A vegan diet is all about paying attention to the foods you eat and really be as health-conscious as you can: if you decide to consume a particular vegan brain food, for example, you can really harness the power of your plant-based diet to improve memory and fight fatigue. Vegan diets have their own perks and are essentially nutrient-rich.
Research has shown that certain foods can help fight seasonal fatigue, ward off brain fog and help with more serious issues like age-related memory loss and neurodegenerative diseases.
Regular consumption of these foods will help you thrive not only mentally, but physically as well. To help you achieve just that, we’ve put together a list of the best vegan brain foods. So, without any further adieu, let’s jump right into it.
12 of the Best Vegan Brain Foods
If you’re looking for a nice addition to any meal, avocado is an amazing vegan brain food you can easily find on the market. There’s a reason why avocados have gotten so popular!
They’re a great source of many elements that help promote cognitive health: fibers, potassium, folate, and a good number of vitamins (like vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin B6).
Avocados are also a source of healthy fats that can prevent the hardening of blood vessels and stimulate circulation: this assures the blood supply to the heart and the brain and helps with the normal functioning of the brain.
Additionally, avocados reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the risk of plaque buildup, and lower bad cholesterol.
There are a lot of seeds that can be added to your plant-based diet in order to improve brain function and your general health. Seeds also have one of the highest protein content in any vegan food option next to beans and lentils.
First of all, sunflower seeds contain a lot of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B: these nutrients are known to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and fight off depression.
Hemp seeds have gained recent popularity is comes packed with amazing health benefits. It is one of the best plant-based sources of protein. It contains antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that have shown significant results for reducing inflammation and improving heart health, which is linked with brain health.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which is a mineral known to enhance memory and mental skills: just a handful of pumpkin seeds can provide the recommended daily zinc allowance.
Despite their small size, chia seeds are one of the most nutritious vegan foods on the planet: they’re full of fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and other micronutrients (like calcium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin B.)
Chia seeds are a condensed source of omega-3 fatty acids, the same you can find in salmon and that make this fish one of the most renowned food for the brain.
These tiny seeds may reduce the risk of heart disease, improve digestive health, and overall increase brain function.
Cranberries are an amazing choice when looking for vegan food particularly for the brain: cranberries contain high doses of antioxidants that can protect the brain from free radicals that cause loss of memory and loss of coordination.
They’re primarily made up of carbs and boast several vitamins and minerals: copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K1, and manganese.
When consumed regularly, cranberries can reduce the risk of stomach cancer, can improve several risk factors for heart disease (like cholesterol levels and blood pressure), and can promote brain function.
4. Goji berries
Goji berries are one of the most used ingredients and superfoods when it comes to smoothies, breakfast bowls, and overnight oats, but they can also be eaten on their own.
Goji berries are loaded with antioxidants and have been shown to have anti-aging activity and to protect the mind against degenerative disorders.
A vegan brain food breakfast complemented by goji berries might help protect the brain against damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, stimulate nerve growth in the brain, and support memory.
Goji berries have also been shown to improve energy levels and reduce fatigue!
Another amazing vegan brain food for mental clarity is broccoli: this vegetable is an amazing source of vitamin K, known to enhance cognitive function and brainpower. Also rich in Vitamin C this green vegetable is a must-have for vegans.
Research has shown that dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other age-related brain degeneration could be also linked to a lack of vitamin C and acetylcholine, both of which broccoli is rich in.
This vegetable is known to have anti amnesic properties, which can help you preserve your memory, promote brain healing, and even facilitate and enhance learning.
When it comes to brain foods, nuts are a clear winner: first of all, they’re a sound source of vitamin E, which can help sharpen your memory and prevent a decline in cognitive abilities.
They also have high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for a healthy immune and support system. Cashews, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and brazil nuts are all great options for improving your cognitive health.
The best part is that they’re really easy to consume! You can include them in a lot of different dishes, or you can just grab a few of them and eat them as a snack.
7. Green tea
When was the last time you sipped Green Tea? Even if you’re not vegan, you need to incorporate this beneficial herb into your daily routine. Green tea is an amazing addition to your vegan diet because it has all the benefits of caffeine (improved mood, vigilance, reaction time, and memory) without its downsides.
Green tea contains small amounts of minerals important for general health: these minerals can help reduce the formation of free radicals, protect cells and molecules against aging and different diseases.
This beverage can improve brain function in the short term, according to different researches that found that green tea can have a clear beneficial effect on sustained attention, memory, and even mood.
Green tea may also protect your brain against common neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
If you’re looking for vegan food to stimulate the brain, beans are a wonderful option.
Beans are a prime food source for magnesium, which can help keep brain cell receptors functioning and blood vessels relaxed for increased blood flow to the brain.
They keep energy levels high and contain protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins. They are a complete package. They can also assist in stabilizing glucose levels in the blood, which is fundamental for brain health because the brain relies on glucose but can’t store its own.
Black beans and lentils are particularly useful for this last reason, and lentils also contain a high percentage of folate.
Kidney and pinto beans are an amazing choice to improve brain function because they contain more omega-3 fatty acids than any other varieties of beans.
Rosemary is one of the best vegan brain food, both in oil and herb form; carnosic acid being one of the main ingredients in this particular aromatic herb- it helps protect the brain from neurodegeneration.
Rosemary appears to have some antioxidant properties, which can protect the brain against chemical free radicals linked to neurodegeneration and normal aging in the brain.
Different studies found that consumption of a low dose of rosemary can significantly improve memory speed. Some research shows that even the mere smell of rosemary can affect cognition!
Rosemary can also help protect eyesight from deteriorating, thanks to its high level of antioxidants and to its anti-inflammatory properties.
The best part about rosemary is that you can easily add a few leaves to a great number of recipes: you will reap all its benefits and will also get to enjoy delicious food!
Are Tomatoes a fruit or a vegetable? This question is very confusing and a lot of you out there might still be skeptical about the answer. Well, Tomatoes are blood-red and another really rich source of several different vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and lycopene to name a few.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, which is known to help protect your cells against free radical damage, specifically the kind of damage that occurs in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s.
Many studies show that tomatoes may also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer and that they’re also beneficial for skin health and protection against sunburns.
11. Leafy greens
Several leafy green vegetables are loaded with nutrients and vitamins that protect the brain and can promote brain function.
Spinach is low in carbs but high in insoluble fiber, which can improve your digestion, and it packs high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, and calcium. All these elements work in synergy to offer brain protection from neurodegenerative diseases. They also play their part to reduce compounds that can be toxic to neurons.
Kale is another good source of omega-3 fatty acids, overall great for brain health, and contains large amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and brain-supporting antioxidants like flavonoids.
Leafy greens are a really good option if you want to incorporate more vegan brain foods into your diet: you can easily add them to wraps, salads, or eat them as a side dish. If you don’t particularly enjoy their taste, you can even hide them in smoothies!
12. Blueberries and blackberries
Blackberries are high in fibres and manganese, which is vital to healthy bone development and the immune system. They’re also high in vitamin C and vitamin K, two of the vitamins we saw present in a lot of different brain foods.
Blackberries may improve brain health and prevent the kind of memory loss caused by aging: the antioxidants in berries help fight free radicals and reduce brain inflammation.
Blueberries also contain antioxidants that can help protect neurons from eventual damage to the brain, and protect brain cells from free radicals and brain diseases. They’re high in vitamin C and have high amounts of flavonoid antioxidants, shown to improve memory, learning, and general cognitive function.
Both blackberries and blueberries are amazing for brain longevity and can help fight neurodegenerative diseases, but they can also help keep memory sharp in the present.
And the best part is that berries are delicious! You can enjoy them in smoothies, eat them on their own, or as a topping on oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, or yogurt; the choice is yours!
As you can see from our list, adding vegan brain foods to your diet isn’t difficult at all: you don’t have to sacrifice taste to reap benefits, and there are definitely plenty of choices that can satisfy everyone.
Avocados, broccoli, tomatoes, and leafy greens are perfect if you like their taste and you don’t mind increasing your intake of vegetables during the day.
Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds are perfect if you’re a bit picky: they can be easily added to any kind of dish, and they’re small enough you can’t really taste them if you don’t like them.
Nuts (like walnuts and almonds) and berries (cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries) are similar to seeds: you can add them to different dishes and can even hide their taste a little if you really don’t like it. The same goes for rosemary and goji berries.
If you’re looking for a drink that can improve health and brainpower, green tea is your best bet.
Adding any of these foods to your diet can really help you improve your health, your memory, fighting off fatigue, and prevent neurodegenerative diseases. Pair these foods with exercise and a healthy diet, and you’re good to go!