Brain food: boost your concentration with nutrition

What foods are good for your brain? Which vitamins boost concentration and improve memory? Are walnuts good for your brain? Find out about the impact nutrition has on your brain and how you can benefit from brain food.

29.05.2024 Imke Schmitz 3 minutes

What is brain food?

Brain food refers to foods that maintain or boost mental performance. Brain foods provide the brain with everything it needs. In this case, what’s good for the body is also good for the brain. Brain foods play an important role in your general well-being. They keep your brain active and can support your concentration and your memory. So eating the right diet can help give your brain the nutrients it needs to deliver top performances day after day.

What does the brain need to work at optimum level?

What nutrients does the brain need? Your brain depends on various vitamins and other nutrients to perform at its best. Below are a few examples:

  • Carbohydrates: deliver energy to the brain. These can be divided into simple carbohydrates, such sugar, and complex carbohydrates like starch.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: have a positive impact on the transmission of stimuli in the brain. They also promote circulation and energy metabolism.
  • Vitamins C and E: these vitamins for the brain reduce oxidative stress, thereby slowing the ageing process and protecting cells and molecules.
  • Vitamin B: the vitamin for the brain and nerves. It supports the function of the nervous system. Vitamin B5 also helps to generate acetylcholine, a key messenger substance in the brain.
  • Magnesium: supports the nervous system.

What foods are good for your brain?

Brain food is ideal for improving your brain performance and constitutes a key part of a balanced diet. And the best thing? This brain food brings benefits in older age too. That’s because it can help protect against dementia.

Which foods improve concentration?

What should you eat to improve concentration? There are many different foods that boost concentration. Foods that boost concentration contain tryptophan, lecithin, magnesium and  carbohydrates. A diet to improve concentration should contain the following foods:

  • Wholegrain products
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Avocados
  • Oats
  • Nuts
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas

What is good for your memory?

Your diet also affects your memory. Memory-boosting foods also contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, flavonoids, folic acid and vitamin E. You can improve your memory with a diet that includes these nutrients:

  • Berries
  • Fish
  • Spinach
  • Nuts
  • Apples
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pumpkin seeds

Which nuts are good for your brain?

All nuts generally boost your brain’s concentration and performance capability. But walnuts have one additional advantage: they increase alertness and counteract brain calcification, thus making them a top food for brain health. Eating nuts is good for the brain. In fact, experts recommend eating around 25 grams of this brain food daily. The reason for this is their high percentage of fats.

Key brain food: water

Even water is a brain food, because it provides the brain with the nutrients it needs. Drinking enough can improve your concentration and your performance. Experts recommend drinking at least 1.5 litres of water or unsweetened tea every day. People take on board almost an additional litre through their food intake alone.

Which foods are bad for the brain?

Researchers have discovered that sugar and unhealthy fats may be harmful to the brain. These are found primarily in fast food, ready meals, sugary drinks and sweets and may under some circumstance influence the functioning of the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that’s responsible for memory.

Food for thought: creative brain food ideas

Give your brain a boost with some delectable brain food snacks. Whether at work, while studying or during a cosy afternoon on the couch – brain food can give you a real energy boost. Here are a few brain food ideas to give your brain the most important vitamins:

  • Nut mix with berries: combine your favourite nuts with a handful of berries.
  • Muesli with fruit: mix oats with some nuts and fruit like apple or berries. Add some milk or yoghurt.
  • Vegetable smoothie: mix a little nut butter with green vegetables (e.g. spinach), a little lemon juice and some berries. You can add some finishing touches to your smoothie with fresh peppermint, basil, vanilla extract or spices like cinnamon or cardamom.

These brain food snacks contain key vitamins for concentration and memory, making them ideal for a balanced diet.

The Helsana Coach App: More inspiration for nerve nourishment

In the Helsana Coach app, you will find more brain food recipes for meals and snacks packed with nutrients and vitamins for more energy and concentration. 

Food supplements for the brain

You can now select from a range of food supplements for the brain. But you should talk to your doctor before taking any such supplements. There may be alternative means of boosting your memory or your concentration. The important thing is that you eat a balanced diet that incorporates enough brain food. Ideally, you should also take part in sport and exercise regularly in the fresh air.

Brain foods provide the brain with everything it needs. Get inspiration from the many snack ideas and consciously incorporate valuable brain nutrition in your diet. 

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