ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Brain Foods

Updated on June 21, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession, and I enjoy writing about medical issues. I'm also interested in history, genealogy, and travel.

Large Clinical Trial Improves Brain Function

Brain Function improved when women ate the right foods in this study. Brigham and Women’s Hospital completed medical studies of 16,000 women under the direction of Elizabeth Devore. This is actually one of the Nurses Health Studies, which are long term studies of women’s health.

The team discovered specific “brain food” that slowed mental decline which often accompanies aging. Women in the 50 to 60 age range were followed via phone calls and questionnaires about their diet until they were in their 70’s. At that time the women were brought into the lab for six different cognitive function tests.

The research team compared several factors of the women that are known to affect mental cognition, such as education, income, diet and other social-economic factors. The surprising findings concluded that women who ate berries weekly slowed down their mental decline by 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years. For the positive mental effect to take place the women ate 1/2 cup of blue berries or 1 cup of strawberries per week. Food for the brain does improve memory and brain function.

Berries Galore


The Blood-Brain Barrier

Flavenoid - Anthocyanidin

In previous studies on rodents scientists discovered that a key compound found in berries is a flavonoid, called anthropocentric, and it crossed the blood brain barrier. This remarkable fact is unique, as many medications do not even cross this barrier. The anthocyanidin seeps into the blood and into the brain tissue, specifically the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for learning and memory.

This antioxidant also fights inflammation and oxidation, both processes that affect aging brain cells. Anthocyanidins are actually sugarless plant pigments, which give the intense color to fruits and vegetables.

Eating these fruits and vegetables which contain anthocyanidins does not guarantee you won’t get Alzheimer’s disease or dementia but it does improve your odds. The fact that it also fights inflammation and oxidation will help prevent other diseases as well, such as heart disease and arthritis.

In the study other factors were taken into account, which are considered brain-healthy habits. These include having more education, participating in intellectually satisfying pursuits and maintaining a network of activities with friends. Elizabeth Devore stated, “In the end, we did not see a lot of confounding from these factors.” The diet including anthocyanidin was the single factor that slowed mental decline.

Red Cabbage


Red Onion


List of Foods with Anthocyanidins

Eat fruit and vegetables that contain dark colors. They can be fresh or frozen. Some foods, such as eggplant, should be eaten including the skin, which contains the bulk of the antioxidant. Green tea is also a source. Anthocyanidins and flavonoids are found in these colorful foods. They reduce the effect of stress in our everyday lives.

This is a list of healthy brain foods:

  • Blueberries - Eat alone, with cereal, in yogurt or in muffins.
  • Red or black grapes - Obviously a tasty snack.
  • Cranberries - These berries are tart and many people desire added sugar, so try getting them into your diet with a cranberry blend drink, dried on a salad or in cranberry sauce if this is a problem.
  • Rasberries and Blackberries - These berries are loaded with anthocyanidins and buy them in season. Store a supply in your freezer.
  • Red Cabbage - Use the cabbage in slaw, soups, salads or cooked anyway you desire.
  • Red onions - These are great for salads, on sandwiches, soups or pasta dishes. Use them raw when possible.
  • Eggplant - Consider eating them whole when roasting or fixing them in a way that includes the skin.

How to Get More Antioxidants into Your Diet

In Conclusion

More research needs to be done, but it obvious that what we eat has a lot to do with our general health and how we age. As new science develops, they are learning much more about the impact of food and our lifestyles on our health.

Most people really like fruits, which makes eating the ones with anthocyanidins a pleasure. They are great for a snack and you really do not need to eat a large quantity in order to receive the positive effects. Enjoy your diet!

The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)