The 13 Best Brain Foods for Boosting Focus and Memory

Healthy food brain food

Article at a glance

  • Your brain weighs about 2% of your body weight and uses 20% of your energy!
  • You can upgrade your brain (and yourself) with certain foods and supplements.
  • There are many nutrients your brain needs to perform at its best and we outline them all!
The nutrients we consume have a huge impact on our brains. Eating a brain-boosting diet can support short and long-term brain health.

Your brain is kind of a big deal! It is the control centre for our body! It is responsible for our beating hearts, our ability to move, think and feel. So when we supply the body with high-quality foods, we provide our brains with “fuel” packed with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. All of these nutrients nourish the brain and help it work properly. And it needs a lot of fuel, it’s only 2% of our body weight, but uses 20% of our energy from food! 

Think of it as a fancy car. If you use low-grade fuel instead of premium fuel, it won’t run well at all, and it might even can cause damage. That is exactly what can happen in your brain when you eat a bunch of refined and processed foods. 

So, instead of munching on the first thing you can find, it is time to make healthier food choices. That's how you can give your brain a kick in the right direction. Here are a couple of options that you shouldn’t be missing.

1. Coffee

Healthy Coffee

At the top of our list is the highlight of our mornings! And we are simply delighted that it is amazing for our brains. Yup, a nice cup of coffee in the morning will kick-start your metabolism. But, it will also do a lot more for your brain. Caffeine is here to give you better alertness, mood, and concentration. It literally acts as a chemical messenger, allowing the system to feel more awake and energetic.[1]

2. Berries

Brain foods berries

Hailed as a superfood, rarely anyone can resist these juicy little gems. Their high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds make them crucial for managing cell damage.[2]

3. Green Tea

Green tea benefits

Similar to coffee, green tea works to boost brain function with caffeine, however it also has another amazingly ingredient, L-Theanine. It can be a solid stimulant for those who want to do some work round the clock. A survey showed that regular tea drinkers, who chose green tea, had better working brain regions compared to non-drinkers. The more they drank, the better their cognition became. So, it’s definitely worth a try.[3]

4. Avocados

Brain food avocado

Once a strange and obscure food, today a must-have in all kitchens. For scientists, its potential cognitive boosting properties make it the go-to choice. 

Also, since you get some amount of monounsaturated fats from an avocado meal, you could acquire better blood pressure control. Besides, high blood pressure can trigger cognitive decline. Therefore, it makes sense for avocado to be that good.[4]

5. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate cacao

I mean, who doesn't like chocolate? If you really need a quick sugar boost that's both healthy and energising, then dark chocolate makes for an adequate choice. With dark chocolate, you are getting a substantial amount of flavonoids (antioxidants). They stack in the brain allowing it to improve its memory and learning capability. [5]

6. Ginseng

Panax ginseng

According to experts, Panax ginseng is more than capable of keeping the brain healthy. It can enhance psychological function, immunity, and athletic performance. So, why not give it a try?[6]

7. Oily Fish

Fish brain food

“Eat your omega-3s” – you’ve probably heard that a million times. But, did you also know that fatty fish is critical for a healthy brain? In a single fatty fish dish, you get an excellent source of iodine, zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium – you name it.[7]

8. Eggs

Healthy egg brain food

Eggs can regulate memory and mood. All of that because they contain choline, folate, B12, and B6. So, if you have some mood swings, you might want to grab an egg or two. For additional vitamin B and C, you may want to look into some extra supplements.

9. Peanuts

Peanuts good mood food

Minimalistic, but bountiful. Peanuts are a solid source of unsaturated fats. They also feature high amounts of resveratrol and Vitamin E, both of which are crucial for the brain.[8]

10. Turmeric

Turmeric benefits

There is a lot of buzz around turmeric, and for a good reason. Research shows that it can give a nice memory and mood boost, especially for older adults. Due to its antioxidant properties, it can keep the cells from damage and keep the free radicals at bay.[9]

11. Seeds

pumpkin sunflower seeds

Seeds, particularly pumpkin seeds, can be quite a delight. All that zinc and magnesium can be a nice brain function booster.[10]

12. Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables

green healthy vegetables

Not a fan of broccoli? Well, you should work on that! Broccoli is packed with flavonoids (plant antioxidants) and vitamin C. And…you guessed it! Both of them are vital for brain health. Other cruciferous veggies that can also help are bok choy, kale and Brussel sprouts.[11]

13. Nuts

Healthy nuts

Bigger nut intake could cause better cognition and brain health. With options like walnuts, you can give the brain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits that can reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment.[12]

Supplements for brain function

In addition to making some changes to your diet, many people take supplements such as fish oil tablets, multivitamins and look toward nutrient-rich food options. There are some superfood supplements which combine many healthy ingredients together for you. 

There are also a class of supplements that help your brain thrive, these are called nootropics! There are some foods which are classed as natural nootropics like Panax Ginseng mentioned above. There are lots of other amazing nootropics that help with improved mood, reduced stress, improved memory and many other benefits for your mind. However, before you dive into the best of nootropics Australia, make sure you have a healthy diet with lots of good brain foods first.

Final Thoughts

Whether you need to stay sharp for your next meeting or to get through the exam season, there is no magic pill that can give you ultimate brainpower. What you can do is give your body the right foods for a consistent concentration, focus, and memory boost. The above is some of the best things to make sure you’re eating – but also you can go a step further by combining healthy ingredients together in smoothies or made-for-you superfood nootropics, in coffee or drink format. With many of the above in one cup – you’re well on your way to a better brain. 

With the right nutrition, you can go a long way!

Savvy Smart Coffee


[1] Caffeine and adenosine

[2] Eat Berries to Improve Brain Function

[3] Habitual tea drinking modulates brain efficiency: evidence from brain connectivity evaluation

[4] Acute Effects of Avocado Consumption on Cognition: Preliminary Results

[5] Chocolate and the brain: neurobiological impact of cocoa flavanols on cognition and behavior

[6] Panax Ginseng

[7] Health Benefits of Fish

[8] 12 foods to boost brain function

[9] Turmeric compound could boost memory and mood

[10] Characteristics of antioxidant activity and composition of pumpkin seed oils in 12 cultivars

[11] 12 foods to boost brain function

[12] Beneficial Effects of Walnuts on Cognition and Brain Health