Best Thanksgiving Foods for Your Brain

By on November 5, 2020
thanksgiving foods

Thanksgiving foods… What a glorious thought as we roll into November! While we may be looking forward to the mass amounts of comfort foods (and the nap that always follows), have you asked yourself how those foods are contributing to our overall health. We all know someone that needs to adjust their belt on Thanksgiving, but what we consume is important!

Incorporating foods that promote heart and gut health is a popular option during the holidays. But did you know that many thanksgiving favorites actually support brain health? 

LivingBetter50 has a few Thanksgiving foods to make sure is on your holiday menu. These 3 foods can help boost brain health and keep your Thanksgiving meal undeniably delicious.    

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Turkey has long been a forerunner in the brain health game. It is a good source of zinc which is an essential mineral for learning and memory. It’s a great protein source that helps to regulate blood sugar, which is central to brain health. Turkey is a great choice to improve tryptophan (an amino acid for brain function) which is a precursor to serotonin (the happy chemical) and then melatonin to help you sleep. 

Turkey is the biggest culprit for our Thanksgiving naps!

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are great for brain health! They are rich in vitamins B6, Folate, A, Fiber, and Niacin which are nutrient cofactors or precursors to your neurotransmitters (mood chemicals).  Sweet potatoes are also high in antioxidants (preventing or slowing the damage to cells caused by free radicals). The high antioxidants make sweet potatoes great for your immune function.  Though they are a sweet treat, because they are rich in fiber they actually help to control blood sugar which is central to brain health.

Be sure to eat a lot of sweet potatoes this Thanksgiving to boost your immunity and help in the fight against COVID-19.


Cranberries are known to be neuroprotective (protecting nerve cells against damage). Polyphenols (micronutrients) in cranberries have been found to ultimately protect the gut microbiota. They also provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions throughout the brain and body.  Gut health and inflammation have been linked to mood disorders and brain health making cranberries a great choice at the holiday table. 

We all look forward to a Thanksgiving meal with a happy, healthy family!

With Thanksgiving 2020, being a Thanksgiving like none other, LivingBetter50 hopes that you can enjoy the holiday and be refreshed. We have a lot to be thankful for this year, and we are here to share in the joy of the season!

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Best Thanksgiving Foods for Your Brain