Brain Boost: Foods that Help Boost Your Memory & Concentration

The foods you eat play a key role in keeping your brain healthy. If you’re looking for an extra brain boost, try out these 6 foods and drinks.

  1. Coffee

If you’re sleep deprived, you may have reached for a cup of coffee once or twice. That’s because coffee is known to aid concentration. It contains caffeine and antioxidants which help increase alertness1, improve mood2, and sharpen concentration3. A 2018 study also found that caffeine may also increase the brain's capacity for processing information4.

 

  1. Dark Chocolate

This may help you feel a little better about your next sweet treat! Chocolate is packed with flavonoids, caffeine, and antioxidants. The flavonoids in chocolate are absorbed near the area of the brain that support memory and learning. Researchers believe this may help slow down age-related mental decline and enhance memory.5 Tip: reach for chocolate high in cocoa. The higher, the healthier.

 

  1. Berries

Like dark chocolate, flavonoid antioxidants in berries give brains a boost. In fact, one study found that those who frequently ate chocolate performed better in a series of mental tasks6, including some involving memory, than those who rarely ate it. Additionally, chocolate is known to boost mood and result in increased positive feelings.7

 

  1. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds contain beneficial amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.8 One study found that women who ate nuts regularly over the course of a few years had sharper memories compared to those who didn’t eat nuts.9 Another study discovered that nuts can improve cognitive function and help prevent neurodegenerative diseases.10

 

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric isn’t just beautiful and tasty – it may help your brain and contribute to your overall happiness. Researchers found that it boosts serotonin and dopamine,11 which improves your mood. Another study found that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may help improve the memory of Alzheimer’s patients.12

 

  1. Broccoli

This tasty veggie is packed with antioxidants and is high in vitamin K.13 This vitamin is essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that's packed into brain cells. Broccoli’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects also help protect the brain against damage.14

For that extra brain boost, these items are a great place to start. Otherwise, reach for foods that are high in antioxidants, B vitamins, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids for added brain support.

References:

1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20164566)

2http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2007.00665.x/full#b19

3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12404081

4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5807546/

5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27574544

6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26873453

7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27642035

8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4105147/

9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24871475

10https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16988474

11https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00213-008-1300-y

12https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16988474

13https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648721/

14https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3725709/