For a brain boost, eat foods that aid memory and learning

Eggs and blueberries aren’t in the same food group and they aren’t a combination that readily comes to mind for most people. But they have an important characteristic in common – they’re both believed to enrich the brain.

In eggs, the brain-boosting ingredient is choline, which is in the yolks, and makes a brain chemical called acetycholine that’s instrumental in storing memories. Nuts and red meat also contain choline.

As for blueberries, they are loaded with antioxidants that enhance learning as well as memory skills, according to a study at the University of Cincinnati. When people with age-related memory problems drank an amount of blueberry juice equal to a cup of blueberries for 12 weeks, they made strides in memory and learning tests. An added benefit is that anthocyanins also combat inflammation.

“[The antioxidant] anthocyanins have been shown in animal studies to increase signals among brain cells and improve their resilience, enhancing learning and memory,” Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., director of the university’s psychology division, told Health.com.

More brain-rich choices
While kale is a culinary power food because of its versatility in salads, soups and side dishes, it also has a high yield of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. Like blueberries, kale has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant value through molecules it contains called phytonutrients, according to Drew Ramsey, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University.

Ramsey also recommends adding honey to the diet in moderation. While it adds sugar, it also has molecular properties that fight bacteria, cancer-causing free radicals and inflammation.

Fish is the brain food of the sea because it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which boosts brain function and development by lowering the risk of dementia and stroke, slowing mental decline and enhancing memory.

Not to be outdone are bivalves such as mussels, which have lots of iron, vitamin B12 and docosahexaenoic acid, the main omega-3 fatty acid that is a building block of neurons. Together, they build mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like seratonin and improve memory.

For snacks, reach for nuts and seeds as a good source of antioxidant vitamin E, which slows cognitive decline as people get older. Dark chocolate is another food with antioxidant properties and caffeine to stimulate focus and concentration.

In addition to arming themselves with a diet of nutritious brain food, people can take dietary supplements such as OmegaKrill from Dr. Newton’s Naturals. It promotes good brain health, joint comfort and normal blood pressure levels that fortify both the body and brain.