Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine say these key foods have brain-boosting benefits:
- Olive oil, green tea and leafy greens: These antioxidant superfoods help fight inflammation, which can damage the brain. Before inflammation starts, eating them can protect brain function.
- Beets, tomatoes and avocados: Studies show these foods help ensure that your brain receives the blood it needs to stay sharp. That promotes neuron growth in the area of the brain associated with learning and memory.
- Nuts (especially walnuts): They work deep in the brain to fight amyloid plaques. When amyloid accumulates beyond normal levels, its plaques kill neurons while creating inflammation, which kills even more neurons.
- Fish, blueberries, grapes, coffee and dark chocolate. These powerhouses increase the level of brain-delivered neurotrophic factor, (BDNF), a protein that supports the growth of new neurons. The scientists say BDNF is like Miracle-Gro for the brain. These foods stimulate the release of BDNF to prompt the brain to make more neurons.