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Top 5 Brain Foods & How They Are Beneficial

Updated on February 3, 2012

Below are the top 5 brain foods, starting with the most beneficial.

#1. Chocolate

Who doesn't love chocolate?  I'll bet you didn't know it's the top food to boost brain function!  At least dark chocolate is.  Other forms of chocolate still help boost brain function, just not nearly as well.  

The main ingredient in chocolate is claimed by experts to be very nutritious for the brain.  Studies conducted by scientists have shown that in just a couple tablespoons of cocoa, you are getting more antioxidants than you do in other foods, such as fruit. 

Flavanols, the key antioxidant in cocoa powder, is documented as being helpful in increasing blood flow to the brain.  Again, there are more flavanols in dark chocolate than any other variety.

Brain Food - Fish
Brain Food - Fish

#2. Fish

Fish contains of fish oils and omegas that are extremely beneficial for all aspects of your health, especially your brain function.  Most types of fish are loaded with Omega-3.  Omega-3 is a fatty acid that is known to be extremely beneficial to your brain function.  I usually supplement by consuming a tablespoon of fish oil a day and have a six ounce piece of salmon for supper. 

Even if you can't stand eating fish every single day, eating just one serving of it a week can greatly decrease your chances of getting Alzheimer's disease.  The fatty acids in fish improve brain function by coating the neurons.  Sometimes these neurons become stiff due to a large amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet, so fish helps to refresh them.

Another way Omega-3s help to improve brain function is by increasing the amount of oxygen you can get your brain.  It also expands the size of your memory, so you can retain much more old information while retaining new information.  If you are a student, fish is an essential part of your daily diet.

The best fish for brain function is either salmon or tuna.

#3. Leafy Vegetables

Cabbage, spinach, lettuce and other green leafy veggies are an excellent way of boosting brain function.  They mostly serve to improve and enhance learning capabilities, which make them a vital piece of a young child's daily diet.  Green leafy vegetables help you retain memory of these things you have learned much clearer and for much longer. 

The vitamins in vegetables that help to improve memory are vitamins B12, B6 and folate. These are all exceptional compounds that are required by the brain to break down homocystein levels, which can cause memory problems when left unchecked.  These vitamins also go a long way to help prevent Alzheimer's disease. 

Leafy green vegetables contain an incredibly high amount of iron content as well, which helps speed up and enhance cognitive ability.

#4. Nuts

Nuts are the perfect snack, because they have everything you need in them.  They have fats, proteins, complex carbohydrates and most of all -- ingredients that are great for your brain!  You could literally survive for weeks on nothing but nuts, if you had to. 

Just about any time of nuts works.  Peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and just about any other type of nut you know of all contain tons of great ingredients for your brain.

Nuts are loaded with Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, folate and Vitamin B6.  Every last one of the aforementioned ingredients help you to think clearer.  They also boost your mood and keep you feeling more positive, because the omega fatty acids have properties that allow them to function as a natural form of antidepressants.

Nuts are also jam packed with magnesium and, in some cases, thiamine which help improve memory and brain function.

Brain Food - Blueberries
Brain Food - Blueberries

#5. Berries

If you can't stand the taste of leafy green vegetables, you're still in luck because you can always supplement with extra fruit.  Berries and other fruits improve your brain health. 

Blueberries, as an example, are known for their ability to improve and enhance motor skills and increase your learning capacity.  Blueberries are by far the best berry for your brain, and if you want an optimal diet, you need to make them a part of what you eat on a daily basis.  For example, I make a blueberry protein shake twice a day.  It's a great way to get my protein in and I also receive the benefits of so many blue berries.

Almost any kind of berry such as blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are loaded with antioxidants that improve your brain capacity.  These berries have properties that make them great at reversing the aging of the brain. 

Due to an insane amount of fisetin and flavenoid, berries are occasionally called the 'super fruits'. 


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    • profile image

      Tej85 5 years ago


      For studying you will need a lot of energy. Because studying might look like no physical activity but you brain will consume quite a lot of energy while you sit and try to understand what you're reading. The most important food for brain is water, protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals. Read on about what is best food for studying on this link:

      Also if you need information on good food for brain please navigate to the link:

      In short, you must provide your body and the brain with quality food that contains a mix of protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. It's no rocket science ;) but should be done right nevertheless.

      Happy studying.


    • profile image

      wwolfs 5 years ago

      Great hub with interesting information.

      Voted up and useful!

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 6 years ago from Georgia

      This was very useful. I didn't know that chocolate and leafy vegetables could be considered brain foods. I voted this useful and interesting!

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      its great to know that i love all these foods.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I like all these foods and am soooo glad chocolate is healthy. Good information!

    • profile image

      Suramya.K 6 years ago

      My favorite is fish and dark chocolate here. Didn't know these had tons of health benefits. Thanks for putting this top 5 list together!

    • LusUfo profile image

      LusUfo 6 years ago

      and i like all of them :)

    • profile image

      anjusharma 6 years ago

      BADAM:badam khanese memory fast hoti hai.

      AMALA:vitamin c milti hai.

    • profile image

      David-Gascon 6 years ago

      Hey, good hub. I didn't like the best foods 2-4 because they're gross(in my opinion). 1 is great and so is 5 though.

      I'm new here and was wondering if you could read my hub(all 1) And tell me what you think. Anyones welcome!

    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 6 years ago

      All chocolate lovers would be sure to love this hub! One more good reason to eat chocolate...