Who said that eating a healthy diet only serves to benefit your physical health? Surprisingly, there are a number of foods you can enjoy that will increase your brain power too! Here’s a list of 10 of the best…

Leafy greens

The physical health benefits of leafy greens have been known for some time, but who would have known that they can help keep your gray matter happy too? Greens like kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce are jam packed with vitamins A and K and have been found to keep the symptoms of mental deterioration at bay. In fact, studies have even found that those who follow a healthy diet rich with leafy greens are at a lower risk of developing dementia.

Egg yolk

A lot of healthy diet plans scorn the egg yolk because of potential concerns that yolks affect cholesterol, but they actually contain large amounts of choline, which helps fetal brain development in pregnant women. It can also break down bethane, a chemical that produces hormones that make you happy. Plus, eggs are one of the most inexpensive forms of protein, so they’re not only good for your brain but also good for your bank balance.

Walnuts

Not only do they resemble the shape of a brain, but they help to improve it, too. Munching on a few walnuts a day has been proven to improve mental alertness thanks to their high levels of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamin E – a key nutrient said to fight off Alzheimer’s.

Salmon

In general, oily fish is great for your diet, but salmon, in particular, is one that is considered one of the most brain-friendly. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help to improve memory and has even been known to prevent ADHD. What’s more, these fatty acids can also prevent cancer and kill tumors! Add it to your diet today to keep your brain ticking.

Blueberries

Who doesn’t love a fresh blueberry smoothie? Adding just a handful of these per day into your diet can give you a boost of vitamin C, vitamin K, and much-needed fiber. Their high levels of gallic acid mean they’re a particularly good berry for protecting your brain from stress and degeneration. If you’re not a blueberry fan, strawberries and acai berries can get rid of toxic proteins associated with age-related memory loss.

Avocado

Avocados have fast become a big favorite with many health warriors because they’re one of the healthiest fruits you can consume. Although they’re another food on this list that often gets a bad rep for their high-fat content, it’s important to remember that these fats are the ‘good kind’ that keep your blood sugar at a healthy level and keep your skin glowing. These green heroes are full of vitamin K and folate that help to prevent blood clots in the brain (protecting against strokes) and improve your overall cognitive function, especially when it comes to memory and concentration. They’re also full of vitamins B and C, which need to be replenished daily. Phew!

Pumpkin seeds

Do you need something healthy to snack on throughout the day? Then pumpkin seeds are a great choice. Although small, they are richer in zinc than many other seeds and this is a mineral that your brain needs for improved memory and thinking. They’re also great for boosting your mood as they’re full of B vitamins and tryptophan, which is the precursor to serotonin. Who knew these little seeds could make you so happy?

Broccoli

It might be a constant battle to get your little ones to eat their broccoli, but they’ll thank you once they’re older and find out that it’s one of the best brain foods there is. Research has found that because this green is high in compounds known as glucosinolates, it can slow the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that we need for the central nervous system to perform properly and keep our brain sharp. Low levels of acetylcholine have been linked to those who suffer from Alzheimer’s.

Peanut butter

Yes, your favorite toast topping can boost your brain power. Although peanut butter is high in fat, it is a healthy fat and packed with vitamin E that helps to keep the heart and brain in tip-top condition. Aim to go for organic peanut butter with whole grain toast to keep the amount of saturated fat in your diet at a minimum. If you’re not a fan of the humble peanut, almonds and hazelnuts are great alternatives.

Turmeric

You probably know of turmeric as the yellow spice used to flavor and add color to Indian curries, but did you know that it has been used for centuries because of its healing benefits? A chemical compound found in turmeric named curcumin is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents, boosts antioxidant levels and helps to improve the brain’s oxygen intake. To start your day right, try sprinkling the spice on your morning eggs or drinking a cup of turmeric tea.

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential to good physical and cognitive health, and by making only a few small changes, you could see a big difference in no time at all.