You may have noticed by now that we quite like food. Who can blame us, and we know you do too!

We’ve already seen some of the far-reaching benefits of food and how it can aid you in many different ways, and you cannot underestimate how important food is to a healthy and productive lifestyle.

This time around we’re looking at how food can help boost your brain and memory functions, and which foods in particular are best at doing this. Believe it or not, you can get Nootropic-like effects just by eating the right food types.

Just try to getting through the list before you head off and make yourself a snack!

Natural Nootropics

1. Avocados

This noble green fruit has made it again onto our recommendation list. Its benefits go some way to explain the huge popularity of it and it’s hard to find a breakfast menu without it on. Avocados are full of mono-saturated fats, which are the good kind, and keep your blood sugar levels steady.

Avocados also contain vitamin K and folate and they help prevent blood clots in the brain, as well as having nootropic effects helping to enhance cognitive function – particularly memory and your ability to focus. Not only that, they’re also full of vitamin B and C, which you need to replenish on a daily basis.

They are also as versatile, as they are good for you, and can be eaten cold or baked. We prefer them sliced with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, chili, and a squeeze of lime. Add a few pieces of toasted bread and you have a wholesome and delicious treat. You can also mash them with the above ingredients for a quick and simple guacamole.

2. Blueberries

These little blue balls might not look like much but they’re packed full of goodness. We won’t use the word ‘superfood’ but they really do have a wealth of health benefits.

Blueberries get their striking color from flavonoids known as anthocyamins. These flavonoids have memory-enhancing qualities, so this fruit serves as a great addition to your diet. Flavonoids are present in foods that are colored red, purple or blue so if you get bored or blueberries reach for the raspberries, or something similar.

Blueberries provide a real burst of sweet and tangy flavor and are delicious when served with yoghurt. Alternatively, add them to muffins to see the how well they release their flavor when heated up.

3. Green vegetables

The inner child in you might initially want to squirm but it’s essential that you pack your weekly diet with green vegetables. You don’t just have to eat a bowl full of brussel sprouts either. You can find an array or green vegetables to suit your palate; from spinach to kale, and broccoli to peas, the green stuff comes in a number of tastes and shapes.

New research shows that green vegetables can help fight dementia. They are also loaded with vitamin A and K, which helps keep your bones strong.

Traditionally, people boil their green vegetables but this can result in them losing a fair amount of their nutritional value, so try other cooking methods; we love roasting our broccoli as it retains a lovely crunch. Vegetables like peas and kale can be pan-fried with chilli and garlic for a great tasting addition to your meal. 

4. Salmon

Like green vegetables, there are many types of fish that are great for you, and that can help boost your brain and memory functions. We decided to highlight salmon for its ample quantities of Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are great at helping your brain run smoothly.

When purchasing your salmon, and all foods, always try to buy organic produce to avoid products full of toxins. In the case of salmon go for the Alaskan wild-caught variety to ensure it’s the best quality possible. If salmon isn’t your thing then choose some other fatty fishes like mackerel, sardines, which are also great for you.

Salmon really does make a fantastic meal. We suggest seasoning and pan-frying for a nice crispy skin. Otherwise, place the salmon inside a tin foil parcel with a slice of lemon and herbs, then stick it in the oven. After 15-20 minutes you have a really flavorful piece of fish. Pair that with some green vegetables for a double boost for your brain!

5. Walnuts

Not only are nuts full of protein and healthy fats, but they can also help with brain functionality. Varieties like walnuts are full of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, so they can help improve your mental capabilities and alertness.

You can keep it simple with walnuts and just a grab a handful at any time of the day. Alternatively, try pickling them or making them into chutney to have with a bit of cheese. It really makes an epic ploughman’s lunch.

6. Apple

An apple a day really can keep the doctor away – especially where memory is concerned. The skin of the apple is particularly beneficial to you as this is where the fruits quercetin is stored. This antioxidant has been proven to be more effective than vitamin C at protecting brain cells.

Apple pairs really well with peanut butter so add them both onto an oatcake for a tasty bite. For something a little more complex you cant go wrong with a crumble for the ultimate pudding treat. You can add some berries in as well if you feel like adding a few different flavor profiles.

7. Butter

Not so long ago butter was the outcast of the food world. Not so now though as the tide has begun to turn for the little yellow block. The healthy saturated fats it contains are essential for humans and will ultimately help both your brain and memory over time.

Eating butter by the spoonful is not advised; not least for the unpleasant cloying it will cause you. Try spreading some butter on wholemeal bread for a much more satisfying bite.

8. Oranges

Oranges have been proven to improve cognitive functions. They are particularly helpful when it comes to memory and are full of brain-boosting nutrients.

A glass of orange is a great way to kick off your day so why not squeeze your own to keep it as fresh as possible. If you haven’t got time then just grab one to have at work later on.

9. Eggs

Eggs are another food that provides a huge amount of benefits. They are a great source for vitamins B6, B12, folate and choline. Choline is an essential micronutrient that your body needs to regulate your mood and memory. B vitamins are also important as they protect our brain as we age and help support our memory.

Again, eggs are a super-versatile food and can be cooked in many ways. Boil them for a snack on the go or scramble them with curry spices for an alternative start to your day.

10. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has once again made it onto our list, and like avocados, shows how important some foods are to include in your diet. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and natural stimulants, which will help you focus. It’s no secret that chocolate releases endorphins when consumed, and that’s why you enjoy it so much. That release of pleasure is great for improving your mood too.

Dark chocolate can be eaten (in moderation) as a healthy end to your meal and serves a simple way to keep that sweet tooth happy. You can also melt it into a dip so you can cover it over a variety of different fruits. Delicious!


While using Nootropic Pills are a great way to improve your cognitive function, you can get great results from eating the foods above. These foods are a great place to start when looking to help boost your memory and brain capabilities. These are also just a small variety of the foods that can help so don’t hesitate to research some more so you can keep your meals fresh and varied. Let us know how you get on and what delicious recipes you come up with too. Happy eating!

Kath Ross, PhD
Kath Ross, PhD
Health Editor at DietProbe
Kathryn is a Ph.D Health Editor here at DietProbe. She specializes in diabetes and weight control research and in her spare time she's a professional cat lady and wine connoisseur!
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