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Feed your mind with foods that give you a natural cognitive boost. In September, back to school demands the most of our focus, memory, and capacity for problem-solving. Why not give your brain what it needs to perform well?

Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, compounds that lower inflammation in the body and fight neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Studies show that some of blueberries’ antioxidants even accumulate in the brain, where they facilitate better communication between neurons (i.e., brain cells). This could have a positive impact on functions like memory.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, and trout have high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are essential for your brain—which is composed of 60 percent fat, 50 percent of which is omega 3 fat! Consuming fish is linked with higher levels of grey matter in your brain, the substance that contains nerves responsible for decision-making and memory.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are the rich and crunchy answer to delivering a variety of brain-boosting micronutrients like zinc, copper magnesium and iron. Zinc supports healthy nerve signaling. The copper also supports your nerves and the magnesium supports memory and learning while iron helps prevent brain fog.

Dark Chocolate

You may be pleased to hear that dark chocolate (with at least 70 percent cocoa content) is a known brain booster. Its high levels of flavonoids and caffeine are linked with enhanced learning and memory. Just like with blueberries, the beneficial compounds of chocolate accumulate in the brain, supporting healthy performance.

Broccoli

The cruciferous vegetable broccoli is invaluable to the brain due to its high levels of vitamin K. This vitamin is necessary for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that builds the brain. Like with many other foods on this list, broccoli is full of antioxidants that lowers inflammation and protects the brain from damage.

Green Tea

Green tea is yet another antioxidant-packed option for supporting your brain health. And unlike coffee, which can make some people feel jittery, its performance-boosting caffeine comes with amino acids that promote relaxation. Green tea is associated with improved memory and protection from neurodegenerative diseases.