What we eat can directly impact our risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The answer to the common question of “how can I prevent this ?” can be found in your own refrigerator.

These are five foods a Harvard nutritionist and brain expert recommended to CNBC to sharpen your memory and focus.

1. Extra dark chocolate

Extra dark chocolate has properties that help preserve brain cell health, reduce brain inflammation, and prevent cognitive decline. Naidoo suggests the chocolate should be at least 70% cacao and its serving size should sit at around 45 grams per week in order to be effective.

2. Berries

Berries have nutrients that help retain memory and reduce brain inflammation. Naidoo recommends a variety in berry colors, in order to reduce anxiety symptoms and help fight off neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. She usually suggests people consume a half or full cup per day.

3. Turmeric (with black pepper)


Turmeric, a spice, helps with both anti-inflammation and reducing anxiety. When mixed with black pepper, it becomes active and present in your body at a faster pace. To consume turmeric, you can prepare dishes like rice, potatoes, or oatmeal.

4. Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens are abundant in benefits, such as vitamin B, supporting both neurodevelopment and brain functions. Some of Naidoo’s favorite leafy greens are Arugula, Spinach, and Watercress. Other options include pasta or burritos.

5. Fermented foods


Fermented foods can improve your brain functions and boost the health of your gut. Naidoo suggests food like homemade kimchi, miso, and yogurt to add these foods to your diet. However, with fermented foods, less is more. They can often make people bloated, so cutting back on them is ideal.

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