12 Superfoods to boost your brain power

Feed your brain, 12 foods that can help boost your brain power

Food and drink

The
Benefits

How Much

How to cook and eat them

Oily Fish: Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Sardines

Rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, which help the brain to work, improve attention span and may protect against dementia.

1 portion a week.

Ideally wild salmon, and smaller varieties like sardines, as they are less likely to be polluted with heavy metals like mercury.

Eggs

The yolk is a source of choline, important for brain development, memory and reasoning.
Eggs also contain vitamin D, which helps to alleviate depression. When hens are fed an omega-3 enriched diet, their eggs contain brain-friendly DHA.

As many as you like, when eaten as part of a balanced diet

Poaching, boling and scrambling are best; avoid too many fried eggs. Omega-3 enriched eggs are especially beneficial for the elderly and those who don't eat fish.

Blueberries,
Blackberries, Raspberries, Strawberries

Protective compounds called anthocyanins in red and dark purple berries help to prevent memory lapses. They also help us learn - so start young.

A large handful daily.

Freshly picked, or frozen when not in season.

Green Leafy Veg: Watercress, Spinach, Lamb's Lettuce

The B vitamins (especially folate) help to reduce brain shrinkage as we age.
Folate helps to manage levels of homocysteine, too much of which is associated with an increased risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's.

1-2 servings daily.

B vitamins are water-soluble, so eat your greens raw or slightly steamed.

Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts, Almonds, Brazils, Chia, Pumpkin Seeds, Linseeds

Vitmain E in nuts and seeds protects against cognitive decline. minerals, inlcuding zinc, improving thinking skills. Walnuts, which contain omega-3, boost blood flow to the brain.

30g or a small handful daily.

Best eaten freshley shelled, raw or roasted - not salted.

Avocado

Packed with heart-friendly fats and protective vitamin E, avocados are also a source of glutathione, an antioxidant that protects brain cells from damage.

1/2 an avocado counts as 1 of your 5-a-day.

Spread on toast; make a dip and enjoy with veg sticks; halve,stone,drizzle with lemon juice and enjoy as it is.

Green Tea

Compunds called catechins protect our nervous system and may guard against Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Green tea contains some caffeine, and small amounts can help to improve concentration.

Replace 2-3 cups of your daily tea or coffee with green tea.

Drink a freshly brewed cuppa before a focus-based task. Also useful as a refresher when you're on a long drive.

Wholegrains: Oats, Rye, Brown Rice, Wheatgerm

Wholegrains provide energising, slow release glucose, and fuel the brain, improving concentration and focus. Wheatgerm is a good source of both vitamin E and memory boosting choline.

3 portions daily.

Opt for wholegrain bread, rice and pasta. Add wheatgerm to breakfast cereal and bakes.

Beans and Pulses:
Lentils,
Black Beans,
Kidney Beans

Fibre rich with slow releasing energy. Some beans are a good source of anthocyanins, which help to prevent memory loss.

1 portion daily.

Add to salads, casseroles and soups; whizz into a dip for snacking.

Pomegranate Juice

A good source of memory boosting polyphenols. Pomegranate juice also helps to thin the blood and keep circulation flowing.

1 glass daily.

Swap your morning orange juice for a glass of 100% pomegranate juice.

Cocoa Solids

With protective flavonoids and stimulants like caffeine, dark chocolate helps to maintain focus and concentration, stimulates feel good endorphins and improves blood flow to the brain.

2 squares (about 25g) a day.

As unprocessed as possible and high in cocoa solids (minimum 70%).

Turmeric

The active ingredient of this popular spice is curcumin. Its protective properties are thought to help repair brian cells, regulate mood and fight age related decline.

Use liberally in cooking.

Add the powder to curries and scrambled eggs; sprinkle in rice during cooking; flavour salad dressings; add to pulses.