15 Brain-Boosting Foods


To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.  

Stacy D. Fehlinger
Certified Health Coach
Owner ofHealthy 4 Life, LLC(678) 719-2283
LongevityCoachStacy@gmail.comRegister for a complimentary 30 minute consultation with Stacy at Healthy Habits Strategy Session.


15 Brain-Boosting Foods

Do you know someone who has or is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s? Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. Researchers are trying to figure out exactly what causes the disease, but they have found that certain foods affect the progression and onset of the disease if you happen to carry the gene for Alzheimer’s.

Nutrition seems to play the most importance in fighting this disease because fewer than 5% of cases are directly caused by genetics.

Scientists have found that the brains of Alzheimer’s patients contain abnormal deposits of proteins, called amyloid plaques and tangles. The plaques build up around the brain’s nerve cells while tangles form inside the cells, leading to blocked communication between brain cells and, eventually, cell death.

Determining what causes this buildup of plaques and tangles is the key to finding a treatment. Two factors that appear to play a role are oxidative damage by free radicals and inflammation. Both of these symptoms are associated with the natural aging process, but they’re also impacted by lifestyle.

There’s a strong connection between Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Studies have shown that people who have type 2 diabetes may be twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s potentially due to insulin resistance. Some scientists even refer to Alzheimer’s as type 3 diabetes.  According to experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, type 2 diabetes is almost always preventable through exercise and diet.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center developed a diet that helped lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 53% in study participants who followed it rigorously, and by as much as 35% in moderate followers. Focus on eating the following 15 brain-boosting foods to lessen you and your family’s chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s:

  1. Fish Eating fish like tuna and salmon have been shown to slow decline in those with the Alzheimer’s gene thanks to the high content of omega-3 DHA fatty acid, which reduces oxidative stress and slows plaque buildup. Suggested Intake: At least 1 (4-6 oz. serving) per week.
  2. Blueberries Due to the high antioxidant levels of blueberries they top the berry list and appear to help protect sensitive brain cells from harmful free radicals. Suggested Intake: Include with 4 or more meals a week.
  3. Nuts Walnuts top the list for brain health because they contain omega 3’s and they also contain vitamin E and other antioxidants. Suggested Intake: 1 ounce at least 5 days a week
  4. Beans Since beans contain B vitamins and phytochemicals as well as a good supply of glucose which is the brain’s top fuel source, they are natural brain boosters. Suggested Intake: Include with 4 or more meals a week.
  5. Dark Leafy Greens Greens are packed with folate and phytochemicals, both of which have been linked to a lower risk of mental decline. Leafy greens may be one of the best ways to maintain proper brain function to slow dementia development. Suggested Intake: At least 6 cups weekly
  6. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil The oil contains oleocanthal, which boosts production of key enzymes that help break down the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s. Suggested Intake: Use often
  7. Wine Several studies link moderate alcohol intake with improved memory and possibly even lower Alzheimer’s risk. Red wine may offer even more brain benefits due to resveratrol, a compound in red grapes that may help reduce amyloid buildup in the brain. For kids, eating red grapes will have the same healthy benefit for their growing brains. Suggested Intake: No more than 1 glass a day
  8. Green Tea This tea is antioxidant-rich and appears to be one of the best ways to keep the brain hydrated due to compounds called catechins. These catechins appear to be some of the most effective antioxidants in preventing free radical damage. Suggested Intake: Drink regularly
  9. Coffee Harvard researchers found that people who drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee (caffeinated or decaf) a day may have a lower risk of developing neurological diseases and type 2 diabetes. Coffee contains a compound called chloragenic acid that acts as an anti-inflammatory and decreases cells insulin resistance. Caffeine also blocks adenosine, a chemical that inhibits the activity of nerve cells. Suggested Intake: Less than 4 cups a day
  10. Dark Chocolate This is my favorite type of chocolate! The flavonoids help create neurons and have been shown to improve cognitive function. Chocolate also encourages the release of endorphins, which elevate your mood. The best dark chocolate contains at least 60% cacao or higher. Suggested Intake: Enjoy a 1-ounce treat occasionally
  11. Fermented Foods Scientists are still studying the exact impact that our gut microbes have on the brain, but they recommend eating more probiotics, prebiotics, and fermented foods, such as yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, miso and sauerkraut. Fermented foods also contain high concentrations of vitamin K, which may be a factor in slowing the development of Alzheimer’s because of its key role in the synthesis of important lipids. Suggested Intake: Eat several times a week
  12. Turmeric In a 2012 Ohio State University study, curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, reduced amyloid accumulation in the brains of middle-aged subjects. Residents of India who use turmeric in several dishes, have low rates of Alzheimer’s a statistic that some associate with the region’s high levels of turmeric intake. Suggested Intake: Incorporate 1 or 2 turmeric dishes (such as curry) a week
  13. Foods Rich in B Vitamins Low levels of folate and B12 are associated with increased risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Foods high in B vitamins include greens, whole grains, and lean protein, including shellfish.  Suggested Intake: These foods should be diet staples
  14. Eggs They are high in vitamin D and choline, two nutrients key for brain health. Many Americans do not obtain enough Vitamin D and a recent study found that older adults who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53% increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Choline helps stimulate neurotransmitters and regulate metabolism. Suggested Intake: Up to 1 a day for healthy adults and up to 3 a week for those with heart disease or diabetes.
  15. Coconut Oil This plant oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides a type of fat that may boost ketone levels. One theory is that ketones may be a substitute energy source for glucose when brain cells become insulin resistant due to Alzheimer’s. Suggested Intake: Coconut oil is predominately saturated fat, however; several clinical trials looking at potential effects on dementia and Alzheimer’s are currently being conducted. For now, enjoy substituting coconut oil in baked goods for butter. I also recommend using a tablespoon of coconut oil to make stove pop popcorn. 

Try to incorporate many of these foods in your diet to prolong your brain health. Your children will benefit as well if they are eating these foods in their diet.  Dementia and Alzheimer’s doesn’t just appear one day, but appears to be caused by a lifetime of not eating the proper foods. Perhaps, in the future, dementia won’t be the 6th leading cause of death if the majority of people can eat more healthful throughout their life.

Happy eating!
Healthy Regards,

Does your pantry contain food that could be hurting you or your family’s health?

Schedule your HEALTHY PANTRY MAKEOVER today to find out!

Here are the details of a pantry makeover:
  • Nothing you currently have in your pantry is thrown out!
  • Receive handouts on topics such as healthy substitutions
  • Introduction to traffic light eating
  • Learn how to read a food nutrition label
A pantry makeover takes approximately an hour to complete and costs $45
Contact Stacy D. Fehlinger at (678) 719-2283 or Stacy@LongevityCoachStacy.com

I would love to hear from you! Please let me know

How many of the brain-boosting foods listed in the blog do you eat on a regular basis?

Are there any you would like to add to your diet?

Send your comments to Stacy at stacy@longevitycoachstacy.com
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Healthy 4 Life
Brain Boosting Dinner Recipe
Slow Cooker Coconut Cashew Chicken

Try this healthy, delicious, easy-to-make dish with seriously brain-boosting ingredients!

And for 49 other brain-boosting meal ideas, go to:


  • 1.5lb boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 Large onion (diced)
  • 14oz light coconut milk (canned, unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cups raw unsalted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • tabasco (to taste)


  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce


  1. Cut the chicken into small pieces and place the onions & chicken in the slow cooker. Season well with salt & pepper.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  3. Serve over your favorite grain and garnish with toasted cashews & coconut.

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