How can my nutrition affect my memory?

gay riley
Nutrition & Dietetics
It has already been mentioned that food specifically glucose is vital for brain function, since the brain uses glucose for energy. There are also other ways that food affects the brain and mood. Some foods affect the neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are compounds in the brain that affect mood, alertness, calmness, focus, etc. and are in large part, related to the foods we eat. Protein in the meal aids in the production of dopamine, a chemical that promotes alertness and focus. That is why it is vitally important to give children a good source of protein for breakfast so they can concentrate better in school. Carbohydrates and starches produce a chemical called serotonin, which is calming. At the dinner meal eating a good starchy vegetable can calm the body for sleep. Tryptophan found in turkey increases serotonin in the brain and can help some people with sleep. Choline is a precursor for acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter involved in muscle control, memory, and many other functions. Choline in the form of phospotidyl choline is found in eggs, milk, liver, and peanuts.

A note about omega 3 fatty acids. DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid found in the brain's grey matter. Studies have shown depletion of DHA can result in learning disabilities. DHA, along with EPA, ALA, particularly, along with other essential fats are crucial for the fetal neurological and visual development. Sufficient brain DHA has shown some protective affect against Alzheimer’s. Studies have concluded that EPA/DHA has been beneficial in reducing symptoms of depression and some promise in helping with symptoms of unipolar and bipolar depression. Therefore, eat fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, halibut and tuna. Good sources of ALA are flaxseeds, walnuts, soybean oil, and tofu. Make sure your omega 3 supplement has both DHA and EPA.
Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine

Nutrition is also important for the brain. Your brain depends completely on glucose for its fuel because it does not have the ability to break down fat or protein. It goes through a lot of glucose when you are concentrating hard. So don't skip meals. In fact, it's best for your brain when you eat small, frequent meals. Keep your blood sugar level even by eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, as well as in walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil, are also thought to have some benefit to the brain, perhaps because of their anti-inflammatory effect.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.