Vegetables are well-known for being good for your health. Most vegetables are low in calories but high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
However, some vegetables stand out from the rest with additional proven health benefits, such as the ability to fight inflammation or reduce the risk of disease.
This article takes a look at 14 of the healthiest vegetables and why you should include them in your diet.

1. Spinach


This leafy green tops the chart as one of the healthiest vegetables, thanks to its impressive nutrient profile.
One cup (30 grams) of raw spinach provides 56% of your daily vitamin A needs plus your entire daily vitamin K requirement — all for just 7 calories (1).
Spinach also boasts a great deal of antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of chronic disease.
One study found that dark green leafy vegetables like spinach are high in beta-carotene and lutein, two types of antioxidants that have been associated with a decreased risk of cancer (2).
In addition, a 2015 study found that spinach consumption may be beneficial for heart health, as it may lower blood pressure (3).
Summary: Spinach is rich in antioxidants that may reduce the risk of chronic disease, as it may reduce risk factors such as high blood pressure.

2. Carrots

Three Carrots
Carrots are packed with vitamin A, providing 428% of the daily recommended value in just one cup (128 grams) (4).
They contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives carrots their vibrant orange color and could help in cancer prevention (5).
In fact, one study revealed that for each serving of carrots per week, participants’ risk of prostate cancer decreased by 5% (6).
Another study showed that eating carrots may reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers as well. Compared to those who ate carrots at least once a week, smokers who did not eat carrots had a three times greater risk of developing lung cancer (7).
Carrots are also high in vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium (4).
Summary: Carrots are especially high in beta-carotene, which can turn into vitamin A in the body. Their high antioxidant content may help reduce the risk of lung and prostate cancer.

3. Broccoli

Piece of Broccoli
Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables.
It is rich in a sulfur-containing plant compound known as glucosinolate, as well as sulforaphane, a by-product of glucosinolate (8).
Sulforaphane is significant in that it has been shown to have a protective effect against cancer.
In one animal study, sulforaphane was able to reduce the size and number of breast cancer cells while also blocking tumor growth in mice (9).
Eating broccoli may help prevent other types of chronic disease, too.
A 2010 animal study found that consuming broccoli sprouts could protect the heart from disease-causing oxidative stress by lowering levels up to 116% (10).
In addition to its ability to prevent disease, broccoli is also loaded with nutrients.
A cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli provides 116% of your daily vitamin K needs, 135% of the daily vitamin C requirement and a good amount of folate, manganese and potassium (11).
Summary: Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains sulforaphane, a compound that may prevent cancer growth. Eating broccoli may also help reduce the risk of chronic disease by protecting against oxidative stress.

4. Garlic

Whole Garlic Cloves
Garlic has a long history of use as a medicinal plant, with roots tracing all the way back to ancient China and Egypt (12).
The main component of garlic is allicin, a plant compound that is largely responsible for garlic’s variety of health benefits (13).
Several studies have shown that garlic can regulate blood sugar as well as promote heart health.
In one animal study, diabetic rats were given either garlic oil or diallyl trisulfide, a component of garlic. Both garlic compounds caused a decrease in blood sugar and improved insulin sensitivity (14).
Another study fed garlic to participants both with and without heart disease. Results showed that garlic was able to decrease total blood cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol in both groups (15).
Garlic may be useful in the prevention of cancer as well. One test-tube study demonstrated that allicin induced cell death in human liver cancer cells (16).
However, further research is needed to better understand the potential anti-cancer effects of garlic.
Summary: Studies show that garlic may help lower blood triglyceride levels. Some studies have also found that it could decrease blood sugar levels and may have an anti-cancer effect, although more research is needed.

5. Brussels Sprouts

Pile of Brussel Sprouts
Like broccoli, Brussels sprouts are a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables and contain the same health-promoting plant compounds.
Brussels sprouts also contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that may be particularly effective in preventing damage to cells (17).
One animal study found that kaempferol protected against free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells and can contribute to chronic disease (18).
Brussels sprout consumption can help enhance detoxification as well.
One study showed that eating Brussels sprouts led to a 15–30% increase in some of the specific enzymes that control detoxification, which could decrease the risk of colorectal cancer (19).
Additionally, Brussels sprouts are very nutrient-dense. Each serving provides a good amount of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, manganese and potassium (20).
Summary: Brussels sprouts contain an antioxidant called kaempferol, which may protect against oxidative damage to cells and prevent chronic disease. They may also help enhance detoxification in the body.

6. Kale

Bunch of Kale
Like other leafy greens, kale is well-known for its health-promoting qualities, including its nutrient density and antioxidant content.
A cup (67 grams) of raw kale contains plenty of B vitamins, potassium, calcium and copper.
It also fulfills your entire daily requirement for vitamins A, C and K (21).
Due to its high amount of antioxidants, kale may also be beneficial in promoting heart health.
In a 2008 study, 32 men with high cholesterol drank 150 ml of kale juice daily for 12 weeks. By the end of the study, HDL cholesterol increased by 27%, LDL cholesterol decreased by 10% and antioxidant activity was increased (22).
Another study showed that drinking kale juice can decrease blood pressure and may be beneficial in reducing both blood cholesterol and blood sugar (23).
Summary: Kale is high in vitamins A, C and K as well as antioxidants. Studies show that drinking kale juice could reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol.

7. Green Peas

Green Peas and Pods in a Brown Bowl
Peas are considered a starchy vegetable. This means they have a higher amount of carbs and calories than non-starchy vegetables and may impact blood sugar levels when eaten in large amounts.
Nevertheless, green peas are incredibly nutritious.
One cup (160 grams) of cooked green peas contains 9 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein and vitamins A, C and K, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and folate (24).
Because they are high in fiber, peas support digestive health by enhancing the beneficial bacteria in your gut and promoting regular bowel movements (25).
Moreover, peas are rich in saponins, a type of plant compound known for its anti-cancer effects (26).
Research shows that saponins may help fight cancer by reducing tumor growth and inducing cell death in cancer cells (27).
Summary: Green peas contain a good amount of fiber, which helps support digestive health. They also contain plant compounds called saponins, which may have anti-cancer effects.

8. Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard Leaves
Swiss chard is low in calories but high in many essential vitamins and minerals.
One cup (36 grams) contains just 7 calories yet 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of protein and lots of vitamins A, C and K, manganese and magnesium (28).
Swiss chard is especially known for its unique ability to prevent damage caused by diabetes mellitus.
In one animal study, chard extract was found to reverse the effects of diabetes by decreasing blood sugar levels and preventing cell damage from disease-causing free radicals (29).
Other animal studies have shown that the antioxidant content of chard extract can protect the liver and kidneys from the negative effects of diabetes (3031).
Summary: Some animal studies show that Swiss chard could protect against the negative effects of diabetes and may decrease blood sugar levels.

9. Ginger

Fresh and Sliced Ginger
Ginger root is used as a main ingredient in everything from vegetable dishes to desserts.
Historically, ginger has also been used as a natural remedy for motion sickness (32).
Several studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of ginger on nausea. In a review comprised of 12 studies and nearly 1,300 pregnant women, ginger significantly reduced nausea compared to a placebo (33).
Ginger also contains potent anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful in treating inflammation-related disorders like arthritis, lupus or gout (34).
In one study, participants with osteoarthritis who were treated with a concentrated ginger extract experienced reduced knee pain and relief from other symptoms (35).
Further research suggests that ginger could aid in the treatment of diabetes as well.
A 2015 study looked at the effects of ginger supplements on diabetes. After 12 weeks, ginger was found to be effective in decreasing blood sugar levels (36).
Summary: Studies show that ginger could reduce nausea and alleviate inflammation. Ginger supplements may also help decrease blood sugar.

10. Asparagus

Fresh Asparagus
This spring vegetable is rich in several vitamins and minerals, making it an excellent addition to any diet.
Just half a cup (90 grams) of asparagus provides one-third of your daily folate needs.
This amount also provides plenty of selenium, vitamin K, thiamin and riboflavin (37).
Getting enough folate from sources like asparagus can offer protection from disease and can prevent neural tube birth defects during pregnancy (3839).
Some test-tube studies also show that asparagus may benefit the liver by supporting its metabolic function and protecting it against toxicity (40).
Summary: Asparagus is especially high in folate, which may help prevent neural tube birth defects. Test-tube studies have also found that asparagus can support liver function and reduce the risk of toxicity.

11. Red Cabbage

Half a Red Cabbage
This vegetable belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables and, much like its relatives, is brimming with antioxidants and health-promoting properties.
One cup (89 grams) of raw red cabbage contains 2 grams of fiber as well as 85% of the daily vitamin C requirement (41).
Red cabbage is also rich in anthocyanins, a type of plant compound that contributes to its distinct color as well as a whole host of health benefits.
In a 2012 animal study, rats were fed a diet designed to increase cholesterol levels and increase plaque buildup in the arteries. The rats were then given red cabbage extract.
The study found that red cabbage extract was able to prevent increases in blood cholesterol levels and protect against damage to the heart and liver (42).
These results were supported by another animal study in 2014 that showed that red cabbage could reduce inflammation and prevent liver damage in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet (43).
Summary: Red cabbage contains a good amount of fiber, vitamin C and anthocyanins. Certain studies show that red cabbage may decrease blood cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and prevent heart and liver damage.

12. Sweet Potatoes

Woman Cutting a Sweet Potato on a Chopping Board
Classified as a root vegetable, sweet potatoes stand out for their vibrant orange color, sweet taste and impressive health benefits.
One medium sweet potato contains 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and a good amount of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese (44).
It’s also high in a form of vitamin A called beta-carotene. In fact, one sweet potato fulfills 438% of your daily vitamin A needs (44).
Beta-carotene consumption has been linked to a significant decrease in the risk of certain types of cancer, including lung and breast cancer (4546).
Specific types of sweet potatoes may also contain additional benefits. For example, Caiapo is a type of white sweet potato that may have an anti-diabetic effect.
In one study, people with diabetes were given 4 grams of Caiapo daily over 12 weeks, leading to a reduction in both blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels (47).
Summary: Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, which may decrease the risk of some types of cancer. White sweet potatoes could also help reduce blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

13. Collard Greens

Collard Greens
Collard greens are a very nutrient-rich vegetable.
One cup (190 grams) of cooked collard greens contains 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 27% of your daily calcium needs (48).
In fact, collard greens are one of the best plant sources of calcium available, along with other leafy greens, broccoli and soybeans.
Adequate calcium intake from plant sources can promote bone health and has been shown to decrease the risk of osteoporosis (49).
Collard greens are also high in antioxidants and could even reduce your risk of developing certain diseases.
One study found that eating more than one serving of collard greens per week was associated with a 57% decreased risk of glaucoma, an eye condition that can lead to blindness (50).
Another study showed that a high intake of vegetables in the Brassica family, which includes collard greens, may decrease the risk of prostate cancer (51).
Summary: Collard greens are high in calcium, which could reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The regular intake of collard greens has also been associated with a reduced risk of glaucoma and prostate cancer.

14. Kohlrabi

Purple Kohlrabi
Also known as the turnip cabbage or German turnip, kohlrabi is a vegetable related to the cabbage that can be eaten raw or cooked.
Raw kohlrabi is high in fiber, providing 5 grams in each cup (135 grams). It’s also full of vitamin C, providing 140% of the daily value per cup (52).
Studies have shown that the antioxidant content of kohlrabi makes it a powerful tool against inflammation and diabetes (53).
In one animal study, kohlrabi extract was able to decrease blood sugar levels by 64% within just seven days of treatment (54).
Though there are different types of kohlrabi available, studies show that red kohlrabi has nearly twice the amount of phenolic antioxidants and displays stronger anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory effects (53).
Summary: Kohlrabi is rich in both fiber and vitamin C. Animal studies show that kohlrabi could potentially cause a reduction in blood sugar.

The Bottom Line

From providing essential vitamins and minerals to fighting disease, it’s clear that including vegetables in your diet is crucial for good health.
While the vegetables listed here have been extensively studied for their health benefits, there are plenty more vegetables that are also excellent for your health.
Ensure that you’re getting a good mix of vegetables in your diet to take advantage of their many diverse health benefits and get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

Now that we have gone over the step-by-step approach and best practice when it comes to our basic push-up in episode 1, now it’s time to review the 5 common mistakes that we see! The goal of this episode isn’t just to point out some common flaws, but more importantly to identify where you might be struggling. From here, you can check out the next episodes to follow - where we tackle a template for how to fix and correct each flaw so you can follow-along and Move Like you Mean It.


Here is what are we looking for: 1) Ensure your feet are a fist width apart, and toes are FULLY extended. 2) Your glutes and abdominals should be active and engaged to stabilize your core and pelvis in neutral. 3) Your shoulder blades need to be mobile on your rib cage as you go through your movement 4) Elbows should track over and be in line with your wrists 5) Your neck should stay NEUTRAL! Featuring Mitch Starkman, Physiotherapist PLEASE CONSIDER SUBSCRIBING: http://bit.ly/1pAQeVQ The Push-Up Series The Push-Up Series is our attempt to tackle not just how to do this in proper form, but also the top 5 most common mistakes that we see and their fixes. We’ve created a template for each of the 5 mistakes and how you can tackle it all on your own. A push-up is an amazing full body exercise - working not the arms and chest, but also challenges your core and stability. The problem is that most people assume it is isolating just our chest muscles, when in fact it is doing anything BUT that! Keep your form strong and follow along to ensure you can truly push-up and Move Like You Mean It! About The Movement Centre: The Movement Centre strives to explore, assess, and correct human movement by providing customized self-administered treatments that anyone can use through the guidance of a movement physiotherapist. The aim is to help you overcome your limiting factors, whether that is pain, performance, or both. Ultimately, we want to help you achieve your goals. *************************************** Connect with The Movement Centre: The Movement Centre WEBSITE: http://www.themovementcentre.ca Watch The Movement Centre CHANNEL: http://bit.ly/25edQAn Follow The Movement Centre on INSTAGRAM: http://bit.ly/1Uf7QE9 Follow The Movement Centre on FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/1Vx371c *************************************** When in doubt, it is always a good idea to get assessed by your healthcare practitioner so you can truly Move Like You Mean It! This is not personalized medical advice.


In this episode we review the basics of how to do a proper push-up. We discuss the step-by-step approach to ensure great form (from your head to your toes), in order to optimize your performance and more importantly keep your joints healthy and happy!

How to do a Push Up Ep 1

Here is what are we looking for: 1) You want your feet to be a fist width apart, and toes FULLY extended. 2) Your glutes and abdominals should be active and engaged to stabilize your core and pelvis in neutral. 3) Your shoulder blades need to be mobile on your rib cage as you go through your movement 4) Elbows should track over and be in line with your wrists 5) Your neck should stay NEUTRAL! At the end of the day, the top position of you push-up shouldn’t look to different from an AMAZING plank! Featuring Mitch Starkman, Physiotherapist PLEASE CONSIDER SUBSCRIBING: http://bit.ly/1pAQeVQ The Push-Up Series The Push-Up Series is our attempt to tackle not just how to do this in proper form, but also the top 5 most common mistakes that we see and their fixes. We’ve created a template for each of the 5 mistakes and how you can tackle it all on your own. A push-up is an amazing full body exercise - working not the arms and chest, but also challenges your core and stability. The problem is that most people assume it is isolating just our chest muscles, when in fact it is doing anything BUT that! Keep your form strong and follow along to ensure you can truly push-up and Move Like You Mean It! About The Movement Centre: The Movement Centre strives to explore, assess, and correct human movement by providing customized self-administered treatments that anyone can use through the guidance of a movement physiotherapist. The aim is to help you overcome your limiting factors, whether that is pain, performance, or both. Ultimately, we want to help you achieve your goals. *************************************** Connect with The Movement Centre: The Movement Centre WEBSITE: http://www.themovementcentre.ca Watch The Movement Centre CHANNEL: http://bit.ly/25edQAn Follow The Movement Centre on INSTAGRAM: http://bit.ly/1Uf7QE9 Follow The Movement Centre on FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/1Vx371c *************************************** When in doubt, it is always a good idea to get assessed by your healthcare practitioner so you can truly Move Like You Mean It! This is not personalized medical advice.

Your brain is kind of a big deal.
As the control center of your body, it’s in charge of keeping your heart beating and lungs breathing and allowing you move, feel and think.
That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your brain in peak working condition.
The foods you eat play a role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration.
This article lists 11 foods that boost your brain.

1. Fatty Fish

When people talk about brain foods, fatty fish is often at the top of the list.
This type of fish includes salmon, trout and sardines, which are all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids (1).
About 60% of your brain is made of fat, and half of that fat is the omega-3 kind (2).
Your brain uses omega-3s to build brain and nerve cells, and these fats are essential for learning and memory (23).
Omega 3-s also have a couple additional benefits for your brain.
For one thing, they may slow age-related mental decline and help ward off Alzheimer’s disease (4567).
On the flip side, not getting enough omega-3s is linked to learning impairments, as well as depression (38).
In general, eating fish seems to have positive health benefits.
One study found that people who ate baked or broiled fish regularly had more gray matter in their brains. Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that control decision making, memory and emotion (9).
Overall, fatty fish is an excellent choice for brain health.
Summary: Fatty fish is a rich source of omega-3s, a major building block of the brain. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against decline.

2. Coffee

Coffee in a Yellow Cup
If coffee is the highlight of your morning, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s good for you.
Two main components in coffee — caffeine and antioxidants — help your brain.
The caffeine in coffee has a number of positive effects on the brain, including (9):
  • Increases alertness: Caffeine keeps your brain alert by blocking adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes you sleepy (101112).
  • Improves mood: Caffeine may also boost some of your “feel-good” neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (13).
  • Sharpens concentration: One study found that when participants drank one large coffee in the morning or smaller amounts throughout the day, they were more effective at tasks that required concentration (14).
Drinking coffee over the long term is also linked to a reduced risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (9).
This could at least be partly due to coffee’s high concentration of antioxidants (15).
Summary: Coffee can help boost alertness and mood. It may also offer some protection against Alzheimer’s, thanks to its caffeine and antioxidants.

3. Blueberries

Blueberries provide numerous health benefits, including some that are specifically for your brain.
Blueberries and other deeply colored berries deliver anthocyanins, a type of plant compound with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (16).
Both inflammation and free radicals, which are destroyed by antioxidants, contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases (16).
Some of the antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells (1617).
Animal studies have shown that blueberries help improve memory and may even delay short-term memory loss (181920).
Try sprinkling them on your breakfast cereal or adding them to a smoothie.
Summary: Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that may delay brain aging and improve memory.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric Powder in a Bowl and a Pile of Turmeric Root
Turmeric has generated a lot of buzz recently.
This deep-yellow spice is a key ingredient in curry powder and has a number of benefits for the brain.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there (21).
It’s a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that has been linked to the following brain benefits:
  • May benefit memory: Curcumin may help improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s. It may also help clear the amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of this disease (2122).
  • Eases depression: It boosts serotonin and dopamine, which both improve mood. One study found curcumin improved depression symptoms just as much as an antidepressant over six weeks (2324).
  • Helps new brain cells grow: Curcumin boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a type of growth hormone that helps brain cells grow. It may help delay age-related mental decline, but more research is needed (25).
To reap the benefits of curcumin, try cooking with curry powder, adding turmeric to potato dishes to turn them golden or making turmeric tea.
Summary: Turmeric and its active compound curcumin have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, which help the brain. In research, it has reduced symptoms of depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

5. Broccoli

Broccoli is packed with powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants (26).
It’s also very high in vitamin K, delivering more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) in a 1-cup (91-gram) serving (27).
This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that’s densely packed into brain cells (28).
A few studies in older adults have linked a higher vitamin K intake to better memory (2930).
Beyond vitamin K, broccoli contains a number of compounds that give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may help protect the brain against damage (31).
Summary: Broccoli contains a number of compounds that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, including vitamin K.

6. Pumpkin Seeds

Pile of Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free radical damage (31).
They’re also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper (32).
Each of these nutrients is important for brain health:
  • Zinc: This element is crucial for nerve signaling. Zinc deficiency has been linked to many neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression and Parkinson’s disease (333435).
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is essential for learning and memory. Low magnesium levels are linked to many neurological diseases, including migraines, depression and epilepsy (3637).
  • Copper: Your brain uses copper to help control nerve signals. And when copper levels are out of whack, there’s a higher risk of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s (3839).
  • Iron: Iron deficiency is often characterized by brain fog and impaired brain function (40).
The research focuses mostly on these micronutrients, rather than pumpkin seeds themselves. However, since pumpkin seeds are high in these micronutrients, you can likely reap their benefits by adding pumpkin seeds to your diet.
Summary: Pumpkin seeds are rich in many micronutrients that are important for brain function, including copper, iron, magnesium and zinc.

7. Dark Chocolate

Four Pieces of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with a few brain-boosting compounds, including flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants.
Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant plant compound.
The flavonoids in chocolate gather in the areas of the brain that deal with learning and memory. Researchers say these compounds may enhance memory and also help slow down age-related mental decline (41424344).
In fact, a number of studies back this up (454647).
In one study including over 900 people, those who ate chocolate more frequently performed better in a series of mental tasks, including some involving memory, than those who rarely ate it (45).
Chocolate is also a legitimate mood booster, according to research.
One study found that participants who ate chocolate experienced increased positive feelings, compared to participants who ate crackers (48).
However, it’s still not clear whether that’s because of compounds in the chocolate, or simply because the yummy flavor makes people happy (48).
Summary: The flavonoids in chocolate may help protect the brain. Studies have suggested that eating chocolate could boost both memory and mood.

8. Nuts

Research has shown that eating nuts can improve markers of heart health, and having a healthy heart is linked to having a healthy brain (4950).
A 2014 review showed that nuts can improve cognition and even help prevent neurodegenerative diseases (51).
Also, another large study found that women who ate nuts regularly over the course of several years had a sharper memory, compared to those who didn’t eat nuts (49).
Several nutrients in nuts, such as healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E, may explain their brain-health benefits (5253).
Vitamin E shields cell membranes from free radical damage, helping slow mental decline (545556).
While all nuts are good for your brain, walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver omega-3 fatty acids (57).
Summary: Nuts contain a host of brain-boosting nutrients, including vitamin E, healthy fats and plant compounds.

9. Oranges

Cut Oranges
You can get all the vitamin C you need in a day by eating one medium orange (58).
Doing so is important for brain health, since vitamin C is a key factor in preventing mental decline (59).
Eating sufficient amounts of vitamin C-rich foods can protect against age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a 2014 review article (60).
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off the free radicals that can damage brain cells. Plus, vitamin C supports brain health as you age (61).
You can also get excellent amounts of vitamin C from bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes and strawberries (62).
Summary: Oranges and other foods that are high in vitamin C can help defend your brain against damage from free radicals.

10. Eggs

Eggs are a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline (63).
Choline is an important micronutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory (6465).
Two studies found that higher intakes of choline were linked to better memory and mental function (6667).
Nevertheless, many people don’t get enough choline in their diet.
Eating eggs is an easy way to get choline, given that egg yolks are among the most concentrated sources of this nutrient.
Adequate intake of choline is 425 mg per day for most women and 550 mg per day for men, with just a single egg yolk containing 112 mg (64).
Furthermore, the B vitamins have several roles in brain health.
To start, they may help slow the progression of mental decline in the elderly (68).
Also, being deficient in two types of B vitamins — folate and B12 — has been linked to depression (69).
Folate deficiency is common in elderly people with dementia, and studies show that folic acid supplements can help minimize age-related mental decline (7071).
B12 is also involved in synthesizing brain chemicals and regulating sugar levels in the brain (69).
It’s worth noting that there’s very little direct research on the link between eating eggs and brain health. However, there is research to support the brain-boosting benefits of the nutrients found in eggs.
Summary: Eggs are a rich source of several B vitamins and choline, which are important for proper brain functioning and development, as well as regulating mood.

11. Green Tea

Green Tea in a Glass Teacup
As is the case with coffee, the caffeine in green tea boosts brain function.
In fact, it has been found to improve alertness, performance, memory and focus (72).
But green tea also has other components that make it a brain-healthy beverage.
One of them is L-theanine, an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier and increase the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps reduce anxiety and makes you feel more relaxed (737475).
L-theanine also increases the frequency of alpha waves in the brain, which helps you relax without making you feel tired (76).
One review found that the L-theanine in green tea can help you relax by counteracting the stimulating effects of caffeine (72).
It’s also rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that may protect the brain from mental decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (7778).
Plus, green tea has been found to improve memory (79).
Summary: Green tea is an excellent beverage to support your brain. Its caffeine content boosts alertness, while its antioxidants protect the brain and L-theanine helps you relax.

The Bottom Line

Many foods can help keep your brain healthy.
Some foods, such as the fruits and vegetables in this list, as well as tea and coffee, have antioxidants that help protect your brain from damage.
Others, such as nuts and eggs, contain nutrients that support memory and brain development.
You can help support your brain health and boost your alertness, memory and mood by strategically including these foods in your diet.