Vegetarian Foods That Boost Your Brainpower

Vegetarian Foods That Boost Your Brainpower

Veggie-hating meat eaters getting you down? Tired of feeling alone as the rest of your friends order from the McDonalds takeout window? Take a look at the history of vegetarianism and cheer up: super-thinkers like Einstein, Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, and Ghandi were all vegetarians.

It begs the cranium: Can your diet actually make you smarter? Maybe. Some of the best brain foods around are 100% vegetarian. Turn your attention, if you will, to…

…Red Apples

Red apples are chock-full of the antioxidant quercetin, which helps protect your brain against damage from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Quercetin is concentrated mostly in the skin of the apple, so you can’t get the same effect from products like applesauce or apple juice. Eat an apple a day, as the saying goes, to keep your brain sharp.

…Green, Leafy Vegetables

A 2005 study from Harvard Medical School’s Channing Lab showed that aging women who consumed green, leafy vegetables experienced less cognitive decline that those who didn’t. If you’ve ever wondered what qualifies as a green, leafy vegetable, pick and choose from this list and aim for 3 cups a week:

  • arugula
  • broccoli
  • collard greens
  • kale
  • mustard greens
  • romaine
  • spinach
  • swiss chard

Juice it all up!


Asian diets, which are significantly more vegetarian than Western ones, place great importance on tea-drinking. New research has shown that green and black tea work against enzymes that encourage development of Alzheimer’s in the brain. Green tea also inhibits beta-secretase, which plays a role in Alzheimer’s. Get a natural caffeine boost and protect your brain at the same time by drinking a cup with every meal.


Flaxseed is a great vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids, the brain’s favorite nutrient. Omega-3′s are typically found in fish, but vegetarians can stock up on theirs by consuming 2 tbsp. to 1/4 cup daily. Add yours to your daily smoothie for a delicious nutty crunch.


Need more omega-3s in your life? They are the brain’s super-nutrient, after all. You can buy dried algae at most grocery stores; it has a chewy texture and a strong, fishy taste. You can also purchase supplements, or eat vegetarian sushi that comes wrapped in nori, a type of seaweed. Eating algae is how fish get their omega-3s in the first place, so by going directly to the source, you’re outsmarting the food chain. Go, humans!

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