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4 Steps for Better Brain Health & Function

4 Steps for Better Brain Health & Function

This post was sponsored by Neuriva®, a holistic brain-health regimen to help support brain performance. All thoughts and opinions presented here are my own.

Feeling like your brain could use a little spring cleaning? Let's make room for focus, memory, and clarity with these fun and effective steps! It's never too early—or too late to care for your brain.

Foods that help your brain include nutrient-dense, whole, and minimally processed vegetables and fruits, grains, fiber, lean proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, including brain boosting omega 3-s, phytonutrients like polyphenols, and pre- and pro-biotics. These foods provide vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, increase blood flow, and promote a healthy gut, all of which impact brain health. We’ll get into more specifics below!

Step 1: Eat at Consistent Meal Times for a Diet to Improve Memory

Picture this: starting your day with a healthy breakfast that tastes amazing and kickstarts your brain into high gear. Research shows that eating regular meals, especially breakfast, can help support your memory performance. (1, 2) 

Skipping meals means you miss a critical opportunity to increase the diversity of nutrients in your diet! Studies show that most people aren’t able to make up for the nutrients they missed at breakfast later in the day. Many of these missed nutrients are essential for your brain health. So, start your day with nutrient-dense choices that get your brain and body off to a smart start.

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Lunch

Skipping lunch may have immediate consequences on cognition. Even restricting food at lunch below a healthy required intake can diminish cognition. (3) This shows that even small changes in how much you eat can affect your thinking. You may think skipping a meal could help with weight loss; however, multiple studies have shown that skipping breakfast is associated with an increased risk of obesity. (4)

The Importance of Meal Planning for Memory

If your goal is to eat a diet to improve memory—meal planning can help you consistently enjoy a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Making dinner the lightest meal can improve sleeping, which also supports brain health. Establishing a meal-planning routine doesn't have to entail extensive cooking sessions. By combining homemade meals with store- bought options and occasional takeout, you can minimize meal preparation time and associated stress while promoting healthier eating habits!

Steps to Take to Avoid Skipping Meals:

  • Compile a list of 5-go-to healthy meals you can order for takeout when  you’re in a time crunch.

  • Jot down five healthy meals you can make in under 15 minutes, and keep these ingredients stocked. These can include store-bought beans, frozen or canned vegetables, vacuumed-packed quinoa, lean grilled chicken, and other healthy convenience foods with no synthetic ingredients added.

  • Cook once, eat three times. Pre-prepare and freeze your favorite meals, which you don’t always have time to make from scratch! You can also look for pre-prepared options in the produce or frozen section that you can keep on hand for convenience.

Step 2: Choose Foods that Help Your Brain

Revamp your Plate with brainy bites and choose foods that help your brain—ever heard of the MIND diet? It's like a love letter to your brain, packed with leafy greens, berries, whole grains, olive oil, and other delicious brain-boosting goodies. Learn simple steps you can take to work towards this brain-healthy diet.

Food Ideas that Help Your Brain

  • Enjoy hummus on 100% whole wheat pita for a satisfying and nutritious snack and a glass of black tea (rich in polyphenols).

  • Delight in whole wheat couscous drizzled with olive oil (rich in polyphenols), lemon (rich in polyphenols), roasted garlic (rich in prebiotics), and cooked leafy greens for a flavorful and brain-boosting meal.

  • Indulge in a mini smoothie crafted from frozen blueberries and cherries (rich in polyphenols), walnuts and flax meal (rich in a form of omega-3), a handful of baby spinach leaves, and low-fat kefir milk (rich in probiotics). This refreshing and nutrient-rich option supports your brain health.

Step 3: Avoid Excess Sugar

Say goodbye to sugar crashes and hello to sweet, sweet mental clarity! Cutting back on refined sugars can do wonders for your cognitive function. Let's ditch those sugar-laden snacks and opt for natural sweetness. 

Americans consumes excessive refined sugar, displacing essential nutrient-dense foods that help with memory and are rich in micronutrients and phytonutrients crucial for protecting neurons, the fundamental units of the brain. Phytonutrients are plant-based compounds that serve as antioxidants; micronutrients are essential vitamins and minerals. Excessive sugar intake, particularly from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), has been linked to diminished cognitive performance and cognitive disorders. (5,6) 

Research Around Excess Sugar and Memory

A study involving 1938 participants aged 60 years or older revealed that those consuming the most sugar compared to other groups (125+ g/day) were independently associated with higher odds of low memory performance. Additionally, consuming sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) was linked to a higher risk of low memory. (5)

Americans Exceed Recommend Sugar Intake

The Dietary Guidelines recommend that no more than 10% of your diet should come from sugar (this does not count sugar from fruit). Sugar displaces micronutrient needs, which many Americans fall short of, and is vital for brain health and disease prevention. (7,8) 

The average sugar intake per day is 19 tsp in men and 15 tsp in women. (9) Based on a 2000-calorie diet, 10% would mean no more than 200 calories which is around 50 grams or 11-12 tsp of sugar per day. I recommend working towards 5-6 tsp of sugar per day, to allow more room for foods that help with memory. Excess sugar negatively impacts mood, learning, and memory, as evidenced by animal studies correlating excess sugar consumption with memory impairment and cognitive decline. (10)

Steps to Cut Back on Sugar 

  • Begin by reading labels, comparing products, and opting for the healthiest overall with the least amount of sugar.

  • Cut refined table sugar and incorporate 2-3 servings of fruit into your diet.

  • Transform fruit into a delightful dessert, such as baked oranges seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla extract. It's like dessert for your brain! 

Remember, fruits are not the enemy; they play a pivotal role in curbing sweet cravings, enhancing brain-protective phytonutrients, and mitigating weight gain.

Step 4: Consider a Brain Health Supplement to Support Focus -

Elevate your focus with smart supplements. Unlock your cognitive potential with Neuriva®, a leading memory enhancer supplement designed to bridge nutritional gaps. Sometimes, even the healthiest diet needs a little extra boost.

All Neuriva® supplements are formulated with key ingredients like Neurofactor® and phosphatidylserine, which support brain health and performance. Whether you need a mental edge at work or seek sharper concentration in daily life, Neuriva can be a valuable tool in your toolbox. 

Steps to Choose the Best Brain Supplement for You: 

  • First, think about your specific cognitive goals and unique needs, then consult each of Neuriva®’s brain health indicators to make an informed decision.

  • For example, Neuriva® Ultra is ideal for those who want to support mental alertness. It features CogniVive, a clinically tested extract of Alpinia Galanga, which enhances alertness and focus without the need for caffeine. Studies suggest that CogniVive interacts with neurotransmitters like dopamine and acetylcholinesterase, further supporting mental alertness. (11)

Here's a Breakdown of Neuriva's Product Range:

  • Neuriva® Original: Supports focus, memory, learning, accuracy, and concentration*.

  • Neuriva® Plus: With double the Neurofactor, it supports focus, memory, learning, concentration, reasoning, and accuracy. Plus, it includes essential B vitamins.

  • Neuriva® Ultra: Formulated with Neurofactor, phosphatidylserine, B vitamins, and CogniVive™, it enhances focus, memory, learning, concentration, reasoning, accuracy, and mental alertness. It also supports mental alertness from just one serving. * 

Remember, supplements work best when complemented by a holistic approach to brain health, including nutrient-dense food choices, sufficient sleep, regular exercise, and mentally stimulating activities. By taking these steps, you can embark on a journey to embrace heightened focus, memory, and clarity. Start with one healthy habit today and witness your brain blossom into its brightest self! 

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

‡Neuriva is a dietary supplement that is intended to be taken daily to achieve the product benefits. 


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  2. López-Sobaler, Ana M ª et “Importance of breakfast in the nutritional and health improvement of the population.” Hospital Nutrition vol. 35,Spec No6 3-6. 7 Sep. 2018, doi:10.20960/nh.2278

  3. Datta, Nandini et al. “Meal skipping and cognition along a spectrum of restrictive eating.” Eating behaviors 39 (2020): 101431. doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2020.101431

  4. Ma, Xiumei et al. “Skipping breakfast is associated with overweight and obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Obesity research & clinical practice 14,1 (2020): 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.orcp.2019.12.002

  5. Gomes Gonçalves, Natalia et al. “Different Sources of Sugar Consumption and Cognitive Performance in Older Adults: Data From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2014.” The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences 78,4 (2023): 620-628. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbac186

  6. Liu, Huiyuan et “Meta-analysis of sugar-sweetened beverage intake and the risk of cognitive disorders.” Journal of affective disorders vol. 313 (2022): 177-185. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2022.06.048

  7. Reider, Carroll A et “Inadequacy of Immune Health Nutrients: Intakes in US Adults, the 2005-2016 NHANES.” Nutrients vol. 12,6 1735. 10 Jun. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12061735

  8. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Second National Report on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition in the U.S. Population 2012. Atlanta (GA): National Center for Environmental Health; April 2012.

  9. "Added Sugars." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Accessed 8 May 2024.

  1. Reichelt, Amy C et al. “Impact of adolescent sucrose access on cognitive control, recognition memory, and parvalbumin ” Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) vol. 22,4 215-24. 16 Mar. 2015, doi:10.1101/lm.038000.114

  2. Sivanandan, Santhy, and Surekha "Molecular Docking Studies of Alpinia galanga Phytoconstituents for Psychostimulant Activity." Advances in Biological Chemistry, vol. 8, no. 4, 2018, pp. 49-57, doi:10.4236/abc.2018.84006.
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