HuffPost: 11 Foods Experts Say Can Boost Your Brain Health And Help Ward Off Dementia

Published on December 19.2023 and was authored by Lauren David.

Diet is essential for brain health. The brain consumes about 20% of our caloric intake and uses more calories than any other organ in the body.
Dr. Brett Osborn spoke with the HuffPost and shared his thoughts on diet and nutrition and how both factors influence brain health.

“Proper nutrition is the foundation upon which our mental acuity and vitality rest,” Dr. Osborn said. “Just as we care for our bodies through exercise and a balanced diet, nurturing our brains through the right foods is essential for a vibrant and youthful mind.”

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown to scientists, however, it is thought that diet and environmental factors influence this cognitive-impairing disease.

Unhealthy foods, if consumed regularly, can have negative consequences on both the body and the brain.

“An unhealthy diet may negatively impact gut microbiota, leading to inflammation and potentially influencing the brain,” Osborn said. “Obese people ― most of whom have an unhealthy gut microbiome ― are at a marked risk for the development of Alzheimer’s dementia,” he added.

Experts highlight which foods are the best for maintaining a healthy brain:

1. Avocado

Avocado is a great addition to every meal. It has healthy monounsaturated fats and can help reduce vascular disease and is an excellent energy source for the brain.

2. Broccoli

roccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains compounds like sulforaphane, which have been linked to reduced inflammation and improved brain health,” Osborn said. Sulforaphane is an important antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties that can protect the nervous system and lessen the impact of illnesses.

3. Blueberries

Blueberries are full of antioxidants. They have flavonoids that are neuroprotective and can increase neuroplasticity and cerebral blood flow.

4. Eggs

Eggs are a good source of protein and the yolk contains choline, which is an essential nutrient and is important for producing acetylcholine.

5. Fatty Fish

Fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids. They are essential for maintaining brain health and have been shown to improve memory, mood regulation and reduce the risk of factors that have to do with cognitive decline.

6. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are packed with nutrients and reduce inflammation and improve cognitive performance.

7. Tuna

Tuna is a low-fat fish and contains tyrosine, an amino acid that is important for producing neurotransmitters in the brain. It is used for making dopamine and norepinephrine, two of the main neurotransmitters in the brain.

8. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, which has incredible anti-inflammatory effects and has a multitude of factors to support a healthy brain.

9. Ginger

Ginger is another spice used for promoting brain health. It is an anti-inflammatory agent that has been shown to improve cognitive function.

10. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba can enhance memory and cognitive function. “It is believed to improve blood flow to the brain and protect brain cells from oxidative damage,” Dr. Osborn said. “Some research supports its potential benefits in age-related cognitive decline.”

11. Fermented Foods

Kimchi, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and yogurt are fermented foods that are great for maintaining brain health. The brain and gut are known to communicate through the nervous and immune systems. Probiotics and prebiotics can help maintain a healthy brain.

The full version of this article was originally published in HuffPost on December 19.2023 and was authored by Lauren David.