Photo by Jeremy Ricketts on Unsplash

The Top 10 Brain Foods

Andrew Merle
Nov 1 · 2 min read

We all want to feel and perform our best on a daily basis.

Exercise is arguably the most important thing we can do for cognitive functioning, but the food we eat plays a key role in brain performance as well.

Certain foods have been shown to boost brain power and should be consumed regularly for optimal mental functioning.

Here are the top 10 foods for brain health to include in your diet:

1. Green leafy vegetables

Leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards, swiss chard, broccoli) are packed with brain-healthy nutrients including vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene.

2. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish — salmon, mackeral, anchovies, sardines, herring — are loaded with brain-boosting Omega-3s. You should aim to eat fish 2–3 times per week.

3. Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries (and other less common berries) contain flavonoids that improve memory. Berries also have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Coffee

The caffeine and antioxidants in coffee have been shown to boost concentration and mental functioning. For people at high risk for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, it is recommended to drink up to 3–4 cups of coffee per day.

5. Nuts

Walnuts and almonds in particular have been shown to improve memory and brain function.

6. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols and monounsaturated fat — good for both brain and heart health.

7. Avocados

Avocados have also been shown to support brain health, while simultaneously lowering blood pressure.

8. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate (85% cacao or above) has many health benefits, including improved blood flow to the brain and elevated cognitive function.

9. Eggs

Eggs (specifically egg yolks) are rich in several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, which the body uses for memory and communication among brain cells.

10. Turmeric

Turmeric has now been linked with numerous health benefits and curcumin — the active ingredient in turmeric — has demonstrated cognitive and mood benefits.

There are a number of factors that impact cognitive functioning, but diet is near the top of the list.

Add these 10 foods to your diet — along with regular exercise — to keep your brain sharp on a daily basis and over time as you age.

Andrew Merle

Written by

I write about healthy living. Subscribe to my email list at

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade