10. Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes contain several B vitamins important for healthy brain function. According to the Cleveland Clinic, B vitamins improve communication between brain cells by boosting the production of neurotransmitters. If you aren’t accustomed to eating a lot of beans, start slowly by introducing about ½ cup of beans to your diet each day. Beans and legumes come in a variety of tasty options including black beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and pinto beans. Include beans in hearty soups or stews, add them to salads, or mix up a tasty hummus to enjoy with veggies.
Broccoli, with its rich, green hue, is another great source of dietary fiber, plant phenols, and antioxidants. Furthermore, broccoli contains vitamin K, which studies suggest may play a role in the synthesis of sphingolipids in the brain. In fact, one study presents a link between low intake of vitamin K and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly. You can enjoy your broccoli roasted, sautéed, or served raw with a light dressing or dollop of hummus.
8. Concord Grapes
Concord grapes may improve your memory and help with better brain performance. Previous studies have demonstrated that red grape juice can improve memory skills in laboratory rats. However, rats aren’t the only creatures who may benefit from the brain-boosting effects of Concord grapes. A study in the European Journal of Nutrition found that drinking red grape juice had positive effects on both mood and memory in healthy, young adults. If you are fortunate enough to live where fresh Concord grapes are readily available, you can enjoy them by the handful. Otherwise, look for sugar-free juices made from these grapes.