Remember when you were a kid and your mother told you: “eat your green vegetables”? Well, your mother was right! Leafy green vegetables are just some of the foods that are beneficial for your brain health. Some foods have even been clinically proven to reduce memory loss.
1. Leafy green vegetables — any leafy green vegetable, like kale, broccoli and escarole, are great for your brain. According to the AARP, elderly women who ate broccoli, cauliflower, green lettuce and spinach scored better on memory and learning tests than women who did not.
2. Fruits with antioxidants — while you can always look for juices that contain antioxidants, why not eat the fruits themselves? The fruits that contain the most antioxidants include prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries.
3. Vegetables with antioxidants — vegetables can also be a great source of antioxidants. Examples are kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli florets, beets, red bell peppers, onions, corn and eggplant. Many of these vegetables are also leafy green vegetables, so you are giving your brain a one-two punch in nutrients!
4. Omega-3 fatty acid rich fish — wild salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna, anchovies, whitefish and sablefish contain a large amount of omega-3, an essential fatty acid that is needed for brain development. If you are a vegetarian, non-meat based supplements are available.
5. Cacao beans — yes, chocolate is good for you! But not the chocolate with excess sugar. Try either cocoa powder or dark chocolate with at least a 75 percent content of cacao.
6. Matcha — matcha is a high-quality Japanese green tea that contains a huge amount of EGCG and antioxidants. Unlike other teas, matcha is a powder, so you drink all of it. Health food stores, natural grocery markets and Asian supermarkets should have matcha available.
7.Acai berries — while acai berries are a high-antioxidant fruit, they require their own category. Besides antioxidants, acai berries contain omega-3 fatty acids and lots of protein. Fresh berries, or flash frozen, have the best benefits.