While food is the fuel for our body and muscles, eating a healthy diet has the potential to aid in maintaining brain fitness and improving mental function [1,2]. On the other hand, mid-life obesity  or high blood pressure  pose a serious risk for developing dementia and a balanced dietary regimen in adult life should be adopted not only as preventive measures of these conditions but also in the scope of protecting neurons from prolonged damage.
Eating a balanced diet that includes at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is thought to contribute to risk reduction. A typical Mediterranean diet is often considered to be a brain-healthy diet . This typically involves:
- eating protein in the form of oily fish (high in brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids), nuts, pulses or beans, eggs, poultry and lean meat, avoiding large quantities of red meat.
- eating good amounts of fruit and vegetables (5 portions is a good starting aim and even seven to ten portion is recommended by some).
- steering clear of large amounts of sugar and salt
- Consuming less saturated fat and more monounsaturated fat (such as that found in olive oil and in oil from nuts and seeds)
- switching to eating whole grain, bread and pasta
- a glass of wine is a common part of a Mediterranean meal-time. One glass of wine a day may be beneficial for brain health. Excessive consumption of alcohol is to be discouraged in maintaining brain fitness.
 Gómez-Pinilla F. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nat Rev Neurosci 2008;9:568–78.
 McEvoy CT, Hoang T, Sidney S, Steffen LM, Jacobs DR, Shikany JM, et al. Dietary patterns during adulthood and cognitive performance in midlife: The CARDIA study. Neurology 2019;92:e1589–99.
 Ott A, Stolk RP, Hofman A, van Harskamp F, Grobbee DE, Breteler MMB. Association of Diabetes Mellitus and Dementia: The Rotterdam Study. Diabetologia 1996.
 Association of Midlife to Late-Life Blood Pressure Patterns With Incident Dementia | Dementia and Cognitive Impairment | JAMA | JAMA Network n.d. (website accessed February 21, 2020).
 Scerri NV and C. Mediterranean Diet and Dementia of the Alzheimer Type. Current Aging Science 2013. (website accessed February 21, 2020).
For further advice on maintaining brain fitness, we recommend the following reading: