Super-brainy super-athletes like Wimbledon champ Marion Bartoli (with an IQ of 175), Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (who scored 1580 on his SAT), and former New York Knicks' forward, U.S. Senator, and Rhodes Scholar Bill Bradley have all used their smarts to figure out what's good and bad in their diets.
Research shows that the foods you choose have a big impact on the structure and health of your brain, influencing how it functions and how it maintains its sharpness over time.
Some foods — especially the saturated fat in red meat — can make you feel sluggish and slow your reaction time. Others support both short- and long-term brain function.
For example, omega-3s (found in salmon and sea trout) increase blood flow in the brain. That may help protect against some forms of dementia.
Other polyphenols — especially the antioxidants that are found in blueberries, dark chocolate, artichokes, spinach, orange vegetables, and strawberries — promote new neural connections, boosting memory and learning while lowering inflammation, which can contribute to cognitive problems and increase risk of stroke.
Nuts are loaded with brain-loving inflammation fighters like vitamin E and omega-3s.
According to a study published in the journal Practical Neurology, drinking up to five cups of coffee daily can help protect your brain from cognitive decline, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and stroke.
For a more comprehensive list of tasty brain foods, watch Dr. Mike's Public Broadcasting Service special "What to Eat When and How to Do Intermittent Fasting Right," or read that section in his book, "What To Eat When."