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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Brain Problems - What Food to Eat and What Food Not to Eat?

Your brain is the control center of your body, and it needs good fuel to function well. Eating certain foods can help you keep your brain healthy and improve your memory, concentration, and mood. On the other hand, some foods can harm your brain and increase your risk of cognitive decline and brain diseases. Here are some tips on what food to eat and what food not to eat for your brain health.

What food to eat:

  • Oily fish: Oily fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, herring, and sardines are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for building and repairing brain cells. Omega-3s also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, which can damage brain cells and impair cognitive function. Omega-3s may also slow down age-related mental decline and protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that can benefit the brain. Flavonoids may stimulate the growth of new neurons and blood vessels in the brain, which can improve learning and memory. Flavonoids may also increase blood flow in the brain, which can enhance alertness and mood.

  • Berries: Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries also contain flavonoids that can boost brain health. Berries may help prevent memory loss, improve communication between brain cells, and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain.

  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are good sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant that can protect the brain from oxidative damage. Nuts and seeds also contain healthy fats, protein, and minerals that can support brain function.

  • Whole grains: Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, and barley provide glucose, the main source of energy for the brain. Whole grains also contain fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and keep the brain alert. Whole grains may also lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, which can affect brain health.

  • Coffee: Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that can enhance alertness, mood, and concentration. Coffee also contains antioxidants that can protect the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation. Coffee may also reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

What food not to eat:

  • Red meat: Red meat such as beef, pork, lamb, and veal is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. These conditions can impair blood flow to the brain and affect cognitive function. Red meat may also contain iron, which can accumulate in the brain and cause oxidative damage.

  • Fried foods: Fried foods such as french fries, chicken nuggets , doughnuts and potato chips are high in calories , fat , salt and sugar . These foods can cause weight gain , high blood pressure , high cholesterol , diabetes and inflammation . These factors can harm the brain and increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia .

  • Sweets: Sweets such as candy bars, cookies , cakes , pies , ice cream are high in sugar and low in nutrients . Sugar can spike blood glucose levels and cause energy crashes that affect mood and concentration . Sugar can also trigger inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain that can damage brain cells .

  • Fast food: Fast food such as burgers, pizza , hot dogs are high in fat, salt, sugar, and additives. These foods can cause obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and inflammation. These conditions can impair blood flow to the brain and affect cognitive function. Fast food may also contain trans fats, which are linked to Alzheimer’s disease.


Your diet plays a crucial role in your brain health. Eating foods that are rich in omega-3s, antioxidants, vitamin E, fiber, and caffeine can boost your memory, concentration, mood, and protect your brain from aging and diseases. Avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, salt, and additives can prevent weight gain, inflammation, and other conditions that can harm your brain and increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. By choosing brain-boosting foods and avoiding brain-damaging foods, you can improve your brain health and function throughout your life.

Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist

Kify Hospital



Phone : 85000 23456

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