Humans have been eating fruit since our earliest days of living in a hunter-gatherer society. One of the main reasons humans have such a strong desire for fruit is that it contains a higher concentration of fructose than other natural foods. Fructose is a simple ketogenic sugar that gives fruit its sweetened taste. Generally, the sweeter the fruit tastes, the more fructose it contains.
The sweet taste of fruit has resulted in the food group's nickname “nature’s candy.” Unlike manufactured candy with tons of added sugar and chemical flavorings, nature’s candy provides many health benefits.
Fruit is an excellent source of several essential vitamins and minerals and is very high in fiber. For these reasons, nutritionists recommend eating between two to five servings of fruit each day. Unsurprisingly, they recommend eating as little manufactured candy as possible.
Replacing candy with fruit is an easy way to eat healthy food while satisfying your sweet tooth. Exception: It is usually okay to eat small amounts of dark chocolate, however, as it can benefit your neurological health.
As a bonus, eating fruit can help to boost your brain health and function. There are a lot of foods out there that are highly beneficial for your brain, many of them fruit.
Here are the 11 best fruits that have been shown to support positive brain health:
You’ve almost certainly heard that “an apple a day will keep the doctor away” at some point in your life. The saying has been around for centuries, and people have passed it down for generations. While it might seem like an old wive’s tale, the statement has some truth. Specifically, an apple a day might help to keep the neurologist away.
The reason why is because apples contain an abundance of quercetin. Quercetin is a flavonol that belongs to the polyphenol class of flavonoids. It has somewhat of a bitter flavor, so it pairs nicely with the sweet taste of apples. The key benefit of quercetin is that it helps to protect vascular brain cells against oxidative stress.
Avocados are a nutritional cheat code. These superfoods are so full of vitamins and minerals that you would think they were created in a lab.
Each serving of avocado provides you with more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals, including folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and several different B vitamins. Best of all, avocados have more protein than most fruits and typically contain much less sugar.
That information alone should convince you that avocados are a worthwhile investment. But they are on this list because they are a healthy source of monounsaturated fat.
Monounsaturated fat is one of the two “good fats” essential to cardiovascular health. Eating monounsaturated fat can help support healthy blood pressure, potentially lowering the risk of cognitive impairment later in life.
Bananas have a very high concentration of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid used by your body to produce different essential proteins. Two of the most critical proteins produced by tryptophan are melatonin and serotonin.
Melatonin is essential for regulating your daily sleep-wake cycle, and serotonin regulates your appetite, mood, sex drive, and pain threshold. Serotonin can also boost your memory capacities, which is why bananas are on this list.
Throwing some banana slices on top of your whole-grain granola will make for a brain-healthy start to the day.
Many berries are beneficial for your health, including raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. Berries contain powerful antioxidants like polyphenols, carotenoids, and vitamin C.
However, some berries stand just a little further out than others. For instance, blackberries are especially beneficial for you because they also contain a highly nutritious amount of fiber and vitamin K.
Several studies have looked into the effects of blackberries on the brain. One study involved feeding aged rats a steady diet of blackberries for eight weeks. The results concluded that the rats eating the blackberries displayed a moderately improved motor performance and significantly greater working memory performance than the control rats.
Blueberries are something of the crown jewel for healthy brain food. Anytime you look for information about fruit and brain food, blueberries will almost certainly top the list. Blueberries are a superfood for your brain (more on that in a moment), but they also provide several other health benefits as well.
Their high concentration of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K can be very helpful for lowering your risk of certain ailments associated with aging.
For brain health specifically, the key to blueberries is their incredible content of antioxidants and phytoflavinoids. After you eat a handful of blueberries, your body will break them down and absorb the nutrients into your bloodstream.
When the blood flows into your brain, the antioxidants and phytoflavinoids will try to prevent your brain cells from experiencing oxidative stress. Prevention is especially beneficial because the adult brain isn’t very good at replacing neurons.
Adding “a cherry on top” is a quick way to make cake or ice cream taste even better. But adding a few more cherries throughout the day might help your brain function better because cherries have an abundance of the antioxidant cyanidin 3-glucoside (C3G).
The C3G antioxidant has been found to neutralize the effects of neurotoxicity in the developing brain. Since the brain doesn’t stop developing until age 25, it’s a good idea for toddlers, children, teenagers, and young adults to eat more cherries. Naturally, the neuroprotective benefits of C3G will still apply even if you’re over 25 and can help prevent the premature death of neurons.
The main benefits of guava are their very high concentration of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Additionally, guavas have an abundance of both carotenoids and polyphenols.
Carotenoids can cross the blood-brain barrier and are known to be a very potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. These properties provide a lot of support for your nervous system by protecting it from free radicals, inflammation, and DNA damage.
Polyphenols are beneficial due to their neuroprotective properties that can help prevent neurotoxin damage.
If you’ve seen a commercial for orange juice before, you are well aware that oranges are full of vitamin C. It only takes one medium-sized orange for you to get your daily recommended value of vitamin C.
That’s good news for anyone looking to help prevent mental decline because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help fight free radical damage. Vitamin C also helps to regulate dopamine in your brain, which affects your memory, attention span, motivation, and mood.
9. Pumpkin Seeds
You’re probably aware that seeds and fruits are two different things. However, pumpkins are fruits and provide many of the same benefits as pumpkin seeds, so they find their way on this list. The main benefit of pumpkins and their seeds is that they contain powerful antioxidants that help protect your brain and body from free radical damage.
In addition to antioxidants, pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, zinc, iron, and copper. These nutrients are beneficial because zinc and copper both help with nerve signals, magnesium helps combat memory loss, and iron deficiencies have been linked to impaired brain function.
Plums are right alongside berries in terms of flavonoid content and share many of their benefits. What separates plums from berries is that they are exceptionally high in anthocyanins. These flavonoids are the pigments that give plums their signature color. More importantly, anthocyanins contain several properties for overall health and wellness.
Along with these healthy properties, anthocyanins also appear to provide several neuroprotective benefits for the brain. Eating anthocyanin-rich foods such as plums has been shown to help protect your brain from toxins, inflammation, and cell damage. As a result, anthocyanins can help boost learning abilities, memory capabilities, and motor skill functions.
Tomatoes have ridden the fine line between being a fruit and a vegetable for a long time. Strictly speaking, tomatoes are a fruit because they develop from the fertilized ovary of a flower. The confusion arrives from a culinary perspective because we use tomatoes in savory dishes full of vegetables.
Now that we’ve settled that debate, we can get into why tomatoes are so important for your brain: lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that gives tomatoes their signature coloration, but it also helps to reduce oxidative stress in your brain. Not only is lycopene good for your brain, but it also appears to help improve cardiovascular health and increase sun protection, and tomatoes are full of them.
Another Sweet Treat That Can Help Support Your Brain
It should be clear by now that eating more fruit is an excellent way to improve your brain function and health. Surely, a few of your favorite fruits made the list above, so reaching your recommended daily value shouldn’t be too difficult. Fruits are so nutrient-dense that it doesn’t take much to satisfy your needs.
But why stop once you’ve reached the minimum? Eating more than 1 ½ cup minimum each day is perfectly fine, and no one has ever been diagnosed with a brain that’s “too healthy” before. While you’re at it, you might consider adding a few other types of brain food into your daily routine too.
Here at MOSH, you’ll have access to three flavors of nutritional protein bars that are all specifically formulated to support your brain. You’ll get seven different brain-fueling supernutrients anytime you eat the Peanut Butter Crunch, Chocolate Crunch, or Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch bars.
These seven nutrients include vitamin B12, vitamin D3, collagen, omega-3s, lion’s mane, and ashwagandha. Each of these nutrients have been shown to be beneficial to supporting different parts of cognitive function and brain health like memory and energy production.
Order a trial pack from MOSH today — once you’ve experienced the benefits of having your brain fire on all cylinders, you’ll have to decide between ordering 12 boxes or a monthly subscription.