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12 foods that are good for the brain and memory

Many foods such as fatty fish, dark chocolate, turmeric, broccoli… can maintain brain health and improve memory.

The brain is the center that regulates most of the body’s activities, including subconscious activities (breathing, heartbeat…) and conscious activities (moving, thinking…). Keeping the brain working efficiently is important. There is a growing body of research on the relationship between diet and brain health. Certain foods will help keep the brain healthy and improve its functions, such as memory and concentration. Here are 12 foods that are good for the brain.

fat fish

Fatty fish often tops the list of brain foods. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is a fat that plays an important role in the structure of cell membranes, including brain cells.

Several studies have shown that people who eat fish regularly have more gray matter in their brains. Gray matter helps control decision making, memory, and emotions. Researchers have found that high levels of omega-3 in the body help improve cognitive and thinking abilities. Omega-3s also slow age-related mental decline and prevent the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains lots of flavonoids, antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants are important for brain health because the organ is susceptible to oxidative stress, which causes age-related cognitive decline and brain disease.

Dark chocolate contains lots of flavonoids which are good for the brain.  Photo: Freepik.

Dark chocolate contains many flavonoids that are beneficial for the brain. Photo: Freepik

The flavonoids in dark chocolate encourage the growth of neurons and blood vessels in brain areas involved in memory and learning. They also increase blood flow in the brain. Researchers believe that this compound has the ability to improve memory, slowing mental decline with age.


Like dark chocolate, berries are also packed with flavonoids that have antioxidant powers. These antioxidants will help prevent oxidative stress and inflammation, which contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

According to a review published in the journal Nerve Regeneration Research (China) 2014, antioxidants in berries can improve connections between brain cells, increase the level of plasticity and help brain cells form new connections, improve learning and memorization abilities. It also helps reduce or delay cognitive decline and age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Antioxidant-rich berries that are good for the brain are strawberries, blueberries, mulberries, black raspberries…


Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. This means that curcumin can go directly to the brain and provide many benefits for the cells there. Curcumin contributes to improving memory in people with Alzheimer’s disease, supporting the growth of new brain cells.


Broccoli provides abundant amounts of vitamin K for the body. This vitamin is fat-soluble and is required for the formation of sphingolipids, a type of fat found in brain cells. In addition to vitamin K, broccoli also contains a number of compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which help protect the brain from damage.

Nuts and seeds

Consuming lots of nuts and seeds can improve brain health because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E. Vitamin E helps protect cells against the effects of free radicals, thereby slowing mental decline, improving cognition and reducing risk. alzheimer’s. Nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, as are sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts. Walnuts are also great for the brain as they provide anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the brain and memory.  Photo: Freepik.

Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are good for the brain and memory. Photo: Freepik

Whole grains

Whole grains are another food group that is high in vitamin E, which is good for the brain. Consuming more whole grain foods like brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread or pasta improves brain health.


Eggs are a good source of brain nutrients, including vitamins B6, B12, folate and choline. These are vitamins that contribute to preventing brain shrinkage and delaying cognitive decline.


Similar to coffee, the caffeine in green tea improves alertness, performance, memory and concentration. Green tea also has several other brain-healthy ingredients such as L-theanine, polyphenols, and antioxidants. L-theanine is an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA which helps reduce anxiety and helps users feel more relaxed. Polyphenols and antioxidants can protect the brain and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.


Oranges are a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cells from damaging free radicals. This vitamin also protects the brain from conditions such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s. Some other foods that also contain lots of vitamin C are peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes, strawberries…


Avocados are rich in unsaturated fats which are beneficial for overall health and brain health in particular. The unsaturated fats in avocados lower blood pressure, a factor that can increase the risk of cognitive decline.

Phuong Quynh
(According to Healthline, Medicalnewstoday)

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