The brain is one of the five most essential organs in the human body; arguably, I’d say it’s the most important. Our brain controls and coordinates our actions and reactions; it’s essential to allow us to think, feel and experience memories and emotions- quite frankly, it possesses all things that make us human.
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackcurrants contain antioxidants and anthocyanins that counteract free radicals and oxidative stress, and are the best fruits for the brain. Other fruits like kiwi, avocado, pomegranate, grapes, citrus, cherries, acai, and tomatoes improve memory and concentration.
Like all organs, the brain is at risk of deterioration if we don’t take care of it correctly. Essential for all our daily activities, the brain needs adequate fuel to keep us thriving at total capacity. So, let’s have a look at yummy, healthy brain-boosting fruits to add to our diet.
If you aren’t already regularly incorporating brain berries, I mean, blueberries into your diet, now’s the time!
Long famous as one of the best superfoods, blueberries equal brain health thanks to abundant antioxidants, nutrients, and essential vitamins.
Blueberries’ brain-boosting qualities come explicitly from their high concentration of antioxidants. These antioxidants aid in balancing or counteracting oxidative stress, a phenomenon that causes a quickening in the brain’s aging process and an imbalance between the brain’s ability to detox and rid of free radicals and chemicals responsible for functional decline in our brains.
In addition, blueberries contain anthocyanins, plant compounds full of anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. Inflammation in the brain can cause neurodegenerative disease; therefore, adding blueberries to your diet can counteract these degenerative processes.
As a result, blueberries support your brain’s aging process, memory impairments, and motor coordination. As a result, blueberries promote benefits that lower your risk of dementia, reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, and prevent age-related memory loss.
Lastly, blueberries encourage a healthy, well-functioning immune system.
Raspberries fall slightly short of the abundance of antioxidants and nutrients in blueberries; raspberries are a close second!
Raspberries are an enjoyable treat year-round, whether fresh or frozen. These red gems have an impressive nutritional profile making them an antioxidant powerhouse perfect for protecting your brain health.
Raspberries contain flavonoids that can cross the blood-brain barrier, fighting inflammation in your neurons. Thus, enabling protective properties to combat age-related memory decline, motor function, and cognitive performance.
In addition, raspberries counter oxidative stress making them a top brain-supporting fruit. Oxidative stress accelerates brain aging by damaging the DNA, cells, and proteins; oxidative stress can cause Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. So, like blueberries, raspberries contain anthocyanins that are key to preventing premature brain aging.
Blackcurrants are famous for their enormous brain-boosting capacity. In addition, blackcurrants help to treat brain-related complications in a similar way to prescription drugs.
This powerful fruit mainly reduces mental fatigue; therefore, energizing the brain to improve attention and think more accurately and swiftly.
Blackcurrants also contain antioxidants that reduce the activity of chemicals that break down serotonin and dopamine concentrations in your brain. Like medication that inhibits the activity of these chemicals, blackcurrants have a similar effect that positively affects your mood and cognition and treats neurodegenerative symptoms associated with stress, anxiety, depression, and Parkinson’s disease.
In addition to boosting brain activity and treating age-related neurogenerative disorders, blackcurrants help ensure brain development for children and prevent cognitive decline in individuals over 30 years.
Incorporating this healthy trait into your diet is as simple as drinking a glass of blackcurrant juice per day.
Strawberries have similar superfood benefits to many other berries that play a vital role in brain health.
Strawberries are full of antioxidants that fight off free radicals damaging to your brain cells and brain health. These chemicals can cause memory loss and other brain issues.
In addition, strawberries increase the blood flow to your brain, increasing plasticity and improving attention, learning, and memory. An increase in blood flow to particular areas in your brain decreases the chances of getting vascular dementia from clogged arteries and veins.
High antioxidant compounds in strawberries protect the brain from oxidative stress and counteract advanced glycation end-products (AGE’s) linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Lastly, strawberries change the communication of neurons in the brain by modulating the signaling pathways for inflammation; therefore, reducing or preventing inflammation that can further lead to brain damage.
Kiwi fruit is a delicious fruit praised as the “king of fruits” due to its abundant vitamin C and antioxidants. In addition, kiwi is an excellent source of dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin E, carotenoids, and potassium.
Vitamin C and E show promising results in preserving cognition in the elderly. In addition, kiwi is naturally jampacked with excellent antioxidants (carotenoids) that include beneficial enzymes to reverse DNA cell damage.
Kiwi also contains nutritious omega-3 fatty acids to improve brain injuries and reduce cognitive degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.
Another unique ability of kiwi fruits is their ability to help regulate the brain and improve your overall mood, particularly helpful for individuals suffering from mood disorders like depression and anxiety. Therefore, kiwi significantly impacts your overall life quality.
Fun fact: kiwi fruit is nutrient-dense, making it pregnant mothers, infants, and children. The copper in kiwi promotes brain growth.
Pomegranates get their ruby-red hue from polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant.
Pomegranate juice contains up to three times more antioxidants than green tea. These powerful antioxidants can help remove free radicals, protect your brain and body cells from damage, and reduce inflammation.
In addition, pomegranate juice contains more than 40% of your daily requirement of vitamin C, reducing premature brain aging and chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies also show that drinking pomegranate juice daily significantly improves visual and verbal memory.
Note: freshly pressed pomegranate juice ensures that all the vitamins and nutrients are still present. Many store-bought options contain added sugar and are diluted, lacking high concentrations of antioxidants and nutrients.
Grapes are easily accessible and range in green, red, and purple colors, and they come in different forms, including seedless grapes, grape juice, currants, raisins, and wine.
Grapes contain 27% vitamin C of your Reference Daily Intake (RDI). Their high source of vitamin C is essential to support connective tissue health.
Grapes contain high antioxidant compounds that help repair damage to your cells caused by free radicals leading to oxidative stress.
Although, the highest antioxidant concentrations are generally present in the skin and seeds of grapes. In addition, red grapes tend to have higher antioxidants due to anthocyanins (a red pigment that fights free radicals).
Fortunately, the antioxidants in grapes remain present even after the fermentation process, removing wine-lovers guilt- enjoy that glass of wine!
In addition, eating grapes can benefit your brain health, improve your speed of memory-related skills, and boost your memory and attention.
Tip: consume red grapes for the most benefits.
Avocados are a nutritious source of unsaturated fat that provides enormous amounts of support to the brain, so much so that avocadoes share first place with blueberries.
The unsaturated fat in avocados helps to increase blood circulation and lower blood pressure, both factors that reduce the risks of premature cognitive decline as more oxygen flows to the brain.
Avocados are rich in potassium and omega-3 fatty acids, which also reduce blood pressure, which seems to be advantageous for brain health. Avocados also contain vitamin E, essential for improving memory.
In addition, the flavonoids or anti-inflammatories found in avocados aid in preventing or slowing down Alzheimer’s disease.
Lastly, avocados have high oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that generally prevents Alzheimer’s disease.
Therefore, even though avocados have a poor reputation for being fattening, these unsaturated fats are healthy and super beneficial for your brain.
Beyond their delicious taste, cherries have tremendous benefits for your brain, making them one of the best anti-aging powerhouse fruits for brain health.
Cherries consist of high concentrations of vitamin C and polyphenols (a powerful antioxidant) that provide potent anti-inflammatory properties, effectively improving communication pathways in the brain and protecting the brain from developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Cherries are also jampacked with anthocyanins, boosting antioxidants responsible for their deep red color, brain-boosting capabilities, and memory loss prevention.
In addition, cherries are a scarce food source containing serotonin, the hormone responsible for regulating your anxiety and moods.
Bananas are a yummy snack full of fiber, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and vitamin C. Bananas are well-known for the “fuel boost” to sportsmen. Still, these nutritional powerhouses can also enhance memory.
Bananas contain vitamin B6 and amino acids that promote the production and release of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, which all support mood regulation, concentration, and cognitive function.
Bananas contain magnesium that can activate enzymes that convert ammonia (often produced when we eat meat) to urea for your body to rid of the ammonia that potentially hinders your focus and attention span.
Lastly, the amount of fiber in bananas causes the fructose to be slow-releasing, gradually allowing a steady release of brain fuel, unlike refined sugars.
Eating or drinking citrus fruit, like oranges, positively impacts brain health, especially during aging.
Citrus polyphenols contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties vital in protecting the brain tissue from damage and improving general cognition in healthy individuals and those who suffer from age-related cognitive decline.
In addition, bioactive compounds and vitamin C found in oranges improve learning, focus, attention, and cognitive memory. Vitamin C also contains powerful antioxidant properties that aid in fighting free radicals that damage the brain’s cells. In addition, vitamin C supports brain health by protecting it against depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Acai berries are a round fruit with dark purple skin and yellowish flesh that grow on the acai palm trees. Acai berries are generally pressed into juice or soaked to soften the fruit and form a paste before eating it.
The fruit has an earthy taste compared to a mixture of blackberries and unsweetened chocolate. In addition, Acai berry pulp contains as much as ten times more antioxidants than blueberries!
The most notable health compound that acai berries contain is anthocyanins, giving them their deep purple color. Anthocyanins act as antioxidants in our body and brain and neutralize chemicals related to oxidative stress.
The antioxidants in acai berries counteract the damaging effects of free radicals and inflammation in the brain cells, negatively impacting memory and learning abilities.
If you don’t neutralize free radicals by consuming foods high in antioxidants, the toxic chemicals damage your brain cells and increase the likelihood of your brain function prematurely declining.
Yes, tomatoes are a fruit, and yes, they are excellent for brain health!
Tomatoes contain vitamin C and A (as carotenoids), fiber, potassium, and lycopene.
In addition to antioxidants (lycopene) that protect the brain’s functionality and health, choline found in tomatoes improves your short-term memory and aids in learning. Also, the lycopene contents in tomatoes help preserve brain cells and tissue and even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
The beta-carotene in tomatoes also aids in preventing cognitive decline and illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
14. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit contains less moisture and vitamin C than its fresh counterparts; however, dried fruit packs a bigger punch in providing fiber, iron, copper, and potassium.
Most people are unaware of the role fiber plays in the brain. Fiber slows down sugar absorption, which is essential for brain function as the brain relies on sugar as fuel to keep running. However, the brain requires a slow and steady glucose delivery, making fiber the perfect addition to gradually decreasing sugar flow in your bloodstream.
Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, prunes, and dates are dense in fiber.
The highly concentrated nutrients in the dried fruit help heal damaged brain cells and play as essential building blocks for brain development.
Note: moderately consume dried fruit, as they are high in sulfur and can give you an upset tummy if you overdo it.
The foods and fruit we eat have a significant impact on the structure and health of our brains. Therefore, eating brain-boosting fruit can aid in both short- and long-term brain function.
These top 14 brain fruits are full of antioxidants and vitamins that battle free radicals, and in turn, reduce cellular stress, damage, and inflammation in the brain, which cause cognitive illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
So, go to the store and invest in these yummy and incredibly nutritious brain boosters!