Foods that stimulate cognitive functions

Foods that stimulate cognitive functions

Cognitive functions: foods that feed the mind

Food is not only a source of nourishment, energy and support for the body. Some foods have remarkable ability to act, as well as in physical support, also as a protection of cognitive functions.

Having an appropriate diet , which stimulates brain capacity, will allow you to maximize results in case of study, exams, at work. This is because the levels of concentration and mental clarity will significantly increase. Putting the right foods on your plate  allows you to obtain all the nutrients necessary for cognitive health .

For example, omega-3 fatty acids, which are rich in oily fish , walnuts and flax seeds , are a valid aid in cognitive processes, in maintaining synaptic function and neuron plasticity . What we eat can greatly influence brain processes and cognitive processing, regulating neurotransmitters , the fluidity of cell membranes and the transmission of nerve signals . It is essential to pay attention to the signs of Omega 3 deficiency.A recent study has revealed that free radicals also stimulate some brain functions .

Furthermore, in the over 60s, an afternoon nap would also be very useful

Free radicals are also important in the grafting and progression phase of Alzheimer’s, of which another study has identified the brain mechanisms that make it possible to resist neurodegeneration.

Cognitive functions: low-calorie foods and antioxidants

  • Varied and balanced diet
  • Low-calorie foods
  • Foods rich in antioxidants

Generally speaking, in addition to the individual foods that most of all contribute to the improvement of cognitive functions, it is useful to follow some simple guidelines: have a varied and balanced diet, prefer foods with a reduced calorie content and rich in antioxidants  . Reducing calorie content protects the brain from oxidative damage. The brain is particularly exposed to oxidative damage due to its high metabolic activity. Several antioxidant foods  have  positive effects  on  neural function , they promote learning and memory performance and are able to improve cognitive functions, protecting the brain from free radicals and lipid peroxidation.

Cognitive functions: the seven foods that protect the brain

  • Whole grains
  • Tomatoes
  • Cabbages
  • Blueberries
  • Egg
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Blue fish

Whole grains

Being able to stay focused and energetic all day is not easy.

In choosing carbohydrates, then, it is necessary to find the right amount of energy to introduce to keep the mind active.

Energy arrives in the brain in the form of blood glucose , which must be released slowly to avoid blood sugar spikes which, on the contrary, would significantly reduce the level of mental concentration.

It is advisable to always choose unrefined whole grains , starting in the morning, preferring complete and nutritious breakfast cereals (based, for example, on rice , wheat , barley ).

Afterwards, of course, the other two main meals must be taken into account, such as lunch and dinner, in which whole cereals, their flours and low glycemic index derivatives  – which slowly release glucose into the blood – must not be missing. We are talking about: pasta, bread, polenta and whole seeds (oats, spelt, etc.).

Note : let’s not forget that foods rich in fiber can help facilitate weight loss  and are beneficial for intestinal health .



In salads, as pulp or puree for gravy: tomatoes are powerful antioxidants that help protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals. The beneficial effect of lycopene , a  powerful antioxidant hydrocarbon  found in  tomatoes , helps protect brain cells  by preventing  dementia , particularly Alzheimer’s.


Cauliflower , savoy cabbage, cabbage , Romanesco, black cabbage , broccoli , Brussels sprouts are seasonal vegetables that are precious for cognitive functions, as well as for strengthening the immune system . The vegetables belonging to the Brassicaceae family are rich in vitamin K and  glucosinolates , capable of maintaining high concentrations of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine , supporting the correct functioning of the central nervous system and strengthening memory.


Berries are a panacea for memory and cognitive functions. Blueberries and, in general,  dark red and purple  fruits and vegetables – black grapes , cherries , strawberries , raspberries , blackberries , but also beets – improve the blood supply to the cerebral cortex and the activation of memory-related areas.



Eggs help support cognitive function because they help delay brain atrophy . The merit is of the  vitamins of group B ,  B6 ,  B12  and  folic acid , able to  reduce  the levels of  homocysteine  ​​in the  blood . High levels of homocysteine ​​are associated with an increased risk of  stroke  and a greater likelihood of the onset of Alzheimer’s,  therefore of  cognitive deterioration.

Nuts and seeds

Vitamin E prevents cognitive decline and supports brain activity  A good supply of this vitamin is provided by  oilseeds  and dried  fruit  . Walnuts   for example  are a great source of vitamin E along with other  oil fruits,  such as  almonds ,  cashews ,  pecans ,  Brazil nuts  , and  hazelnuts . Even the seeds, ideal to add to  salads  and soups, or in  bread dough , are rich in them:  sesame seeds, flax and  sunflower .

Blue fish

Omega 3 fats are   considered  essential nutrients  in the prevention of several diseases, including the risk of dementia,  Alzheimer’s disease  and memory loss. Essential fatty acids ,   as is known, are not produced by the body, but must be integrated with the diet. The most effective omega-3 fats   are found in abundance in  oily fish  in the form of  EPA and DHA . These fats are essential for  the heart  and brain, supporting  brain , heart and  joint function . Not only that, omega 3 fats help to manage  stress . The following must never be lacking in the diet:  salmon ,  tuna ,   salmon trout ,  mackerel ,  herring  and  sardines . For those who follow a vegetarian  or  vegan diet,   they can be found in  flax  or  chia seeds  and dried fruit.



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