I know that Alzheimer’s and dementia prevention isn’t necessarily a fun topic of conversation, but for many of us, it’s a necessary one. Nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia worldwide. In the United States that amounts to 1-in-9 Americans over 65 with Alzheimer’s disease. Lucky for me, 2-in-3 people with Alzheimer’s also happens to be women. However, while all of this may seem dark and depressing, we now know many ways to keep our brain’s sharp and healthy. One of the most important factors being what we eat. This list provides the best foods to incorporate into your diet if you're looking to keep you're brain in pristine shape all while feeling good and maintaining a holistically healthy lifestyle.

1. Fish

fish, vegetable, rice, seafood
Spoon University

Fish is high in docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to improve cognitive ability. So the next time you’re struggling on what to choose for lunch, grab some sushi. It'll feel like you're indulging when you're actually doing great things for your body!

2. Avocados

sweet, guacamole, vegetable, avocado
Sarah Silbiger

This one is easy because avocados are on every foodies' shopping list anyway, right? But did you know they’re high in vitamin K and folate? These are both great for your brain, so keep grabbing these green powerhouses off the shelves. Here are some easy and quick avocado recipes to incorporate this brain food into your diet. 

3. Beets

vegetable, beet, sweet
Margaret Weinberg

These purple vegetables can sometimes seem like an intimidating food if you’ve never tried them, but I promise they can be delicious. Bonus, they’re insanely healthy. Not only do the natural nitrates in beets boost blood flow in the brain, but they also help boost your energy levels. This beet barley risotto is the perfect way to enjoy this colorful vegetable. 

4. Blueberries

blackberry, bilberry, sweet, blueberry, pasture, berry
Jocelyn Hsu

Everyone knows blueberries are packed with antioxidants, which are amazing for your health. What most people don’t know is that they also contain a ton of gallic acid. This underrated nutrient does a great job of protecting our brains from stress and degeneration. Plus you now have an excuse to make these amazing recipes.

5. Broccoli 

cauliflower, broccoli, vegetable
Becky Hughes

I know some of us definitely flashback to a few terrible moments from childhood when we hear the word broccoli, but it's time to move on because broccoli is actually the best. With high levels of vitamin K and choline it helps keep your memory in top-notch shape. Still not convinced? Here is some more inspiration about how to incorporate this green guy into more meals.

6. Coconut Oil

yogurt, milk
Andrew Zaky

Coconut oil has been linked to helping your memory as you age (i.e. perfect for Alzheimer’s prevention). It may sound difficult to incorporate into your diet, but it’s so versatile that soon enough you won’t be able to find ways not to use it. Here are 50 unsuspected ways to use coconut oil that you probably haven't considered. 


rosemary, oil, tea, herb, olive oil
Jessica Kelly

As Ina Garten always says, every kitchen needs a “good” bottle of EVOO. What Ina didn’t tell you is that olive oil is also a superfood for your brain. Powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols not only improve learning and memory, but EVOO also helps fight against ADDLs, proteins that are toxic to the brain and induce Alzheimer’s. Just keep in mind it hydrogenizes and begins decomposing at high temperatures, so the best thing for you is to use it cold or at room temperature.

8. Walnuts

honey, cereal, sweet, walnut, nut
Torey Walsh

Feel free to go nuts eating these guys. They look like mini brains so it makes sense that they do wonders for your metal health. Walnut’s high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals improve mental alertness, and their high amounts of vitamin E also help prevent Alzheimer’s. Try making these pancakes, and you'll realize how delicious walnuts truly can be.

9. Tea

green tea, tea

A few cups a day of freshly brewed hot or iced tea has a small amount of caffeine, which can boost the brain by enhancing memory, focus, and mood. Tea also has antioxidants, specifically catechines, which promote healthy blood flow. However, make sure to stay away from bottled or powdered teas, they’re heavily processed and not exactly fresh. Coffee lovers can follow this guide to learn more.

10. Dark Chocolate

milk, milk chocolate, sweet, candy, coffee, chocolate
Christin Urso

Yup, you read it right. Chocolate is on this list. Turns out dark chocolate has many health benefits when consumed in small amounts. It can help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the brain. BUT make sure its at least 70% cacao, Hershey’s bars may not have ~quite~ the same effect.

No matter what your motivation, whether it be for Alzheimer's/dementia prevention or simply general health, consuming a more brain-oriented diet only makes sense. Why not start now?