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Food That Could Boost Brain Power

Eat well for mental health by incorporating these healthy foods into your diet

Cranberries

En español l Cranberries have been identified as an excellent dietary source of high-quality antioxidants, which have been shown to help maintain healthy cognitive functioning. Find recipes with cranberry in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

Oats

Oats supply energy to the brain, which may improve learning. They are also rich in selenium, an antioxidant that has been shown to have protective effects in brain disorders and age-related cognitive problems. Find recipes with oats in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

Almonds

Almonds are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin E available, and vitamin E at a high daily dose has been shown to delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Find recipes with almonds in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

Asparagus

Asparagus is full of vitamin A, which contributes to adult brain plasticity — helping you keep your brain learning and growing as you age. Find recipes with asparagus in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

Walnuts and Berries

Only a quarter cup of walnuts provides nearly all of the suggested daily intake for omega-3 fatty acids. And recent studies found the polyphenols in berries can slow down age-related mental decline. Find recipes with walnuts and berries in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

Split Peas

Split peas and other legumes are rich in folic acid, which in research studies has been shown to improve verbal and memory performance, and may delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Find recipes with split peas in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

Eggs

Not surprisingly, eggs have something in common with chicken: high choline content. Choline is linked to long-term memory development. Find recipes with eggs in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

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Asparagus and Onions

Asparagus contains vitamin A, which helps keep your brain learning and growing as you age. Also, onions can protect against stroke and may improve impaired memory. Find recipes with asparagus and onions in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

Shrimp

Shrimp contains brain-boosting DHAs (Docosahexaenoic acids), but also offers a dose of vitamin B12, which is proven to be one of the most important vitamins for cognitive health. Find recipes with shrimp in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

Chicken

Few meats have proven benefits for the brain. But chicken has several nutrients that may promote brain health — including choline and B vitamins.
Find recipes with chicken in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

Bananas

Bananas may not be a major brain food, but they offer significant doses of vitamins B6 and C — both of which may promote brain health. Plus, chocolate adds an extra brain boost! Find recipes with bananas in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

Dark Chocolate

When it comes to the brain, the darker the chocolate the better. Darker chocolate has a higher flavonol content. Find recipes with dark chocolate in AARP’s recipe database.

Jason Whalen/Agency Charlie

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