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Brain Food: Honorable Mentions

This entry is part of a series, Brain Food»


In the course of this Series, we’ve covered a lot of tasty food items and seen how they help us be healthy, especially good brain health. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and more. “If it’s Blue it’s good for You.”

A lot of your favorite foods didn’t make the list, I bet. Not to worry, that doesn’t mean that everything else is bad for your brain! Here are some “also-ran” items that have fair or limited brain nutrients, maybe with a few “naughty” attributes…

Raisins: A good source of boron, a trace element that improves attention, memory and eye-hand coordination. All you sports guys, pay attention! (P.S. Raisins are very bad for your dog; FYI.)

Eggs: A great source of choline, which is critical for the development o f the memory center in youngsters. It may also retard degradation of memory in elderly folks too. Besides that, eggs offer folic acid (folate), which is another key nutrient, especially for pregnant women. As long as you eat eggs in moderation, there’s no real need to worry about their cholesterol. (Check with your doc for specifics, though.)

Coffee beans: Lightly roasted, the coffee bean will retain many of the antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals it starts out with. Regular coffee consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of mental decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s. Remember this, though: Heavy roasting gives more flavor, but destroys most of the good stuff! Also, it’s not the coffee that’s bad for you, it’s all the other junque you put in it that’s killing you…

Coffee Beans

Cacao beans: Also known as cocoa beans, these little Amazonian nuggets are a lot like coffee in the kinds of brain-friendly nutrients they contain. Minimally processed, cocoa is very good for you! The problem is, that creamy milk chocolate you enjoy has very little cocoa in it, and it’s been highly processed to boot. No, you’re getting sugar, fat, flavorings, and other things that you can’t spell, let alone pronounce. How to get the benefits of cocoa? Mix 100% cocoa powder (minimally processed, no sugar added) with some espresso and add unsweetened milk. Grate cinnamon and nutmeg on the top and enjoy! (Don’t worry, you’ll get used to the taste.) Remember: The Aztecs drank cocoa to improve their sex lives! It’s also implicated in cancer and heart disease reduction.

Honey: A great sweetener, full of antioxidants, honey is great for improving memory.

Apples: An apple a day does a whole lot more than keep the doctor away. They supply phenolics, a type of antioxidant, and they reduce damage that triggers Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Apple juice supplies some of the benefits, but the fruit’s the best.


Strawberries: Similar to blueberries, these luscious red morsels are wonderful for your brain. Just don’t add too much sugar, and skip the cream, if you want the benefits without other calories you don’t need. Besides, if the fruit is fresh and ripe, it’ll be great all by itself.

We could go on and on, but I think you get the direction here. Lots of our favorite eats are good for our noggins, as long as we understand their value. We also need to watch out for the ways we sabotage their benefits, or add things we don’t need elsewhere (“A moment on the lips, …”). Pay attention to what goes in your pie hole and your brain will thank you for the boost…

Enjoy the (Many Brainy Eats) Heat!


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