Want to keep your brain healthy but don’t know where to start? There are websites, obscure supplements, brain teasers, and even prescription drugs that claim they can help memory and cognitive abilities—but what about natural food solutions?
Truthfully, staving off cognitive decline isn’t terribly difficult – it just takes a little knowledge and effort. Eating healthful foods in general while avoiding processed junk is always a great advice for boosting any aspect of health, and that is true here as well. Though there are indeed some specific foods that can help more than others.
In addition to exercising regularly (very important), begin eating these 4 foods to preserve your brain health.
1. Hot Chocolate
Really? Hot chocolate for brain health? Yes, researchers with Harvard Medical School found last year that a few cups of hot cocoa each day could help memory and fight cognitive decline in the elderly.
As I reported here, the researchers looked at the effects of chocolate on elderly people over a period of 30 days. Those who began the study with impaired neurovascular coupling and white matter damage largely saw significant improvements. Improvements on memory tests were also marked.
2. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba has long been recognized as a food-solution for brain health. You can find it in nearly any drug store, sold as a supplement. One of the oldest trees in the world and originating in China, ginkgo biloba can be found in nearly any drug store sold as a supplement.
Containing flavonoids and terpenoids, the antioxidants within ginkgo biloba act to protect the brain from free radical damage. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) admits it can help people who suffer from cerebrovascular insufficiency, a condition that can manifest in headaches, poor concentration, and memory problems.
3. Coconut Oil
In just a single daily serving, coconut oil can begin repairing neural pathways, improving memory and brain function, according to a report from Christina Sarich. Sarich says it’s the medium chain triglycerides that can be credited with the health benefits. These fatty acids are not only good for your brain, but your entire body, even working to reduce belly fat.
An algae which has been around since at least 9th century, when it was used in the Kanem Empire of Chad in Africa, spirulina has been shown to destroy cancer, cleanse the body of heavy metals, and boost academic performance.
A study in Senegal recently found children whose diets were supplemented with spirulina had notable improvements in their academic performance. Other studies have found it to have neuroprotective benefits, possibly reducing the risks of damage and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Here are 5 more brain-boosting foods.