Future-Proof Your Brain

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Antioxidants, Blog, Healthy Ageing, Nutrition, Tips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A fear for many people as they get older is that they are going to be sound of body but their mind will fail them. By the time you get to your 40s, chances are you’re already walking into rooms with absolutely no idea what you came there for. Of course, what’s going on is multilayered – forgetfulness and brain fog can be caused by so many different things (many of which can be helped by changing your diet) – but here are some foods that have been researched and shown to keep the brain.


Berries aren’t only delicious, they also work wonders for cognitive function thanks to the high levels of powerful antioxidants they contain, specifically anthocyanidin. Anthocyanidin has been shown to boost memory, neural function, and coordination by improving communication between brain cells, increasing plasticity – the creation and strengthening of neural pathways -, which helps with memory and learning, and reducing cognitive decline. As a rule of thumb, the darker the berry, the higher its antioxidant content, with blueberries and blackberries winning.

Dark chocolate

For similar reasons, the same is true of dark chocolate. The brain is very susceptible to oxidative stress, which contributes to age-related cognitive decline, and foods with high levels of antioxidants fight the free radicals that cause this damage. Cacao flavonoids appear to encourage neuron and blood vessel growth in the parts of the brain related to memory and learning. A study in 2018 showed that when people ate dark chocolate (over 70% cacao) it helped brain plasticity, which is crucial for learning.

Nuts and seeds

Studies have shown that people with a diet that contained generous amounts of nuts and seeds appear to have better brain function in old age. So, instead of reaching for the sugary snacks when the slump strikes, give nuts a try. A scientific review in 2014 found that vitamin E might help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The nuts and seeds containing the highest levels of vitamin E are sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and almonds.

Oily fish

The omega-3 fats contained in oily fish help build membranes around every cell in the body, including brain cells, where they improve the structure of brain cells called neurons. Studies have shown that people with high levels of omega-3s had increased blood flow in the brain.


Soybean products like tofu are rich in a group of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are linked to a reduced risk of dementia and other age-related cognitive problems. The polyphenols they contain – isoflavones, including daidzein and genistein – are antioxidants, which, as mentioned above, are excellent for brain health.


I could dedicate an entire newsletter to why they are good for us but suffice to say that they are full of nutrient-dense monounsaturated fats, which support blood flow to the brain. They’re also helpful in reducing blood pressure, and high blood pressure is linked with cognitive decline.


Legumes like chickpeas, beans, lentils, and split peas are a good source of folic acid, which can improve verbal and memory performance, and may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.


Thanks to its caffeine content, people often use coffee to keep them alert when they’re flagging. Research suggests that coffee may increase your brain’s capacity for processing information. Coffee is also a source of antioxidants and has been linked to the prevention of cognitive decline and brain conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  


Eggs are a super brain food as they are packed with the B vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid, and research shows these vitamins can prevent your brain from shrinking. They also contain choline, a nutrient that fends of cognitive decline in old age.


I am a big fan of this cruciferous vegetable because it has so many health-bringing qualities. The most interesting nutrients that broccoli contains for brain health are glucosinolates, which break down in the body to produce isothiocyanates. These isothiocyanates (and you can also find them in Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, and kale) may reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of degenerative brain conditions.


Cinnamon is a helpful spice to keep in your kitchen cupboard for lots of reasons. Studies have shown that the compounds in cinnamon may be beneficial for Alzheimer’s prevention. In Alzheimer’s, “plaques” and “tangles” damage brain cells, and cinnamon may prevent the formation of both the plaques and the tangles.


Curcumin, the compound found in this golden spice, is popular for many in the fight against getting older, specifically for its anti-inflammatory properties. We now know that inflammation is at the root of many chronic illnesses. Turmeric also protects long-term cognitive function, memory, and mood, and may protect against degenerative processes in the brain. After all, all ageing is in some way linked to inflammation.

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. Clinical studies associate lion’s mane intake with lower risk of cognitive decline. Specifically, it supports the central, peripheral and enteric nervous systems, it may protect against neurodegenerative conditions such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s and it generally may support memory, cognition, focus and mood.

If you are interested in finding out how diet and lifestyle can support brain health please book a free call here.


I’m Antje, a Registered Nutritional Therapist and Coach. I focus on helping my clients regain their energy and resilience by resolving their digestive issues and hormonal imbalances, helping them manage their weight or providing a foundation for healing an underlying auto-immune disorder.

Follow Me

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!