Want a way to help keep your brain sharp as you age? Start with what you feed it. Literally. Your brain needs nutrients and fuel just like the rest of your body. Adding these 6 foods to a healthy diet may boost your brain power and help support brain health as you age.

  1. Whole grains: Quick quiz. What does your brain use for fuel? If you said carbs, you’re right. Your body turns them into sugar, which fuels your brain. To keep that brain fuel coming in a steady supply, fill up on whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa. Unlike quick carbs (like white bread), whole grains release sugar slowly into your bloodstream. That way you don’t spike and crash.
  2. Fatty fish: Fatty, cold-water fish like salmon, trout, and mackerel have a nutrient your brain needs: omega-3 fat. Your brain is about two-thirds fat, and omega-3 fat is a critical building block—one which your body can’t make itself. You have to get this type of fat from foods. Eat fatty fish a couple of times a week to help keep your brain cells happily firing.
  3. Walnuts: While you’re at it, eat walnuts for their healthy fats, too. Walnuts have the plant version of omega-3 fat. They also have powerful antioxidants which help protect the brain. And, hey, they’re shaped like little brains. Maybe Mother Nature is trying to tell us something.
  4. Blueberries: Speaking of powerful antioxidants for your brain, look no further than blueberries. They have flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that may help boost your short-term memory. Pop them into cereals, smoothies, baked goods, and yogurt. Or just pop them into your mouth.
  5. Cruciferous vegetables: Your brain loves crunchy veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and dark, leafy greens. With vitamins (C and K) and carotenoids (more antioxidants), these veggies may help improve memory. Make your brain happy and cook up some kale or Brussels sprouts tonight.
  6. Turmeric: Last but not least on the list of foods for your brain is this yellow spice found in curry. Its active ingredient, curcumin, may help reduce inflammation and have lipophilic actions that support brain health. The spice’s antioxidant properties may help protect the brain in other ways as well. If you haven’t tried curry, it may be time to start.

Here’s another bonus of eating brain foods. While they’re busy protecting your brain, they’re also protecting your heart and the rest of your body. So make the smart move—feed your brain what it likes.