The Seven Best Foods For Your Brain

The Seven Best Foods For Your Brain

What’s your favorite brain food? Is it actually good for your brain?

At SaladPower, we are never going to pretend that one food or group of foods are the solution to all of your problems. Though we are extremely fond of our product and love to boast about its health benefits, not even SaladPower offers everything you need to maintain a healthy diet.

When it comes to brain functioning, though, there is expansive research indicating that some foods do seem to promote better brain health, which encompasses enhanced cognitive ability and memory recall, and a decrease in the likelihood of neurodegenerative diseases. Sabrina Diano, Ph.D., who studies the connection between obesity and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, notes that “[a]n unhealthy diet can instigate neurological changes in brain structure and functions.”[1]

Below, we have compiled a list of our top ten foods when it comes to brain health. We would be remiss if we did not note that the top three in the list (and not just our list[2]) are all contained in SaladPower—just saying!


Our affinity for leafy greens is no secret. Just look at our label! We love them because they are packed with a variety of nutrients, including nutrients that slow down cognitive decline, like folate, lutein, beta carotene, and vitamin K. Kale also contains glucosinolates, which the body breaks down into isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates have been shown to have neuroprotective effects, leading scientists to believe they could be pivotal in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.[3]


Like its leafy cousin, kale, spinach is going to hit you with a similar punch of nutrients that work against cognitive decline, such as the folate, lutein, beta carotene, and vitamin K mentioned above. A 2018 study found that subjects who ate the most leafy green vegetables, like spinach, showed a cognitive decline rate equivalent to being 11 years younger.[4]


Broccoli is also going to give you the folate, lutein, beta carotene, and vitamin K that help curb cognitive decline, while also providing you with antioxidants and Vitamin C. In addition, studies show that broccoli, along with other Brassica vegetables, have neuroprotective qualities in that they impede oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptotic mechanisms.[5]

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are key in brain development and function. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been linked to increased blood flow in the brain.[6]  The benefits of fatty fish are not restricted to the brain, as they have also been linked to lowering the risks of arthritis, heart disease, and even depression.[7]


Studies continue to pour in demonstrating the nutritional power of the blueberry. Blueberries are densely packed with antioxidants, including flavonoids, which facilitate blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Robert Krikorian, Ph.D., led a study indicating that subjects with increased blueberry intake had better memory and access to words and concepts. This, Krikorian suggests, may mean that blueberries can help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s.[8] Another study emphasized that the natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in berries, including blueberries, increase and/or improve “neuronal communication, calcium buffering, neuroprotective stress shock proteins, plasticity, antioxidant/anti-inflammatory action, [and] stress signaling pathways.”[9]


Eggs are replete with B-vitamins, including vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-9 (a.k.a., folic acid). These vitamins have been linked with the deceleration of brain atrophy in elderly individuals with mild cognitive impairment.[10]

Dark Chocolate

When you select dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao (and we also recommend avoiding products with added sugars), you may be contributing to the ability of your brain to grow and reorganize, known as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is critical in a person’s capacity to learn. In a 2018 study, researchers studied EEG wave bandwidth activity in participants after they consumed dark chocolate, finding that 70% cacao, which they labeled a ‘superfood’, enhances neuroplasticity for behavioral and brain health benefits.[11] A 2013 study also links the flavonoids contained in dark chocolate to physiological improvements in the brain that promote memory and learning.[12] We’re not going to argue with them!

So on your next break, when you are in dire need of brain food, consider one of these choices. And don’t forget, generous portions of three of these foods—kale, spinach, and broccoli—can be found in a SaladPower organic smoothie, along with other organic, nutrient-packed ingredients.


[1] Your Brain On Food: What We Know. (2023, January 8). Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

[2] Harvard Medical School. (2021, March 6). Foods linked to better brain power. Harvard Health.

[3]  Giacoppo, S., Galuppo, M., Montaut, S., Iori, R., Rollin, P., Bramanti, P., & Mazzon, E. (2015). An overview on neuroprotective effects of isothiocyanates for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Fitoterapia, 106, 12–21.

[4] Morris, M. C., Wang, Y., Barnes, L. L., Bennett, D. A., Dawson-Hughes, B., & Booth, S. L. (2018). Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline: Prospective study. Neurology, 90(3), e214–e222.

[5] Giacoppo, S., Galuppo, M., Montaut, S., Iori, R., Rollin, P., Bramanti, P., & Mazzon, E. (2015). An overview on neuroprotective effects of isothiocyanates for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Fitoterapia, 106, 12–21.

[6] Amen, D. G., Harris, W. S., Kidd, P. M., Meysami, S., & Raji, C. A. (2017). Quantitative Erythrocyte Omega-3 EPA Plus DHA Levels are Related to Higher Regional Cerebral Blood Flow on Brain SPECT. Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD, 58(4), 1189–1199.

[7] Medicine, N. (n.d.). Best Foods for a Healthy Brain. Northwestern Medicine.

[8] American Chemical Society. (2016, March 14). Blueberries, the well-known 'super fruit,' could help fight Alzheimer's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 9, 2024 from

[9] Subash, S., Essa, M. M., Al-Adawi, S., Memon, M. A., Manivasagam, T., & Akbar, M. (2014). Neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases. Neural regeneration research, 9(16), 1557–1566.

[10] Smith, A. D., Smith, S. M., de Jager, C. A., Whitbread, P., Johnston, C., Agacinski, G., Oulhaj, A., Bradley, K. M., Jacoby, R., & Refsum, H. (2010). Homocysteine-Lowering by B Vitamins Slows the Rate of Accelerated Brain Atrophy in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE, 5(9), e12244.

[11] Berk, L., Miller, J., Bruhjell, K., Dhuri, S., PATEL, K., Lohman, E., Bains, G., & Berk, R. (2018). Dark chocolate (70% organic cacao) increases acute and chronic EEG power spectral density (μV 2 ) response of gamma frequency (25–40 Hz) for brain health: enhancement of neuroplasticity, neural synchrony, cognitive processing, learning, memory, recall, and mindfulness meditation. The FASEB Journal, 32(S1).

[12] Nehlig A. (2013). The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 75(3), 716–727.

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