1. Ginkgo biloba leaf extract — Taken from a tree of the same name, this nutrient boosts circulation and mental function. It also protects nerve cells from oxidation damage.
2. Wild salmon — Among the healthiest foods you can eat, wild salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 and other essential fatty acids, which improve your brain's synaptic connections, strengthen arteries and reduce the risk of stroke, dementia and Alzheimer's.
3. Cacao beans — When processed minimally, cacao beans (and dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao) enhance cognitive skills and mood. They also have antioxidants, flavonoids, catechins and other elements that nourish the brain.
4. Matcha — When mixed with hot water, the green tea powder matcha becomes the drink associated with Buddhist ceremonies and traditions. It calms people and helps them focus mentally, due in part to the amino acid L-Theanine.
5. Epigallocatechin gallate — Commonly known as EGCG, this compound found in green teas has powerful anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits.
6. Acai berries and blueberries — Both are powerhouses packed with antioxidants and vitamins, but the native South American acai also contains Omega-3s and other essential fatty acids as well as protein.
7. Nuts and seeds — Try to consume an ounce a day of walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, filberts, hazelnuts, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed or unhydrogenated nut butters, which are rich in vitamin E and help curb age-related cognitive decline.
8. Avocados — The monounsaturated fat in alligator pears can lower blood pressure and support healthy blood flow, which protects brain function.
9. Wheat germ — Considered a "superfood," wheat germ is a good source of fiber, vitamin E and omega-3s. Two tablespoons of wheat germ a day is equivalent to a half-cup of whole-grain cereal or two to three slices of whole grain bread.
10. Pomegranate juice — Potent antioxidants in this fruit protect the brain from damaging free radicals. You only need about 2 ounces a day.
11. Dark-skinned fruits and vegetables — The highest amount of antioxidants are normally found in dark-skinned vegetables and fruits including broccoli, eggplant, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, beets, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, plums, raisins, raspberries, red grapes and strawberries.
12. Asparagus — This vegetable is rich in folic acid, which is essential for metabolizing fatty acids in your brain.
13. Lean beef — It's high in vitamin B12, iron and zinc, which maintain neural tissue.
14. Dried oregano — It makes dishes taste better and has four times more antioxidant power than blueberries.
15. Yogurt — Many dairy foods are high in protein and vitamin B, which improve communication between nerve cells.
16. Uridine — This molecule strengthens neurons and builds new brain membrane. Find it in tomatoes, beer, broccoli and brewer's yeast.
17. Acetyl L-carnitine — Taken as a supplement, it helps your cells produce energy, and studies suggest it can act as a brain neurotransmitter. It helps reverse age-related memory loss, sharpens concentration and enhances blood flow to the brain.
18. Gotu kola leaf extract — This Asian herb has long been used for mental clarity, to revitalize nerves and brain cells and enhance concentration and memory.