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The #1 Best Eating Habit for Your Brain, Says Science

Eating more of this one food can do wonders for your noggin.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

When you want to keep your mind sharp and healthy, a ton of foods can help reduce the risk of illness and potentially prevent memory loss. According to the Mayo Clinic, people who ate fish once a week scored better on memory tests, scientists have linked leafy greens to a decreased risk of dementia, and a glass of wine might even improve blood flow and prevent strokes. While all of these foods in various amounts potentially contribute to a better brain, one eating habit easily tops the list.

When you feel a sudden sugar craving or just feel peckish, reach for berries. A study that took place over two decades revealed that participants who ate the most blueberries and strawberries saw the least amount of mental decline over the years, and scientists linked this perk to the high concentration of flavonoids in the food. For maximum benefits, anyone looking to take advantage of this food should aim to get two servings of the fruit into their diet per week.

mixed berries

These berries do much more than just stave off forgetfulness. One study referenced by Rutgers University found that both young and old participants who ate blueberries performed better when required to concentrate and had better memory recall as a result of increased blood flow to the brain.

Berries may hold the secret to better brain health due to one particular ingredient. A study published in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care proposed that consuming berries has the ability to prevent mental degradation stemming from high levels of antioxidants. Specifically, the consumption of berries is linked directly to preserving the abilities of neurons over the year and reducing damage from stressors.

Another study retrieved from Neural Regeneration Research helped lay the foundation for the finding that berries help stave off age-related mental decline and end up protecting anyone who eats the proper amount. The berries did more than just keep participants' minds sharp. The fruits also improved motor control and cognition.

Through an intense study scientists eventually pinpointed why berries benefit the brain published in Annals of Neurology, which linked blueberries and strawberries to a much slower rate of mental decline in older women specifically due to the fruits' high content of flavonoids. As a result, the findings determined that better long-term mental health is tied directly to the consumption of this important chemical compound.

So next time a sugar craving strikes, take a moment to appreciate how good a bowl of strawberries or blueberries tastes and grab a snack that can keep your brain health on the right track. If you want to embrace even more foods that can better your brain, try adding some Popular Foods That May Improve Brain Health into your diet.

Erich Barganier
Erich Barganier is a health and food writer. Read more about Erich