Mind and Body

5 foods that boost brain function

You’ve probably heard “you are what you eat."

In many ways, this cliché is true — at least when it comes to the brain.

Here are 5 brain-healthy foods and how they can boost cognitive function.

5. Apples

A study released Thursday found two compounds in apples boosted neuron growth in the learning and memory centers of mouse brains.

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4. Sweet Potatoes

Red and purple sweet potatoes have been found to protect against brain inflammation and declines in cognitive function caused by obesity.

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3. Leafy Greens

In a 2018 study, older adults who consumed a median of 1.3 servings of leafy greens per day slowed their rate of cognitive decline by the equivalent of 11 years.

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2. Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut promote a healthy gut microbiome, which has far-reaching effects on health, including cognition.

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1. Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids like those found in fish are well known for their health benefits, with studies finding they can boost memory and improve mood.

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Scientists have found that baked or broiled fish can enhance the memory and cognition centers of the brain, no matter how much omega-3 it contains.

What you don’t eat is just as important

Refined carbohydrates, processed meat, and soft drinks increase oxidative stress and risk factors for cognitive decline.

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No single food will ensure a healthy brain on its own, so the best bet is to eat a balanced diet that incorporates these proven brain boosters.

Read more stories on food here.

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