The standard American diet has been found to be deficient in fiber, vitamin B’s and amino acids. These three key nutrients are essential for the brain and for better memory.

Researchers have however claimed that eating spinach can help address this big problem in the American diet!

The western diet is rich in unhealthy fats, carbs, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. All these ingredients themselves cause depletion of B vitamins in your body.


Taking just 1 cup of spinach daily can give you 65% of your recommended daily allowance of folate and 20% of vitamin B6.

Here are the main reasons why spinach is a brain food.


Spinach is rich in folate which is a great nutrient for the brain. This vitamin B works as a memory healer.

It works by synthesizing and regulating chemicals called neurotransmitters in your brain.

If you suffer folate deficiency, it can cause many mental problems with symptoms like:

  • Mental fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Dementia
  • Depression

According to study in Australia that involved over 200 women, eating foods rich in vitamin B6 and folate (both found in spinach) can help in improving your short-term memory and mental abilities.

Another brain benefit of folate is in fighting inflammation. Inflammation has been known to cause harm to your organs, especially the brain.

It helps in lowering homocysteine in the brain. This is a harmful amino acid that causes inflammation in the body.

A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry shows that high levels of this compound can cause disruption of the functioning of neurotransmitters. This can cause serious cognitive decline.


You may not have heard about L-tyrosine, mostly because it is found in very rare number of foods.

Spinach is rich in it and this nutrient helps in boosting your mental focus. This amino acid is crucial for the synthesis of the type of neurotransmitters which are required for ensuring alertness and focus of the brain. One of these neurotransmitters is dopamine. It is also beneficial for maintaining your mood.

The other neurotransmitter (norepinephrine) helps improve your learning abilities and memory.

Take 1 cup of spinach and it will give you up to 20% of your daily allowance of L-tyrosine.

Fighting Dementia

It is well known how important vegetables are for your overall health. it is recommended to get a larger portion of calories and nutrients from fruits and veggies. Taking just one portion of spinach can help you fight dementia.

A 10-year research study conducted at the Rush University, Chicago involved 950 old people. They were studied for their diet and their mental abilities.


These subjects averaged 81 years and took 19 tests for evaluating mental function (from a total of 144).

The people who consumed leafy green veggies including spinach and kale 1-2 times a day were found have lesser cognitive decline compared to those who didn’t take leafy greens.

In fact, a stunning discovery was made in this study. The spinach and green leafy-eating participants virtually stopped their mental decline by a staggering average of 11 years. The findings left the researchers and the medical community amazed.

According to Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D. of the university decline in cognitive ability is at the heart of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. She recommends increasing the intake of leafy greens.

According to her it is an affordable and simple way to protect the brain against these cognitive conditions. The benefits have been attributed to the high concentration of nutrients and vitamins including lutein, vitamin K, beta-carotene, and folate.

You should not just include spinach into your diet, but also other leafy greens like kale and collards. All these veggies can together help in further slowing down the degenerative process. Many other studies have also shown that beta-carotene and folate are great foods for the brain. But with this Rush University study, it has been a big leap forward for the medical community.