Eat, Drink and Be Wise
Think about it. What goes into your mouth also goes into your brain. And all those fats, proteins, carbohydrates and micronutrients in your food play an essential role in how well your brain functions.

1. The Skinny on Fatty Acids

Fatty acids appear to build brain cells that specialize in thinking and feeling. Scientists have found that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is important for brain development and function. One study revealed that healthy adults whose diets were the richest in omega-3 fatty acids had the most brain cells in three areas that regulate mood. Omega-3s are sometimes used to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least 2 times a week.

2. The Pros of Protein

Amino acids in foods rich in protein help build the neurotransmitters that allow brain cells to network and communicate, allowing you to change your mood and your mind. Excellent protein food sources include meats, poultry, fish and dairy. Egg yolks and milk are rich natural sources of choline, and research indicates that increasing choline intake in adulthood can improve memory.

3. The Power of Glucose

Glucose (blood sugar) provides the energy that fuels brain cells. Ingested carbohydrates (found in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and dairy products) turn into glucose in your bloodstream. As blood travels through your body it delivers a constant supply of glucose to the brain. If your glucose level drops, your thinking becomes confused. If your glucose level becomes too high, your cortisol levels become elevated--and high cortisol levels can impair memory. Elevated glucose levels can also cause cell damage throughout your body, including your brain.

4. The Macro Effect of Micronutrients

Micronutrients from fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that protect brain cells from damage and dysfunction by helping maintain a healthy balance of oxygen in your brain. The food with the highest concentration of antioxidants is chocolate. Red wine and green tea, blueberries, cranberries, black beans and spinach are also packed with the good stuff.

5. Eat Smart

As good as food is for your brain, keep a lid on high glycemic carbs like white bread and pretzels, which cause blood sugar to rise quickly, and don't overeat. Being overweight can lead to health complications.

For more information about brain food and health go to:

The Franklin Institute'

Johns Hopkins Medicine