Healthy Foods to Eat for Brain Power
These natural brain foods can boost concentration and performance.
3 Natural Brain Foods for Short-Term Boosts continued...
But she warns against too much of a good thing: "If you have a big plate
of pasta and some bread at lunch before a meeting, you're going to want to take
3. Glucose for Memory
Everyone has heard of the "sugar high." But is it real, and is it a
A small study of older adults examined this issue: they were given a sweet
drink or other carbs - and those participants fared better on memory tests than
others who were given a placebo.
Somer says you'll get more bang for your buck with whole grains (that is,
healthy complex carbs) rather than a quick hit of sugar.
"You'll get the glucose level you need without the spikes," she
Natural Brain Foods for Long-Term Benefits
1. Natural Brain Foods for Alertness:
Fish for Omega-3s
"People who eat lots of omega-3s maintain brain capacity, concentration
and alertness much better," says Somer.
Kulze recommends getting your omega-3 fatty acids from oily, cold-water
fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and trout.
"Wild Alaskan salmon is best," Kulze says. "It has a
lot of omega-3s, plus other brain nutrients such as the B vitamins and
Aim for three servings per week. You can also get omega 3s in fortified
2. Natural Brain Foods for Cognition: Dark Fruits and Veggies for
"The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables protect the brain from
oxidants that damage delicate cell membranes and brain cells, and may cause
dementia," Somer says. "Maintaining a high antioxidant level is
important for cognition and memory."
Look for darker colored fruits and vegetables for highest levels. Most
nutritionists name blueberries as the ultimate antioxidant powerhouse.
3. Natural Brain Foods for Memory: Spinach, Broccoli, and Beans for
"Vitamins like B-6 and B-12 are important in maintaining your nervous
system in general and are associated with improved memory and alertness,"
While B-12 and folic acid (folate) are best absorbed in supplement
form, she says, "be aware that as you get older you need more B-12. Foods
like spinach, broccoli, or beans are a good source of folate."