|MadSci Network: Neuroscience|
Aloha, There are many things that can affect memory, and food/nutrition certainly is one of them. The quick answer is to eat a balanced and varied diet, with enough energy each day to keep your body (including your brain) functioning as good as it can. Now, the longer answer: Your brain needs an adequate supply of carbohydrate to function properly...that is for the blood glucose (sugar) to stay at a reasonable level, so that your brain has enough energy. There are also a number of compounds that are necessary for nervous impulses to be moved around the brain and then out to the rest of the body. These compounds are called 'neurotransmitters'...some of them are made from the protein that you eat in meat, eggs, milk, and dried peas and beans (like kidney beans, split peas, soy products). You also get a little bit of protein from breads, cereals, and other plant products (like vegetables). So, you need adequate protein in your diet, too, for your brain to work correctly. Some of the parts of protein can actually be made into carbohydrate, too, if you run short of carbohydrate stores in the body. When you were a baby, fat was also very important in your diet for your brain to complete its development. So either your mother's breast milk or the formula you were fed was quite high in fat...such that about 50% of the energy it contained was from fat. Some of that fat was used to complete the coverings of part of each nerve cell (called the 'myelin sheath'). The myelin sheath is sort of like the insulation found around electrical wires to keep them from shorting out when the current flows across them, instead of up or down them. You also need certain vitamins and minerals for your brain to function well...including iron...which is found mainly in meat products. Several of the vitamins are necessary to create those neurotransmitters that I mentioned before, like vitamin C. Now, to your question about eggs. Eggs contain protein (in the white), some fat (in the yolk), and a number of vitamins and minerals...including iron. So, yes, eggs are a reasonable food to eat to maintain your body's (and brain's) health...and help you think better. Also, the more you use your brain, the better your memory should be. Keeping the body/brain busy is what makes you stronger. Doing memory games (like crossword puzzles) and physical exercise helps, too. The physical exercise helps increase blood to all parts of the body, including the brain. And, of course, since I am a nutritionist, here at the University of Hawai`i/Manoa, I'm going to close with my recommendation to eat and enjoy a variety of plant and animal foods to make sure you get all the nutrients you need to keep your body/brain working well.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Neuroscience.