User Reviewed

How to Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods

Three Methods:Eating Healthy for a Healthy MindFocusing on the Nutritional Value of Your FoodTaking Supplements

Start young to protect your mind. Individuals are living longer now, and while mental decline is common in aging, it may be slowed and reversed somewhat by consuming a range of brain foods. Basically, what is healthy for you overall is healthy for your brain, though you can eat certain foods and supplements to increase you brain health.

Method 1
Eating Healthy for a Healthy Mind

  1. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 1
    Eat fish and take fish oil supplements. Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, vitamins A and D, phosphorous, magnesium, and iodine (if saltwater), many of which are important for brain health. Fish oil is the richest source of fat vital to brain development in unborn babies and infants, and it helps maintain the brain throughout life.[1]
    • Eat about 14 ounces of fish a week or three servings that are about the size of your fist. Fish oil is available in food supplements. You can find it fortified with DHA, as well. It is also sold as Omega 3 Oil in its own separate supplements. [2]
  2. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 2
    Eat your greens. Dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach are essential for a healthy mind and body. These contain high levels of vitamin E and folate.[3]
    • Vitamin E likely helps protect your brain's neurons,[4] while the relationship between folate and brain health isn't as clear. It's likely that it helps keep down levels of homocysteine in the brain, as this amino acid may lead to nerve cell death if the levels are too high.[5]
    • You can also try avocado for a good source of vitamin E, as well as sunflower seeds.[6]
  3. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 3
    Dose yourself with blueberries. Blueberries have been shown to help with short term memory loss in some studies, so eat them a few times a week.[7]
    • Other berries have brain-boosting benefits, too, such as strawberries and acai berries.[8]
  4. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 4
    Make a tomato salad. Tomatoes, which can contain high levels of lycopene, help protect against free radical cell damage, which in turn, may help protect against dementia.[9]
  5. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 5
    Add nuts to your diet. Nuts contain alpha linolenic acid (ALA), and they have anti-inflammatory properties. These qualities help increase blood flow, which makes your brain happy with more oxygen.[10] They are also high in vitamin E.[11]
  6. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 6
    Eat ginger. Ginger, along with other foods such as berries, soy products, and teas, help protect your glial cells. These cells likely remove toxins from the brain, protecting you from diseases such as Alzheimer's.[12]
    • Try ginger tea, or add ginger to a stir fry for extra spice.
  7. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 7
    Incorporate whole grains. Whole grains are a part of an overall healthy diet that will improve your general health. The healthier your body is, the healthier your brain is. They can also help lower your risk for high blood pressure, which keeps your brain healthier.[13]
    • If you're over age 9, you should be getting at least 3 to 5 servings of whole grains per day, up to 6 or 7 servings as an adult. To get your servings in, try oatmeal, whole wheat bread, quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta.[14]
  8. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 8
    Spread your food across the day. Eating small meals throughout the day, as opposed to one large meal, can help with brain health. It keeps your blood sugar level throughout the day, providing the energy your brain needs. Try four to six meals instead of three to five.[15]

Method 2
Focusing on the Nutritional Value of Your Food

  1. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 9
    Eat selenium-rich foods. Selenium is a trace mineral that has an essential role in ensuring good brain health, particularly as an antioxidant.[16] Studies have found that depleted levels of selenium result in poor memory, bad moods, and decreased cognitive function, while increasing selenium improves mood, clarity of thinking, and energy levels.[17]
    • You need to get at least 55 micrograms daily. Try foods such as whole grain bread, tuna, and Brazil nuts.[18]
  2. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 10
    Increase your zinc. One great source of zinc is pumpkin seeds. Zinc is helpful for improving brain power,[19] and just a 1/4 cup provides almost 20 percent of your daily value.[20] Other good sources include spinach, beef, and kidney beans.
    • Try eating a small handful of pumpkin seeds as an afternoon snack, or sprinkle them over salad or oatmeal for added texture.
  3. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 11
    Consume foods rich in antioxidants. Many of the foods already listed here are high in antioxidants, such as berries and leafy greens. However, certain drinks are high in antioxidants, too, including tea and coffee.[21] Green tea is particularly beneficial for the brain. Try drinking a cup of tea or two a day.[22]
    • Antioxidants help block free radicals, which can destroy brain cells over time.[23]
  4. 4
    Improve your omega-3 intake. Omega 3 is excellent brain food, providing a good source of EPA and DHA fatty acids and helping to protect your brain from deterioration. Not getting enough of these fatty acids in your diet can increase your chances of getting Alzheimer's or dementia. Oily fish (e.g., salmon, sardines, herring, tuna), fish oil, walnuts, and flax seeds (linseed) are all good sources of omega-3. [24]
    • Try chia seeds, which are loaded with ALA and EHA omega-3. They are easy to sprinkle over everything from cereal to salads, as they are flavorless.[25]

Method 3
Taking Supplements

  1. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 12
    Try gingko biloba. Studies are showing that gingko biloba can help with certain brain disorders, such as cerebral inefficiency and dementia.[26]
    • The dosages varied by study, anywhere from 120 milligrams to 640 milligrams per day. Talk to your doctor about an appropriate amount for you.[27]
  2. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 13
    Take B-vitamins. These vitamins help your body create fuel from glucose. They're also essential in helping protect against dementia. If you aren't getting enough B-vitamins from your diet, find a supplement that includes folate, B6 and B12, niacin, and thiamin.[28]
  3. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 14
    Supplement with citicocline. This supplement can help with memory function and recall, as well as help those with declining mental abilities.[29] It is a chemical already present in your brain, and you can take up to 1,000 milligrams per day.[30]
  4. Image titled Protect Your Mind With Brain Foods Step 15
    Try Vitamin D.[31] Being low on vitamin D can lead to disorders such as seasonal affective disorder and depression.[32] People can usually get most of the vitamin D they need through sunlight, but some people's bodies - especially dark-skinned people and the elderly - can have trouble converting sunlight to vitamin D, and in the winter, it can be difficult for anyone to get enough sun.
    • Research has been done on dosages anywhere from 528 to 9,000 international units of vitamin D2 or D3. Check with your doctor for an appropriate dosage for you.[33]


  • Exercise is a crucial parallel with good diet to ensure that your brain remains healthy. Keep up a moderate and regular exercise regime throughout your life.[34]


  • Always review dietary changes and dietary expectations with your doctor or other relevant health professional.
  • Some fish are high in mercury and other toxins, which can damage the brain if consumed in large amounts. Try to choose fish low in mercury (typically smaller fish like salmon, sardines, shrimp, and light tuna), and choose wild-caught over farmed fish.

Sources and Citations


Show more... (31)

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Energy & Longevity | Nutrition and Lifestyle Eating