12 Brain-Healthy Foods That Will Help Protect Your Memory and Cognition


Green leafy vegetables

kale, roasted yams and avocado salad

Dr. Bredesen recommends reaching for foods high in folate, such as leafy greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, because they help reduce homocysteine levels, an amino acid that has been linked to brain atrophy and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

One serving: 1 cup cooked or 2 cups raw

Aim for: 6 servings per week

Try it: Parmesan Kale Salad

2. Coffee or Tea


“Coffee and green tea both contain caffeine, which has been shown to improve cognitive function by helping to solidify memories,” says Nicole M. Avena, Ph.D., assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “Tea and coffee can also help with short-term memory boosts.” Just avoid adding lots of sugar to your brew.

One serving: 8-ounce cup of coffee

Aim for: Current U.S. Dietary Guidelines state that up 400 mg of caffeine per day is safe, the amount you’d find in about two grande Americanos at Starbucks.

Try it: Lightened-Up Mocha Latte