According to research, the rate of cognitive and memory decline in the elderly may increase drastically in the next 50 years. But the good news is that with a healthy lifestyle, you can still have an active mind for as long as you live. That’s because your brain was never made to decline, it has the capacity to rewire itself as long as you give it the right conditions.


The Ayurvedic Perspective to Unlock your Brain Power

There are three important aspects of brain and mental performance:

  • Dhi – Learning and Comprehension governed by Vata Dosha
  • Dhriti – Processing and Retention of Knowledge governed by Pitta Dosha
  • Smriti – Memory and Recall Function controlled by Kapha Dosha

For an optimal cognitive function, each of these factors needs to be at its peak and coordinate with another. In order to achieve this state of mental wholeness and balance, one needs to practice the fundamental three pillars of good health – diet, sleep, and exercise. Of the three, diet plays a very important role in making or breaking the brain health. In this article, learn all about the do’s and don’ts of a healthy diet for an active brain:

The Do’s of Healthy Brain Diet


  1. Eat Pure Intelligent Foods

When foods are as close to its original state in nature, they deliver the most potent nutrition. When foods are genetically altered, overly-processed and refined, their natural intelligence gets stripped off. They tend to disturb the intellect and co-ordination of the three factors of mental prowess.

Cook with fresh, organic ingredients. It takes a little time and effort from your side, but at the end of the day, your brain and entire physiology will thank you for it with accelerated energy and mental performance.


  1. Include Healthy Fats

Avocados, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Ghee, Flax Seeds, Walnuts, Almonds are some example of healthy fat food sources that are essential for the brain. Your brain is the fattiest organ of your body with 60% fat content. Half of that fat constitutes of Omega-3 fatty acid and you can get these from your healthy fat sources.


  1. Harness the Power of Antioxidants

The brain is a heavy user of oxygen and is subject to oxidative stress and inflammation. Free radicals from pollution and chemicals tend to build-up and damage brain function over time. Some potent antioxidants include blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, Amalaki or Indian gooseberry.


  1. Use Herbs to Enhance Mental Potential

Ayurveda includes a special class of herbs specifically for the brain called Medhya herbs. These herbs individually enhance the brain functions and promote co-ordination whilst providing nourishment for the brain. Some of them include Shankhapushpi, Brahmi, Gotu Kola, and Ashwagandha. You can also include essential oils as aromatherapy for the mind like Rosemary oil, Peppermint Oil and Basil Oil.


  1. Healthy Vegetables, Nuts, and Seeds are Highly Recommended

Leafy greens, carrot, beetroot, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cashews, avocado, Sprouts are must-have for a healthy brain. They all improve blood flow and keep the brain function running smoothly. Lighlty steamed vegetables with spices like cumin, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper are of great benefit. You can also opt for fatty fish like salmon and organic eggs.


The Don’ts of Brain Diet

  1. Limit Sugars and Carbs

Carbohydrates and sugars are not essential for healthy brain function. They can turn off or short-circuit brain signals. So watch out for the hidden sugars, wheat and other starchy off food in order to keep your mind fit.


  1. Avoid Alcohol, Smoking, and Tobacco

They can give instant sense gratification but cause grave damage to the brain tissue especially the frontal lobes. As a result, important functions such as problem-solving, reasoning, abstraction, planning, short-term memory, and emotional regulation take a beating.


  1. Watch out for Caffeine

The stimulants in caffeine can aggravate the Vata and Pitta Doshas. Instead of keeping a steady stream of focus, your thoughts can jump from one to the next. It messes with your important brain receptors so it’s best to stay away from it.


Eating healthy is the right way to keep the brain active as you age. This all-important organ uses 20% of the body’s daily intake, so nurture your think tank with the right nutrition.

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