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Is There Really Such a Thing as Brain Food?

A chalk drawing of brain, with the other half of the brain made out of food.

We’ve all heard the term “brain food” at some point or another. We’ve all eaten particular foods in hopes to maintain a youthful, quick-witted, and sharp mind. But is there such a thing? Does eating certain foods help to maintain a brain with vigor and strength? The short answer is, yes! The longer answer, however, is a tad more complex. Find out what the deal behind “brain food” really is, and how to incorporate more of it into your diet.

What is “Brain Food?”

While it’s challenging to pinpoint specific foods that may increase brain health, some researchers found that people who eat baked or broiled fish at least once a week may be strengthening their brains. Many studies show that foods rich in vitamin C, D, or E and omega-3 foods contribute to a thriving brain.

Studies have also shown that individuals who consume high quantities of trans fats experience more brain shrinkage. Trans fats are commonly found in butter, margarine, processed food, hydrogenated oils, baked goods, or fast foods. However, these studies didn’t consider factors like exercise, background, and overall lifestyle.

This is why it’s important to be mindful of the amount of trans fats and processed foods you’re consuming. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and eating foods rich in vitamins and omega-3 may be key to a happy, healthy, thriving brain.

Examples of Brain Foods 

Although there are a ton of factors that go into a healthy lifestyle, it all starts with nutrition. Alongside consistent movement, emotional wellness, and spiritual wellness, regular intake of foods rich in nutrients and omega-3 will improve cognitive function and have you performing at your best. Here are some great examples of brain foods:

High-Quality Olive Oil

Not only is olive oil a powerful anti-inflammatory, but it is also considered brain food. This healthy fat is a great base for salad dressings or perfect when cooking fish, veggies, or other healthful foods. Choose a high-quality oil to receive the most nutrients.

Salmon or Fatty Fish

Perhaps the most famous brain food, wild-caught salmon is an excellent protein option for a happy brain. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eating salmon or fatty fish once a week will significantly improve cognitive function.

Flaxseeds or Chia Seeds

These fibrous little seeds are packed with nutrients! Flaxseeds and chia seeds are high in fiber, omega-3s, protein, and healthy fats. Use in chia or flaxseed pudding, atop oatmeal, or even on salads!


Walnuts are perhaps the most easily-digestible nut. Moreover, walnuts are anti-inflammatory, and also positively impact blood vessels and lipids. Walnuts contain a rich amount of polyunsaturated fats, too.


Kiwi is an under-the-radar superfood. Kiwis possess a high content of vitamin C alongside other various health benefits. Kiwis support a healthy heart, and a healthy brain, and even improve immunity. Not to mention they’re excellent for gut health, too!


Dark leafy greens offer many brain benefits, and kale is not to be discarded in this category. Rich in antioxidants, iron, fiber, calcium, and vitamin K, kale is brain food as well as a superfood. Kale works wonders for the brain along with other cruciferous veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Dark Chocolate

Enjoying a piece of dark chocolate every day can boost your immunity, improve brain health, and even improve sleep quality. Dark chocolate is rich in zinc, magnesium, and phosphorous, making it a delectable choice for brain food.

Choose Food for the Brain, Choose Z.E.N.

Looking for more ways to improve your brain health? Z.E.N. Foods is here to make healthy living accessible and effortless. Our personalized meal plans offer different options to fit your needs, and every meal is prepared with nutrient-dense ingredients to improve your overall health, including brain functions. Learn how you can achieve a nutritious diet with zero effort. Contact us and speak to a consultant today at (310) 205-9368.

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