1. Raw Almonds: the only nut to contain a significant amount of vitamin E, which may help to reduce cognitive decline.
2. Cashews: rich in antioxidants, which help with memory.
3. Walnuts: rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for helping to maintain cognitive function.
4. Dark Chocolate: considered healthy because of its high antioxidant content; the darker the chocolate, the better. Chocolate also has caffeine, which stimulates the brain increasing alertness and focus.
5. Apples: contain antioxidants and fiber. Bonus: fiber helps to keep us fuller longer so we eat less and ultimately weight less.
6. Avocados: rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for helping to maintain cognitive function.
7. Blueberries: rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins (the compound that makes blueberries blue and may have an anti-diabetic effect).
8. Cinnamon: spices are one of the foods highest in antioxidants, and cinnamon is at the very top of the list. Antioxidants help with memory.
9. Oregano: like spices, herbs are also high in antioxidants.
10. Kale, spinach, and other dark, leafy greens: rich in iron and phytonutrients (natural-occurring chemicals in plants that may help prevent disease and keep your body working as it should).
11. Coffee: like chocolate, coffee contains antioxidants and caffeine.
12. Sweet potatoes: are loaded with phytonutrients, fiber and vitamin A.
13. Coconut Oil: metabolism, weight control. Being overweight is linked to decline in cognitive function. Coconut oil primarily consists of medium-chain fatty acids. One 2008 study examined the effect of medium-chain fatty acids and olive oil on weight of 31 participants over a 16-week weight loss. Two of the three subjects in the medium chain triglyceride (MCT) group with evidence of metabolic syndrome at the group’s beginning no longer had symptoms 16-weeks later.
14. Olive Oil: high in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats and offers protection against heart disease.
15. Chicken or turkey, skinless: great lean protein and helps to keep you lean.
16. Eggs: excellent source of protein and helps to keep you lean.
17. Salmon: loaded with brain-boosting omega-3s.
18. Shirataki Noodles: from the root of a wild yam plant. They are high in fiber and low in calories.
19. Green tea: contains antioxidants and the metabolism-boosting compound epigallocatechin gallate; also contains L-theanine, which helps you relax and focus at the same time. Contains less caffeine than coffee.
Daniel G. Amen, MD