1. Sage :
Sage is said to enhance memory, even though it is more popularly used as an essential oil. It would be beneficial also to put fresh sage in your diet.
2. Pumpkin seeds :
A pumpkin seeds a day can provide you zinc, the key to improving your memory and thinking skills.
3. Quinoa :
Like beans, legumes, and whole grains, quinoa is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber to balance blood sugar while providing the essential glucose the brain craves. Quinoa is also a good source for iron to keep the blood oxygenated and B vitamins to balance mood and protect blood vessels. It is also gluten free for those with sensitivities to this protein. And, like most seeds, grains, and nuts, contains phytic acid. Quinoa also contains saponins; it should be soaked overnight before cooked.
4. Mango :
Mango is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamins K, A and E. Fruits like mangoes and banana are high in vitamin B6 content and are therefore good for brain health. It is erroneously believed that mango is a food source of amino acid glutamine which is involved in the production of DNA and is also responsible for determining mood and changes in sleep pattern. Glutamine is synthesized by the body from another amino acid glutamic acid with the help of vitamin B6. It is not found in food.
5. Acorn squash :
Acorn squash also called the winter squash, is a species of the Cucurbita family which also includes pumpkins and zucchini. This vegetable reportedly helps prevent spikes in blood sugar and even cancer. The folic acid in acorn squash (and kidney beans and black eyed beans as well) combined with vitamin B12 helps prevent nerve damage and brain shrinkage. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, folic acid plays an important part in the development of fetus spinal cord and brain. Deficiency of folic acid can cause birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
6. Turmeric :
This spice contains more than two dozen antiinflammatory compounds that help spice up our brain, keep memory sharp and Alzheimers away. Besides the well known antiinflammatory curcumin, it also contains aromatic turmerone, which according to new research can even boost brain proliferation and help it heal itself.
Eat it: Add to all curries, or have haldi milk at night.
7. Milk :
Milk is rich in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium and potassium ? all of which are necessary for improving memory and cognitive functions. But what is especially beneficial to brain health is the milk protein, especially cow milk protein. The cow milk protein is made up of 20 percent whey protein and 80 percent casein protein. The whey protein is a mixture of alphalactalbumin, betalactoglobulin and serum albumin. A research study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that dietary protein rich in alphalactalbumin (cow milk protein in this case) improves cognitive performance in stressvulnerable people by increasing brain serotonin activity levels.
8. Tomatoes :
Tomato is rich in lycopene. Its an antioxidant that protects against freeradical damage. One of the causes in the development of dementia, especially Alzheimers.
9. Sardines :
Even if eating them isnt totally appealing, your brain loves these tiny fish. In fact, Katz refers to them as Prozac in a can, since sardines are loaded with vitamin B12, which has been shown to boost memory and ward off depression. Theyre also a rich source of omega3 fatty acids, which help keep your brain sharp, and are high in niacin, which can boost mental energy.
10. Olive Oil :
Olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to actually slow brain aging.
11. Ginger :
Many women can experience a loss of mental sharpness as they get into middle age, but ginger has been shown to help keep that from happening, Katz says. Another study on postmenopausal women showed ginger boosting memory skills and ability to focus. Stirfry for dinner, it is.
12. Spinach :
Spinach can delay the arrival of dementia in old age. Its nutrients can prevent damage to DNA, cancer cell development, and tumor growth. It also reduces the effects of aging on the brain. Moreover, it is also a great source of folate and vitamin E.