11 Best Foods to Boost Your Brain and Memory

7. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants.

Flavonoids are a group of antioxidant plant compounds.

The flavonoids in chocolate gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Researchers say these compounds may enhance memory and also help slow down age-related mental decline .

In fact, a number of studies back this up .

In one study including over 900 people, those who ate chocolate more frequently performed better in a series of mental tasks, including some involving memory, than those who rarely ate it .

Chocolate is also a legitimate mood booster, according to research.

One study found that participants who ate chocolate experienced increased positive feelings, compared to participants who ate crackers .

However, it’s still not clear whether that’s because of compounds in the chocolate, or simply because the yummy flavor makes people happy .

SUMMARY:

The flavonoids in chocolate may help protect the brain. Studies have suggested that eating chocolate could boost both memory and mood.

8. Nuts

Research has shown that eating nuts can improve markers of heart health, and having a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain .

A 2014 review showed that nuts can improve cognition and even help prevent neurodegenerative diseases .

Also, another large study found that women who ate nuts regularly over the course of several years had a sharper memory, compared to those who didn’t eat nuts.

Several nutrients in nuts, such as healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E, may explain their brain-health benefits .

Vitamin E shields cell membranes from free radical damage, helping slow mental decline .

While all nuts are good for your brain, walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver omega-3 fatty acids (57).

SUMMARY:

Nuts contain a host of brain-boosting nutrients, including vitamin E, healthy fats and plant compounds.

9. Oranges

You can get all the vitamin C you need in a day by eating one medium orange .

Doing so is important for brain health, since vitamin C is a key factor in preventing mental decline.

Eating sufficient amounts of vitamin C-rich foods can protect against age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2014 review article .

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off the free radicals that can damage brain cells. Plus, vitamin C supports brain health as you age .

You can also get excellent amounts of vitamin C from bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes and strawberries (62).

SUMMARY:

Oranges and other foods that are high in vitamin C can help defend your brain against damage from free radicals.