therapies, people should opt for the following foods that not only promote a healthy brain but also a sharp memory.

Fatty fish

What makes fatty fishes a top choice for a healthy brain is their high Omega-3 fatty acid content. This type of fish includes,

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Sardines

About half of the brain fat is of the omega-3 kind. It uses omega-3 fatty acids to build brain and nerve cells. These fats are also crucial for learning and memory. They are also reported to slow down the process of mental decline as a person ages. Omega-3 fatty acids ward off the risks of Alzheimer’s disease.

On contrary, omega-3 fatty acids when not taken in sufficient amount may lead to depression, mental deterioration, and learning impairments.
A study was conducted where the researchers found that people who ate baked or broiled fish regularly had elevated gray matter content in their brains. Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that control the ability of decision making, memory, and emotions.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolates are a rich source of flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants. They gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning, memory and help to slow down the age-related mental decline. A number of studies back up the fact that chocolate improves mental abilities. In one study, over 900 people were reported to perform well in a series of mental tasks because they ate chocolates.

Chocolates also boost mood, says research. A study found that participants who consume chocolates have a more positive mindset as compare to others who don’t. However, there is still some more research required to validate the link between chocolates and healthy brain.


These deep colored round berries are a rich source of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are plant compounds that have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Along with high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber, berries also serve as a rich source of Gallic acid which makes it exclusively good at protecting our brains.

Berries minimize the risks associated with inflammation and neutralize the damages caused by oxidative stress. They also combat the aging of the brain and neurodegenerative diseases. The antioxidant content of the blueberries also improves communication between brain cells and delays short-term memory loss.


It is a powerful vegetable which is loaded with antioxidants and high vitamin-K content. Vitamin-K is a fat-soluble vitamin which is crucial for forming sphingolipids i.e. a type of fat that’s densely packed into brain cells. A number of studies conducted link a higher intake of vitamin-K to a better memory.

Besides vitamin-K, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of broccoli help to protect the brain against oxidative damage. It is also a rich source of Choline that, too, promotes a sharp memory.


Turmeric is a common Asian spice and a key ingredient of curry powder. The active ingredient of turmeric is Curcumin which has a number of benefits for the health of the brain. Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also cross the blood-brain barrier which makes it enter the brain directly and benefit its cells in the following ways,

  • Improves memory
  • Eases depression
  • Promotes the growth of new brain cells

Curcumin also helps to clear the amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. It boosts the level of serotonin and dopamine which consequently, improves your mood. Curcumin is also reported to boost the brain-derived neurotrophic factor that helps the cells of the brain to grow.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are powerful reserves of antioxidants that significantly neutralize the damage caused by free radicals. They’re also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper. Each of these nutrient elements promotes a healthy brain.

Zinc is crucial for nerve signaling. Low zinc in the body is linked with many neurological conditions including depression and Parkinson’s disease. Magnesium also promotes sharp memory and learning and its deficiency is linked to migraines and epilepsy.

The brain uses copper to control nerve signals. Deficiency of copper is said to promote the higher risk of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. Iron is also an essential element for brain health. Iron deficiency is often characterized by brain fog and impaired brain function. Owing to the fact that pumpkin seeds are rich in these essential nutrient elements, nutritionists recommend the addition of pumpkin seeds to your diet.


Nuts have been, long ago, reported to improve the markers of heart health and research says that a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain. They are also linked to improve cognition and help to prevent neurodegenerative diseases. A study found out that people, especially women, who consume nuts often, have a sharp and quick memory.

Nuts are attributed to contain healthy fats, vitamin-E, and antioxidants that benefit your brain health. They shield cellular membranes against free radical damage and prevent mental decline. Walnuts have an extra edge over all the types of nuts due to high omega-3s content.


Eggs are one of the superfoods on this planet Earth. They have numerous health benefits closed under that fragile shell. They serve as a rich reserve for vitamins B6, B12, folic acid, and Choline. The deficiency of these nutrients is linked to depression and neurodegenerative diseases.

Choline is a micronutrient that your body uses in order to form acetylcholine i.e. a neurotransmitter which regulates mood and memory. It also improves memory and mental functions. The dietary recommendations suggest that men and women must acquire 425 to 550 mg of Choline respectively and a single egg yolk contains 112 mg of Choline.

The B vitamins also promote brain health and slow down the progression of mental decline. Vitamin- B12 synthesizes the crucial chemicals in the brain and regulates sugar levels in the brain. Folate prevents dementia in elderly people. Folic acid supplements are also available in the markets that minimize the risks of age-related mental disorders.


Avocados are green powerhouses packed with monosaturated fats that are the good dietary fats required for a healthy body. They regulate healthy levels of blood sugar and benefit skin in various ways.

Avocados are reported rich in vitamin-K, folate, vitamin B, and vitamin C. They are reported to prevent blood clots in the brain and hence protect the individuals against stroke. They also help to improve the memorizing and cognitive abilities of individuals. They elevate their level of concentration, making a person more focused.

In addition to the above-mentioned foods, coffee, green tea, milk, and yogurt also promote a healthy brain. All these foods worth a major part of your diet for a healthy working of the brain.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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