When you think of brain food, do you think of wild sockeye salmon? If not, we encourage you to think again.
As Vanessa Rissetto, MS, RD, CDN and co-founder of Culina Health points out, Adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help us retain information as we learn it. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, and sardines are all rich sources of two types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA.
In addition to helping you retain information immediately, omega-3 fatty acids can also help with age-related mental decline.
“Omega-3 fatty acids regulate brain functions and help fight memory decline,” says Rissetto.
RELATED: 26 best omega-3 foods to fight inflammation and support heart health
Mental health is another key component of brain health. In reality, studies have shown that not consuming enough omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish is linked to depression.
“Not only can adding salmon to your diet help with these cognitive functions, it can also help your emotional health by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety,” Risetto explains.
Of course, oily fish is not the only food that stimulates the brain. Here are a few more you can incorporate into your diet, and for even more healthy eating tips, check out our list of the 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make.
Blueberries are rich in plant compounds called anthocyanins which research shows have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the body. Antioxidants play a key role in reducing inflammation associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
It is the active ingredient in turmeric called curcumin which is known to have all the benefits for brain health. Studies have shown that when combined with black pepper, turmeric may help remove plaque in the brain and improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Find out what happens to your body when you eat turmeric!
Like you really need another reason to crack a few squares of dark chocolate. Researchers have indicated that a group of antioxidant plant compounds called flavonoids can help improve memory and delay age-related mental decline. The key is to buy dark chocolate that has a cocoa content of 70% or more.
Eggs offer so many nutrients, especially egg yolks, so don’t settle for egg whites if you want to improve your brain health! Specifically, egg yolks are rich in a nutrient called choline, and two studies from 2012 and 2011, respectively, suggest that a higher intake of this choline is associated with improved mental function and memory.
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