9 Great Ways to Feed Your Brain – Video with Marc David

Interested in looking at brain nutrition and brain health in a whole new way? The brain is one of our favorite and most important organs, and yet it’s often overlooked when it comes to how to best feed it, care for it, and keep it functioning at a high level. Marc David, author, Nutritional Psychology expert, and founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating delivers a lively, engaging, straight to the point, and results oriented presentation about how to love on your brain. Expect a lot of useful information in a brief amount of time. We think your brain will feel very uplifted by this video!

Prefer to read this article as a PDF download?
Just enter your info below and we’ll send it to you right now!

In the comments below, please let us know: What’s your favorite way to feed your brain? We love hearing your thoughts!

Here is a transcript of this week’s video:

Greetings, friends. This is Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Today’s topic — nine great ways to feed your brain. These days, brain health is a no-brainer. Of all the organ systems in the body, it seems that in the nutrition universe the brain has never truly received the attention it deserves. The brain is a super sensitive organ. Brain tissue is literally the most protected in the body. The brain is encased in your skull. Talk about some pretty hard and tough protection! We also have this thing called the blood brain barrier. This is a set of fantastic chemical and physiologic barriers that are exquisitely designed to protect the brain from anything in the bloodstream that would harm it.

Evolution clearly understands that this all-important organ needs to be nurtured and safeguarded at all costs. These days, we live under a tremendous amount of nutritional and environmental pressure, all of which impact the brain in a very intense way. So here’s my list of nine great ways to feed your brain, many of which you might not have considered brain food.

#1 — EFA’s, Essential Fatty Acids

If there was one single foodstuff that is arguably one of the most important for brain health, brain nutrition, and optimal brain functions, it’s essential fatty acids — in particular omega 3 and in particular DHA. These substances have been shown to have absolutely profound effects when it comes to recovery from brain disease or trauma and when it comes to optimum cognitive function. If you only supplemented your diet with one brain food, that’s it.

# 2 — Sleep

Sleep is arguably the most underrated of all brain health strategies. Every bit of research that’s ever been done on brain health and sleep is clear. Lack of sleep equals lack of cognitive function. Lack of sleep impacts memory, brain performance, learning ability, retention of information, and mood. Long term sleep deprivation can lead to all sorts of cognitive challenges and literal changes in brain physiology. If you want to help the brain, get some sleep.

#3 — Herbs

There are all sorts of over the counter supplements that one can take for brain health. Allow me to make it easy for you – herbs. For most people, you can’t go wrong with herbs. They are simply plants that we’ve evolved with over eons of time that have stood the test of human evolution. There’s a stunning amount of research on the impact of certain herbs on brain health. The common household herbs to take that impact brain function, nervous system transmission, increased oxygenation in the brain, and decreased inflammation include turmeric, oregano, ginger, garlic, and rosemary.

#4 — No Sugar

Of all the foods to let go of when it comes to brain health, sugar is arguably number one. Just as the consumption of this substance over time can cause insulin resistance, which means diabetes, so too can it literally cause insulin resistance in the brain. The brain becomes more inflamed and less functional. Eliminate this food as best you can from the diet, and your brain will be happy.

#5 — Learning

How’s that for a brain food? Learning is literally exercise for the brain. It’s as if you’re taking every brain cell and giving it some weights to lift and a nice treadmill to run on. The brain loves new pathways, new input, novel information. It’s hungry to learn. The more the brain learns, the stronger it becomes and the more it can stay on the top of its game well into your later years. Don’t get lazy — keep learning.

#6 — Filtered Water

More and more our water supply is filled with substances that adversely impact brain health. Perhaps the most important substance to protect yourself against that’s found in our water supply is fluoride. Do your own research, please. One Harvard study showed that in areas of more water fluoridation, the IQs of children are significantly decreased. There are countries and countries all over that are letting go of this absolutely bizarre practice of putting a neurotoxin in the water. For long term brain health, clean up your water, please.

#7 — Oxygen

Oxygen is the brain’s most vital nutrient. Increased oxygen rejuvenates brain cells, wakes them up, repairs them, strengthens them, and increases their overall function in a big way. The future of treating brain disease is in part finding ways to oxygenate the brain more fully. One of the great ways you could do this right now is by this thing called exercise. Move your body through space. Take deep breaths. Get outside where the air has more oxygen. Hike. Run. Walk. Bike. Swim. Whatever gets you taking in more air. Even doing some simple deep breathing or yogic practices is a powerful way each day to oxygenate your brain and get it functioning better. The beauty of oxygen — it’s free.

# 8 — Meditation

The volume of research on meditation when it comes to creating coherency between the two brain hemispheres, increasing our ability to learn and bettering our mood is stunning. Even meditating for ten to fifteen minutes a day has been shown to increase overall brain functioning. Just as physical exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system and the muscular foundation of the body, so does meditation strengthen the brain.

#9 — Higher Power

There’s not a lot of research on brain function and our connection to a higher power, but in my own personal experience it makes a huge difference. I believe that the future of brain research will show that not everything that happens in the brain comes from the brain. Have you ever had moments of a flash of insight or ideas and images that seem like they came from elsewhere? My postulation here is that when we tune into a higher power, when we begin to access higher intelligence of the universe, the brain is actually your receiving station for all kinds of frequencies that emanate from an unseen place. The only way to know that this is true or possible is to test it out. Each of us is quite smart in our own ways, but the intelligence that created everything we see before us, including the known universe is probably just a wee bit smarter. Why not tune into that source of brain power? Just talking about brain health feels like it’s making my brain feel healthier. I like that.

I hope this was helpful, my friends.

To learn more, go to psychologyofeating.com. The Institute for the Psychology of Eating offers the most innovative and inspiring professional trainings, public programs, conference, online events, and much more. Through our Eating Psychology Coach Certification training, you can grow a new career and help your clients break through the most compelling eating challenges of our times. If you’re focused on your own eating and health, the Institute offers a great selection of one-of-a-kind opportunities to take a big leap forward in your relationship with food.

We are proud to be international leaders in online and live educational events that are designed to create the breakthroughs you want most. Our professional and public programs are powerful, results-oriented, and embrace all of who we are as eaters. I’m talking body, mind, heart, and soul.

For questions, you can always email us at info@psychologyofeating.com. We’ll be sure to get back to you real soon.

This is Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Thank you so much for your time and interest.

In the comments below, please let us know: What’s your favorite way to feed your brain? We love hearing your thoughts!


The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss

Get My Book!

Get Your FREE Video Series

New Insights to Forever Transform Your Relationship with Food

P.S. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our FREE information packed video series – The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough – you can sign up for it HERE. It’s a great way to get a better sense of the work we do here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. If you’re inspired by this work and want to learn about how you can become certified as an Eating Psychology Coach, please go HERE to learn more. And if you’re interested in working on your own personal relationship with food, check out our breakthrough 8-week program designed for the public – Transform Your Relationship with Food™ HERE

  • Arielle Brown

    IPE TV is great! So glad that you guys are expanding in this way. And it’s just great to see your smiling and inspired faces more often. 🙂

    • Hi Arielle,

      Thanks for tuning in!


  • hi again, marc!!
    what a lovely idea and you are a NATURAL!!! what lovely service you are doing for the planet!!!
    again i so much enjoyed your recent summit….
    wishing you only the very best that this lifetime has to offer!!!

    many thanks again!!

    • Hi Eileen,

      Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your kind words. You made my day! I’m glad you enjoyed the videos and the conference. Stay tuned, we have more exciting things on the way…


  • Ted Niedzielak

    Hey Marco! Thank you for sharing and being such a great encouragement to me. I was able to catch several of the interviews from the last Psychology of Eating Conference. My favorite was with Dr. Jonny! Both of you guys are SO cool!!

    If I may please make a suggestion for future consideration? Like many who are connected with you here, I believe that I’m along the learning curve a bit when it comes to nutrition and natural health. I think it would be beneficial if you could go into specifics a little bit more.

    For instance, you mentioned EFA’s and herbs for the promotion of proper brain function. Perhaps you could recommend specific herbs along with specific fatty foods/supplements that would be beneficial?

    As for me Marc, I was on psychiatric drugs exactly 30 years to the month. They gave me an antidepressant when I was a confused 18 y/o trying to transition to adulthood. Side effect of anxiety which led to an anxiolytic. More depression which led to a 2nd antidepressant, the 2nd anti-anxiety drug. It culminated a couple years ago with 5 hospitalizations in 1 year and the addition of an anti-psychotic drug and a so called mood stabilizer. (6 psych drugs).

    Marc, long story short, as they say. I totally changed my diet. It included dumping the gluten and all processed food. Eating organic fruit/veg & grass-fed/pasture raised meats. And here’s what I did additionally to heal my brain:

    High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on my elliptical machine or stationary bike.
    Deep dependence on the LORD God.
    Further engaging my mind/emotions in a positive way through deep study of nutrition/health as well as the spiritual.
    And here’s what I did nutritionally:
    Juicing & blending of nutrient dense veggies including eating organic salads.
    Vitamin D totally Rocks! I get my level checked every year. No more depression at all nor the winter blues.
    Also, Salmon oil (Wholemega from New Chapter), ALA, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Magnesium L-Threonate (crosses blood/brain barrier) and 5-HTP. (I love my Mg Glycinate!). It took me 5 months to SLOWLY taper off the 6 psych meds and these supplements surely helped.

    Marc, I’ve been off the psych drugs now for nearly 15 months and I can’t believe how well I feel. No depression, no mood swings and no feelings of insecurity or paranoia about the future.

    Oh, one more supplement please that has helped my cognition. An herb called, Bacopa Monnieri (“BaCognize”). This rather inexpensive herb has very noticeably improved my memory. For example, someone can tell me something one time and it sticks with me. I used to always have to write a note to myself before, such as when going on an errand.

    Well Marc, if you made it this far down my correspondence, I did have a question.

    As I mentioned, I had been taking salmon fish oil as a source of the EFA’s. But, now with all of the radiation from Fukushima, all the ocean life in the Pacific Ocean is contaminated with radiation. I recently heard on the radio that the salmon population was down 75% since the Fukushima disaster.

    So Marc, could you recommend an alternative source of EFA’s that wouldn’t be contaminated?

    Thank you & God Bless!, Ted Niedzielak from Chicago 🙂

    • Hi Ted,

      Thank you for taking the time to reach out and share your story. It sounds like you have been through a lot, but that you are on a great path to a healthier life now.

      I’m glad that you enjoyed the last conference, and that you are actively taking your health into your own hands through all the research you are doing.

      In regards to the fish oil, I don’t have a specific recommendation. I’d suggest to do as much research as you can to make sure the source is a good one.

      You might want to check out the company called Nordic Naturals. They have excellent fish oil products that I believe are sourced mostly from clean ocean sources. Good luck with everything going forward and thanks again for reaching out!


  • Marlyse Kusik

    This was very good info but the music was much too loud – I like soft music that can go with info but the loudness you had with the info turns people off and reinforces a hectic day. MK.

    • Hi Marlyse,

      Thank you for reaching out with your comment. We will keep that in mind for future recordings.


  • Rae s cox

    Thanks for all of your helpful information. I love all of your videos. I am 84 years young and do my best to stay healthy. There is much that I do not know therefore you are a big help. I do try to eat healthy and I do keep my body moving. Thanks.

    • Hi Rae,

      I’m glad that you are connecting with our work, and that you enjoyed the videos.

      Keep on moving 🙂


  • Beautiful video (aesthetically and in terms of information). I love that exercise and deep breathing is on the list. Love your stuff!

    • Hi Brianne,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the video, it’s always nice to know what our audience connects with!

      Thank you for reaching out with your kind words.


  • Andrea

    Excellent ! I’m a big fan and close follower of the IPE work. But I’d suggest to turn off the music in the video. I’m probably a little more audio sensitive than average people, but I’d suggest you consider this info as more people could be negatively impacted. A huge congratulations for the brilliant work. Thanks.

    • Hi Andrea,

      Thank you for pointing that out. We will keep it in mind for our future videos.


  • Hi Marc,

    Find the talks so lively and engaging and a great way to present the material, particularly to a lay audience. Well done to you and Emily. Regarding your specific comments on tuning into a higher power. Although, I’m not sure about the concept of a higher intelligence and creation theory I do see where you’re coming from. Interestingly enough I attended a lunch time piano recital at the university yesterday and was stunned by the musician and how he just seemed to act as a conduit for some other force. You might even call it divine intervention. Just thought I’d share this with you.

    Best wishes – Danuta

    • Hi Danuta,

      Thank you for sharing that story. It’s amazing how often we can observe something like “divine intervention” if we just pay a little more attention.

      So glad you enjoyed the video, thank you for reaching out.


  • Vittoria

    Awesome video series!!! The videos are so well done. I love everything you and Emily do – keep up the amazing work. My goal is to come and join you guys at IPE someday – it’s in my 5-year plan:)

    • Hi Vittoria,

      Thanks for reaching out, and I am so glad you are enjoying the videos and our work here.

      We look forward to having you in our program when it works for you!


  • Sky

    Hi to all at the IPE!
    Thank you–this video presentation on 9 Great Ways to Feed the Brain is superb. Concise and inclusive of the numerous facets of the human environment that do indeed contribute to growing and keeping a healthy brain (in my opinion as a healthcare professional). I also really enjoyed listening to the music that you included in the background of your presentation; I found it to be uplifting and soothing. :-}
    Please keep sharing your information on the psychology of eating–what I am learning is powerful as well as empowering. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Sky,

      Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your kind words. I’m really glad you enjoyed the video and are connecting with our work here.


  • Diane

    Just loved this, Marc. I’m 64 and learning daily about myself,my body,spirit and environment. The brain is sooooooooo fascinating and this video was a great joy.. I’m very grateful to you and your team.

    • Hi Diane,

      The brain is endlessly interesting! So glad you enjoyed the video.

      Thank you for reaching out…


  • This is awesome! I love that you’re making videos and look forward to the next one. I’m grateful for access to your teachings, knowledge and insight. Thank you for making it available! I also really appreciate your postulation about our brain’s connection to higher power. Thank you for boldly speaking your truth!

    • Hi Natalie,

      So glad you are enjoying the videos!

      Thank you for reaching out…


  • Judy Epstein

    I feed my brain through all of what you wrote plus laughter/good vibes. Get’s those endorphins flowing. I love IPE’s work! Your recent online summit was great! I’ve been informally learning about nutrition and the body for over 40 years and it might be time to take the leap of your Coach Certification training.

    Thank you and your team for all they do.

  • Hi Judy,

    Endorphins do help in so many ways, thank you for bringing this up!

    So glad you are a part of the tribe, and we look forward to having you in the training when its the right time for you.


  • Hey narc – loved this video! Question – any recommendations on where to find better water? Is there a place we can order from that you might recommend? Thanks!

    • Hi Dani,

      So glad you liked the video! I don’t have any specific recommendations on better water. I would suggest to research local spring water delivery services in your area.

      Good luck, and thanks for reaching out…


  • Great post and video. I agree that 1-9 all help to keep the brain operating at optimal levels.

    • Hi Aqiyl,

      Glad you connected with the video. Thanks for reaching out…


  • Donna Gollenberg

    Hi Marc,
    Really enjoyed this brief, fun, and informative video on the brain. The music was rather “cutesy”, but I liked it! Thanks for what you do.


    • Hi Donna,

      So glad you enjoyed the video! Thanks for reaching out to let me know…


  • Susan

    I am really enjoying working my way through your videos. My question is: If sugar is bad, does that include the sugar in fruit and dried fruit? Some paleo diets say yes, some say no. What do you think?

    • Marc David

      Hi Susan,

      I’m glad you are enjoying the videos, thanks for letting me know!
      Everyone reacts differently to sugar, even natural sugar found within fruit. Experiment with how you feel when you eat it – maybe start a food journal to track how you feel after eating certain fruits, tracking what you eat, when you eat and how much you eat. See what your body is trying to tell you!

      Good luck!


  • Janie Cameron

    Hi Marc,
    Loved what you had to say & think it’s so true.
    As I am a Christian I believe the higher power is Jesus Christ the Son of God, it has so changed our lives but we are just normal people.
    Keep up the good work, regards Janie.

    • Hi Janie,

      Glad you connected with the video, and thanks for reaching out!


  • Thank you Marc. Your webinars are amazing. The amount of effort put in just shows and the information is fabulous.

    • Hi Lily,

      So glad you are enjoying the videos.

      Thanks for reaching out…


  • David Keeneyddd

    Excellent summary. I know this has been culled from a bazzillion choices/and many of them are very beneficial/helpful/nutritious as well. To pick these aspects took a lot of work to compile. And we all appreciate a superlative product/advice/et.al.

    Thank you.

    Here’s wishing you the Merriest of Christmases AND the Happiest of New Years

  • Hi David, Thanks so much for your kind words! Putting good work out into the world is always worth it 🙂 Happy and Healthy Holidays to you! Warmly, Marc

  • Michael A

    This is a good starter list, but there’s more that is missed. I’d add Acetyl L-Carnitine; N-Acetyl-Cysteine; berries like blueberries, blackberries and strawberries; powerhouse anti-oxidant astaxanthin; Lion’s Mane mushroom and the herb Bacopa. All those combined will really jet fuel your brain

About The Author
Marc David

Marc David is the Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, a leading visionary, teacher and consultant in Nutritional Psychology, and the author of the classic and best-selling works Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet. His work has been featured on CNN, NBC and numerous media outlets. His books have been translated into over 10 languages, and his approach appeals to a wide audience of eaters who are looking for fresh, inspiring and innovative messages about food, body and soul. He lectures internationally, and has held senior consulting positions at Canyon Ranch Resorts, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation, and the Disney Company. Marc is also the co-founder of the Institute for Conscious Sexuality and Relationship.