Researching Brain Food
Dr. Lisa Mosconi, PhD, INHC is the Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College and author of Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power. In an interview with Forbes, Dr. Lisa Mosconi explains that she started researching the connection between diet and brain function because of a personal experience. She grew up in Italy, eating a traditional Mediterranean-style diet. When she moved to the United States at the age of 24, she was shocked to discover how her new eating habits negatively affected her overall health and work performance.
Foods that Improve Brain Function
Dr. Lisa Mosconi states, “The research makes it clear: Diet plays a clear and determinant role in every aspect of brain function, literally shaping our thoughts, actions, emotions, and behaviors…If your job depends on your brain, it depends on your diet.” Her research, along with other medical imaging and genomic sequencing studies, show that the foods listed below can shield the brain from harm and help with cognitive function over time.
- Caviar: Caviar contains a unique blend of nutrients that are perfect for the brain, including omega-3 fats, choline, vitamin B6 and B12, and minerals like iron and magnesium. Since caviar is an expensive choice, Dr. Lisa Mosconi recommends fatty fish, such as Alaskan salmon, mackerel, bluefish, sardines, or anchovies, as a substitute because you still get the omega-3’s your brain needs.
- Dark leafy greens: Greens such as, spinach, Swiss chard, dandelion greens, and kale, are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and disease-fighting nutrients that support a healthy nervous system.
- Berries: Berries are packed with antioxidants that help keep memory sharp as you age. They also provide glucose, the main energy source for the brain, and have a low glycemic index that helps regulate sugar levels. Dr. Lisa Mosconi recommends blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, dark cherries, goji berries, and mulberries.
- Extra virgin olive oil and Flaxseed Oil: These are both loaded with anti-aging nutrients like omega-3’s and vitamin E.
- Raw cacao: Raw cacao is rich in theobromine, a powerful antioxidant known to support cellular aging and reduce the risk of heart disease. Dr. Lisa Mosconi suggests putting in your tea or smoothies. You can also enjoy a square of dark chocolate that has a cacao content of 80% or higher as a brain healthy snack!
- Water: It is not a food, but over 80% of the brain’s content is water. Every chemical reaction that takes place in the brain needs water, especially energy production. So, stay hydrated!
To read the full interview, click here!