7 Foods That Do a Brain Good

bowl of eggplant
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The brain is a muscle and it’s important to keep it strong. Pushups and dumbbells won’t do it, but the right foods will! I’m Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien, and I have seven foods that can help improve memory function, prevent brain disease, and more.

Avocados

As if we need another reason to enjoy these creamy green delights! Avocados are packed with nearly 20 essential nutrients. Vitamin E, one of those nutrients, has been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

 Avocados also contains potassium, which has demonstrated the ability to preserve brain function by preventing strokes.

It’s never too early to start thwarting those later-in-life disease. Just keep portions in check, since avocado is fairly calorie dense, and it doesn't take much to reap the benefits. Spread it on your sandwich, add it to your egg scramble, or use it to make a guac dip to enjoy with veggies.

Wild Salmon

You probably know that wild salmon is constantly praised as a fabulous source of omega-3s. Here’s what you may not know: Your brain needs those fatty acids to function properly. They protect brain cells from injury, reduce inflammation, and help produce neurotransmitters, which is how our brain communicates with the rest of our body. Studies show that eating fish like wild salmon can greatly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s an easy-as-can-be recipe for salmon baked in a packet of foil.

Cleanup is a breeze!

Beets

Beets are nature’s candy! Sweet and delicious, they're full of brain-boosting power. Beets contain a high concentrate of nitrates. Scientists at Wake Forest University determined that these nitrates can increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Not sure how to get in those beets?

Go for my crunchy beet chip recipe. Perfect potato chip swap!

Oats

I’m into oats in a BIG way. (Overnight oats are a breakfast staple!) These fiber-filled grains provide glucose, a.k.a. brain fuel. And, since your body digests oats slowly, they keep you sharp for hours.

Blueberries

Blueberries are a total superfood. They have a ton of nutritional benefits, so it’s no surprise that these tiny treats are also beneficial to brain health! They're filled with antioxidants—more than almost any food out there.

These antioxidants have been shown to dramatically slow impairments in memory and motor coordination. A study by Dr. James Joseph of the USDA found that these berries improved brain function and reversed aging-related brain dysfunctions. Blueberries are easy to incorporate into your diet (especially if you’re always hungry!): Eat them alone, top off yogurt or oatmeal, or bake them into some healthy muffins!

Tomatoes

Similar to blueberries, tomatoes contain good-for-you antioxidants—namely, lycopene. Antioxidants protect against free radical damage to cells, helping to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. You body absorbs more lycopene when you eat cooked tomatoes as opposed to raw ones. Good to know!

Eggplant

Purple power! Violet-hued foods like eggplant contain phytochemicals which could stave off memory loss. In certain studies, anthocyanins (which give eggplant its color) have been shown to enhance learning ability, memory, and coordination skills. Start incorporating more eggplant into your life today!

Bake eggplant with part-skim mozzarella and whole-wheat breadcrumbs for a healthy eggplant Parm. Or cut eggplant into spears, coat with egg whites and whole-wheat panko, and bake for healthy fries! You can even cook a slice of eggplant in a skillet and use it as low-carb pizza crust.

For more tips and tricks, plus guilt-free recipes, food finds, and more, sign up for free daily emails at hungry-girl.com!

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