We may not all aspire to be Nobel laureates or to graduate from Harvard with a GPA score of 4.0, but we can all agree that we should meet at our next dinner party or interview do not want to sound stupid.
The brain is probably the most important organ in the body, and we could all probably feed our brains better. We've done a lot of research to help you make smarter grocery decisions to keep the medulla oblongata strong (or at least add some fancy new words like "medulla oblongata" to your vocabulary).
Let's be real. You do not need a list that tells you that your brain LOVES coffee. However, we are pleased to announce that science agrees. Coffee is rich in antioxidants such as the neuroprotective phenylindan, which forms during roasting and gives coffee its characteristic bitter bite.
While human research in this area has been contradictory at times, a systematic review of the literature has revealed numerous studies indicating that the lifelong consumption of coffee and other caffeinated beverages is associated with lower risk of cognitive decline, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Dementia was associated. The effect was stronger in women than in men.
But before you meet your local barista for the third time today, you should know that the research indicates that there is a sweet spot for the effects of caffeine. One study found that one to two cups of coffee per day over a 3.5-year period reduced the rate of mild cognitive impairment, while more than two cups of coffee per day or a sudden increase in coffee consumption may increase the risk.
Next time you have doubts about taking this second serving of chocolate cake, remember: According to the New England Journal of Medicine, places with the highest chocolate consumption have the most Nobel Prize recipients in the world. We REALLY like this fact.
But seriously, it's not surprising to think that the flavanols in dark chocolate and cocoa have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that, according to research findings, contribute to improving cognitive performance and function.
In a study from 201
Just make sure you stick to a high quality dark chocolate and enjoy it naturally with no added sugar or fat.
About 60 percent of your brain is made up of fat, and the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish can play a unique role. A systematic report from 2018 found that omega-3 supplementation appears to improve brain health and protect against neurodegeneration in older adults.
Another study found that eating more fish, regardless of omega-3 content, improves the volume of gray matter, the area of the brain responsible for muscle control, emotions, decision making, memory, and more appeared.
No fan of salmon? Try other fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel or herring, or use plant-based flax, chia or walnuts, although less benefit from the plant's sources due to lower absorption and metabolism.
Pass these sweet blue appetizers for brain health, baby! Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in anthocyanins and other flavonoids that have been shown to support memory function.
A study from 2018 examined a large group of men over 20 years and found that long-term consumption of fruits was associated with a decline risk of late cognitive decline.
Blueberries not in season? No problem. Blackberries, raspberries, cherries and other deep-colored fruits are all fair game.
We always knew that nuts are a super smart snack, and now we have the research to prove it. Walnuts are loaded with phytochemicals and polyunsaturated fats, which are associated with a variety of brain benefits.
Research has shown that a nutritious Mediterranean diet can improve working memory. A cohort study found that eating nuts is associated with improved processing speed, cognitive flexibility, memory, and global cognitive functions.
A 2012 study found that eight weeks of walnut snacking significantly improved the verbal argumentation among college students.
Sprinkle walnuts on oats or salads, stir in chili or use them instead of minced meat in burgers.  Green tea
No coffee drinker? We have you. A systematic 2017 report found that green tea helped to improve memory, brain function, and attention during demanding cognitive tasks.
It seems that the unique combination of caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine gives green tea its brain superfood status. Just make sure you brew your coffee with no added sugar, or ask when ordering if it's unsweetened.
While there are many tidbits you can use to fortify your brain, a few – possibly some of your favorites (hello, garlic fries) – do you no favors.
The research on this topic is clear: trans fats are bad news, and while we're slowly cutting them out of our food supply, they're definitely still there.
A 2016 study increasingly found evidence that trans fats may play a role in Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. A systematic review of 2014 found that they increase the risk of cognitive disorders such as dementia.
When reading food labels and ingredient lists, do not be fooled by the sticker on the front. Food may use this claim if it contains less than 0.5 g of trans fat per serving. To be sure, avoid foods with "partially hydrogenated oils" in the ingredients.
We all know that topping up sugary soda is not the wisest choice, but America still drinks about 38 gallons of soda per liter of person, per year.
One study found that consuming one to two sugary drinks (including juice!) Per day was associated with 1.6 years of additional brain aging. It is also believed that sugar consumers have worse memory and brain volume than those who abstain.
If you rely on soda as a caffeine source, try swapping your source for one of the options on our pro-brain list.  Diet Soda
So, yes … the sugar-free stuff is not much better.
Although the association is unclear, one study found that people who drank at least one artificially sweetened soft drink per day were almost three times more likely to have Alzheimer's disease. It has also been found that artificially sweetened beverages have been associated with ischemic stroke and all cause dementia. Yikes.
If you consider yourself a diet soda pendant, try cutting back slowly and swapping the soda for soda juice seasoned with a dash of freshly squeezed juice a messy night.
A 2014 study found that men who consumed more alcohol had a faster decline in cognitive abilities. Another study found that higher alcohol consumption over time predicted a greater decline in vocabulary and greater cognitive impairment.
You do not necessarily have to finish the cold turkey, but try to stretch your wine by combining it with Seltzer for a spritzer, which takes longer. Stretches without alcohol or volunteer as DD on several weekends.