Thursday, October 21, 2021

Food for Thought?

Just what does the food you eat have to do with how your brain functions? Uhm, more than you think!

Everyone knows that what we eat affects our bodies and how we look, but what we eat also affects our brain. Certain foods strongly influence cognitive ability- such as understanding and processing new information. Retaining new knowledge and staying focused will help you to ace that test or checkmate your opponent during a chess game.

Check out our list of 15 brain foods that will boost your focus and memory.

1. Walnuts and Almonds

Have you ever noticed that the walnut is shaped like our brain? That’s why it’s probably one of the top recommended foods for cognitive health. Walnuts and even almonds have high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which help to improve mental alertness. Vitamin E helps to ward off Alzheimer’s which is abundant in walnuts and almonds.   Nuts and seeds that top the list with high Vit E, are almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is seriously so versatile, it probably has 100 uses and cures and it’s a true power food. Especially when it comes to your brain. It can help with memory loss as you age so add it to your diet. I have and it really does wonders.

3. Salmon and Fatty Fish

If you don’t like seafood, you could skip this, but salmon is one the most nutritious, brain foods out there. It is packed with omega-3 fatty acids to help keep your brain running smoothly and to improve memory and focus. Mackerel, sardines, and tuna also make the list of must -eat- for- good- brain, fish.


4. Avocados

This fruit is literally one of the healthiest. The stress associated when studying just makes the skin break out, while consuming avocados keeps your skin glowing and soft. Moreover, avocados have both vitamin K and folate, which helps to improve cognitive function, especially memory and concentration.


5. Rosemary

This herb has a bunch of benefits for your body and brain. Loaded with Carnosic acid it helps protect the brain from neurodegeneration and improves mental clarity.


6. Blueberries

Blueberries have so many great health benefits and they taste good! Blueberries have high levels of gallic acid, a powerful ingredient to protect our brains from degeneration and stress. 

7. Egg Yolks

That’s right, egg yolks contain not only choline, but also B vitamins and other fatty acids important for nerve growth and strong cognitive function.  But if you struggle with high cholesterol, avoid them.

8. Beets

A must add to any diet, beetroot is a fantastic veggie. It’s the natural nitrates in beets that will boost blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance. 

9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Did you know that real extra virgin olive oil is truly an amazing brain food? It comes down to the powerful antioxidants, polyphenols, in the oil. This includes EVOO ( EVOO is made when olives are crushed into a pulp using only force, rather than heat or chemicals as in the production of other olive oils) in your diet which not only improves learning and memory, but also helps fight against ADDLs, proteins that are toxic to the brain and induce Alzheimer’s.  

Do note that since its cold pressed and extra virgin-it is not recommended to cook with, only have this at cold or room temperature to get the best use of all its benefits.

10. Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the best brain foods out there. No, really, it is. It has loads of vitamin K and choline, which means it will help keep your memory sharp. 

11. Green, Leafy Vegetables

Popeye had the right idea with eating lots of spinach, it’s great brain food. But not just spinach, also kale, romaine lettuce and even Swiss chard. All these green foods help to lower your chances of dementia. 

12. Turmeric

Turmeric has been around for centuries and used for its healing properties. Turmeric helps to boost antioxidant levels and keeps your immune system healthy, while improving your brain’s oxygen intake, to keep you alert and able to process information. 

13. Coffee

Coffee can help boost alertness and mood. It may also offer some protection against Alzheimer’s, thanks to its caffeine and antioxidants.

14. Green Tea

As is the case with coffee the caffeine in green tea boosts brain function. In fact, it has been found to improve alertness, performance, memory, and focus. L-theanine, an amino acid in green tea can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps reduce anxiety.

15. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate contains cocoa, also known as cacao. Cacao contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant which are especially important for brain health, as our brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress. This in turn contributes to age-related cognitive decline and brain diseases. Cacao flavonoids may encourage neuron and blood vessel growth in parts of the brain involved in memory and learning. 


That wraps up our 15 top foods to boost your brain’s health. For all good reasons, its healthy to keep your brain on the uptick.  Next time sip a cup of coffee or green tea for an added brain boost to help you win that game of bridge, in addition, you’ll be cracking the crossword and sudoku in record time!

Deepa Desa
Deepa Desa has a wide range of professional experiences in varied industries, ranging from Business, Hospitality, Tea, Beauty, Aromatherapy and Natural wellness therapies, spanning her 35-year career. She is an internationally certified Advanced Beauty Esthetician and Electrotherapist, (CIDESCO/CIBTAC). She is also an advanced Aromatherapist (CIDESCO/IFA), (2005). She has been a consultant for corporates (HUL- Lakmé Lever, Raymond’s, Nivea, Sofitel etc.), and stand-alone beauty and wellness projects. Deepa has extensively trained therapists, for international beauty product companies like BABOR, CACI, Éminence Organics, Kerstin Florian, Gemology, Phytomer, and many more. She introduced oxygen and high -end anti-ageing therapies to Mumbai for the first time, at the spa she co-founded, Tahaa Spa in 2006. She believes in a synergy of science and nature for effective skincare. Currently, she integrates her passion, creativity, and experience to create relevant, relatable articles and blogs, and holds one on one sessions to help stress- management using natural therapies. If you have any questions, please e mail her at

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