Eating to Fuel Your Brain

Discussions around leading a healthy lifestyle are often centered around body health. This includes how to maintain a healthy weight or improve stamina or strength. The same conversations can readily encompass brain health, including our topic for this article — eating to fuel your brain.

There are multiple ways to lead a brain healthy lifestyle. Improving any or all of them is a desirable goal for adults of any age. This is a regular conversation among older adult health advocates and in places where holistic wellness is of particular focus.

Here are six basic areas toward a brain healthy lifestyle:
  1. Eating a healthy diet
  2. Get active, keep moving
  3. Good quality sleep
  4. Stress management
  5. Get social
  6. Challenge your brain

In many corners of the wellness industry, a Mediterranean diet is considered to be the most desirable approach to regular eating habits. And it makes perfect sense as many of the same foods are encouraged for eating to fuel your brain.

The list of those foods is considered to be:
  • Lean proteins such as fish and poultry
  • Healthy fats, unsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil
  • Eat your veggies, especially green leafy vegetables
  • Foods rich in omega‐3 fatty acids, B vitamins and antioxidants, including whole grains, berries, tea, coffee and nuts

To tempt you into enjoying a brain healthy meal at home, try this chicken recipe provided by Anthony Sochowicz, Regional Executive Chef, Morrison Living. Chef Anthony is pictured above with fellow presenters sharing about brain healthy foods.

Chipotle Quinoa Bowl 
Chipotle quinoa bowl

Chipotle quinoa bowl


Chicken breast, grilled
Adobo sauce
Quinoa, cooked
½ cup lettuce-romaine, cleaned, chopped
¼ cup beans, pinto, drained
½ avocado sliced
1 TBSP pico de gallo
1 TBSP shredded cheddar cheese


Prepare quinoa, adobo sauce and pico de gallo per additional recipes or purchase your favorite brand ready made

Cut lettuce into desired topping size
Drain and rinse can of pinto beans, reserve amount needed
Peel and slice avocado into desired topping size
Grill chicken in grill pan or on barbecue grill
Use brush to baste chicken with adobo sauce while grilling, until chicken is cooked to 165-degree internal temperature
Transfer chicken to clean cutting board and cut into bite sized pieces
Place chicken in bowl, add lettuce, beans, avocado, pico de gallo, cheese and quinoa.  Arrange separately (for a deconstructed look) or mix together, whichever you prefer.

 Side recipes:


1 C dry quinoa
1 ¾ C water
Pinch of salt


Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer.  Combine rinsed quinoa, water and salt in medium pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover, simmer for 15 minutes.

Adobo sauce

¼ C chili powder
1 Roma tomato chopped
2 TBSP cider vinegar
1 TBSP brown sugar
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp each of salt, cumin, cinnamon, pepper and allspice


Combine all ingredients in small food processor.  Blend until a smooth paste forms.  If necessary, add warm water to blend. Simmer puree in medium saucepan for 2-3 minutes to deepen flavor.  Stir constantly to avoid scorching.  Reserve for later use.

Pico de gallo

½ C diced tomato
¼ C diced onion
½ TBSP chopped cilantro, fresh
1 TBSP lime juice, fresh
To taste: salt & pepper


Toss all ingredients together lightly.  Reserve for later use.

Download PDF with recipes here: Eating to fuel your brain