Brain Boosters: Cognitive Function Foods

Guest post by Jana from A Doctor and a Nurse

Lost the keys again? When I lose the keys I worry a bit about the future of my cognitive function. Is this a sign? Am I starting to lose “it”? Research is showing that my chances of losing my cognitive function are less if I just include a few brain boosters in my diet. Here are some food choices that can help support your cognitive function:

  • Walnuts: Studies show that walnut consumption correlates with better cognitive function and memory test scores. Since walnuts have many other health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, adding this healthy nut to my diet is a no-brainer.
  • Blueberry Juice: Research shows improved memory and learning in elderly subject who drank blueberry juice daily. Sip it in a glass or add it to a smoothie. Either way, blueberry juice is a smart choice.
  • Green Tea: Improved memory and attention span are the results of a recent study involving people with existing mild cognitive impairment. Green tea has an amino acid called L-theanine which has neuroprotective properties that support cognitive function. Green tea is known for its multiple health benefits including improved cardiac function, weight loss and now cognitive function. Drinking several cups of green tea per day is a bright idea!
  • Omega 3’s: Omega 3’s are essential fatty acids found in fish oil and flax seed (and walnuts, by the way). Omega 3’s have been shown to enhance the production of neurons and synapses that keep the brain waves moving. Adding 3 ounces of fish to your diet twice per week is good thinking.
  • Magnesium: A new Alzheimer’s study found more severe cognitive loss in those patients who had low magnesium. Protecting your brain with magnesium rich foods such as spinach, oats, almonds and wild rice is simply ingenious.

Finding brain boosters is as easy as going to the grocery store. Adding foods that support cognitive function to your grocery list is a brilliant thought. Don’t you think?

Read more from A Doctor and a Nurse.

What’s your favorite brain food? Tell us a funny “brain lapse” story you have had recently! 

Feature photo via
Blueberry photo courtesy of chrissi via


  1. This is absolutely fantastic advice. I have a propensity toward forgetting my keys at least once a month, and it’s getting to a point where I actually worry about my memory even though I’m only 21! I’m going to put more of these foods into my diet for sure.

  2. Pamela, another great brain booster is folate. They are finding that people with alzheimer’s have low folate levels as well. Get a 2 for 1 whammy with spinach as it is packed with folate and magnesium. By the way, it is never too early to start protecting your cognitive function. It is a priceless give that should be cared for. Start at 21 for a lifetime of great memories, even if you do forget where you put the keys now and then.

  3. I have brain lapses most days; usually they involve calling one child by the name of another!

    I just read in the paper this morning, that a small, but definitive study linked reduction in cognitive decline and weight training in women over 70.

    Another reason to eat well and get to the gym!

    • Wow! Great tip. Finally a good reason to lift weights:} I will have to check that study out, I didn’t catch it but it sounds very interesting.

      I love it that you mix your kids names up. I often call my dog my sons name and my son my dogs name. Odd, since they look nothing a like!

      Thanks for your informative comment. Jana

  4. I am a green tea-a-holic myself (okay, after my morning cup of coffee!) I saw your What I Ate Wednesday strawberries so you are definitely off to an incredible start. That Greek Yogurt sure looked yummy too! You are just so healthy! That is awesome!

  5. Jana, you’re a woman after my own heart…and brain ;). Ever since I’ve adopted a pretty clean diet I’ve found that my brain lapses are fewer and farther between, but on the flipside I have noticed on days when I’ve taken what I put into my body for granted (and also not getting enough rest) that I’ll forget the most mundane things.

    Case in point: Long weekend socializing with bread heavy meals and one too many glasses of wine may have been good for the soul but the mind and body took a hit when I walked into the room and completely forgot why I went in there…

    • Sabrina, nutrition is so important for cognition and also just helps make you feel better over all! I just don’t feel good if I am not eating well. Of course, a beautiful loaf of crusty whole grain bread and a bowl of red wine is quite good for the soul…

  6. Eggs are my favorite brain food! And turmeric. As for absent-mindedness, I will go on manic searches for my iPhone then realize I’m holding it. It’s become such a part of me that I don’t even notice holding it. Funny or sad? You make the call:)

  7. Yes, tumeric and protein are powerful brain boosters. I love to cook with tumeric too. As far as forgetting that you are holding your phone I call it funny and very comforting. It is so good to know that I am not the only one! We gotta stick together sister!


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