As we gear up to get back to school in August, you might be wondering what nutritional approach would be most beneficial to support brain function and ensure a strong start to the new school year. It turns out the candy teachers give before a test doesn’t actually provide the nutrition your brain needs to kick into high gear, but there are plenty of different supplements and foods that do! Nutritional supplement manufacturers are working harder than ever this year as the world strives to overcome new stressors, like financial and medical hardships. And by taking care of your brain, you will be able to take these challenges head on (no pun intended)!

There are two primary ways food can help your brain run at peak performance. The first involves foods that reduce inflammation and free radicals, which are linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other brain diseases. The second is food that supports that production of neurotransmitters and general function. Neurotransmitters are what help our brain connect thoughts and communicate with the rest of the body, so the more we have the better our brain can function overall. While food does have an effect on these aspects of the brain, it’s actually the vitamins and nutrients in the food that is doing the heavy lift. So the question is what foods offer the nutritional benefits necessary to support brain function?

Salmon & Flax Seed

These provide essential omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have shown reduce inflammation in the brain and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s. Supplement manufacturers commonly offer fish oil pills as a fantastic source of omega-3s that you can get over the counter without needing to prepare a meal at all!

Spinach & Turkey

One of the top sellers in the pill manufacturing world is B vitamin supplements, and for good reason! High in B6 and B12, spinach and turkey are awesome foods for metabolizing homocysteine, an amino acid linked to dementia and heart disease. Vitamins B6 and B12 ensure high levels of such brain chemicals are evened out and kept steady.

Crimini Mushrooms & Soy Milk

Another form of protection against mental decline is Vitamin D, which can be found in high volumes in crimini mushrooms, soy milk, and fatty fish. Similar to the protective nature of B vitamins, Vitamin D has been shown to play a vital role in preventing Alzheimer’s and other such diseases.

Take the time to work some of these foods into your diet to ensure your brain health is the best it can be. But if you can’t, consider using a nutritional supplement, such as fish oil pills, to support your brain health without having to make dietary changes.