Brain food

This article was originally published in September 2013

It could be a big test, a presentation at work, or a chess match with a nemesis. Whatever the challenge, certain foods help sharpen our focus so we can achieve our best results. Look to these three standouts the next time clarity is key.

Mom always said fish was “brain food,” and of course she was right. But it turns out many other foods help us achieve optimal focus as well. What do they have in common? They’re each especially rich in certain vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and other nutrients that nourish cells, increase blood flow and otherwise boost brain function for improved focus and recall.

When should you eat these foods to feel sharp? At breakfast. As a matter of fact, studies show eating breakfast will help your short-term memory through the entire day. Don’t forget to power up!


Wild Alaskan salmon

Salmon is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which keep the brain humming along smoothly, boost memory and help us focus. Power breakfast: French Omelette with Sweet Peppers, Smoked Salmon and Gruyère.


The antioxidants in blueberries stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain to boost concentration and memory hours after you’ve enjoyed your last handful. Power breakfast: Blueberry Kefir Smoothie.


Avocados are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats that boost blood flow to help the brain function optimally and also help the body absorb nutrients. Power breakfast: Huevos Rancheros.

Related reading