Does the quality of the food you eat make a difference to your physical health, and most importantly, your brain-power.


A diet that will keep your mind and body healthy needs to consist of foods that have specific value for the heart and cardiovascular system, the digestive system, the brain and nervous system.

General Principles

Eat fresh food wherever possible

Fresh food has the advantage of being 'complete' and containing more vitamins, minerals and nutrients than food which has been frozen or tinned.

Eat a diet rich in variety

A varied diet allows the body to select from a wider range of possibilities those things it particularly needs at any moment in time. Eating the same foods regularly, or the same foods on certain given days gives rise to the probability of a clogging of the system, or a depletion of some necessary element.

Look at yourself

On a regular basis, look at yourself naked in a mirror. Are you as healthy and fit as you should be? If not, take necessary action!

Listen to yourself

Much of our eating behaviour is habit. We often say 'yes' to everything we are offered: coffee, tea, biscuits, sweets. Let your body use its natural intelligence to select what it really needs.

A Good Basic Diet

Everyone needs a diet specifically tailored to their body chemistry, needs, and physical activities. However, there are certain food groups that make up a good basic diet from which individual variations can then be created.

Vegetables and Fruit

Vegetables should form the base of any healthy diet. They are rich in nutrients, and contain ample fibre for cleansing the digestive tract and keeping it muscularly fit and flexible. Fruit should also be included in a balanced diet.

Nuts, Seeds and Whole Grains

These are all highly concentrated sources of 'brain food'.


Fish has been traditionally considered the brain food. 60% of the brain is built from a specialised fat or liquid, most of which we cannot manufacture in our own systems but have to take in from the food chain. The primary source of these essential fats is fish.


Meat can be highly nutritious, and should be eaten by those who desire it two or three times a week maximum. The danger with many meats is that they can be suffused with synthetic chemicals.

Discussion of meat will of course lead to the case for vegetarianism. Meat is eaten for protein, as well as iron. Can a vegetarian diet replace meat as a food source? Is man a carnivourous creature or not? Do vegetarians live longer? Smarter? More creative?

Brain Foods

Most of the foods mentioned in the previous section contain various items that are good for the brain. Specifically, the brain and its nervous system are nourished by certain amino acids (the constituents of protein; the B complex of vitamins; the essential fats found abundantly in fish; and the minerals potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc). Any healthy diet should include food that contains these essential nutrients.

The more aerobically fit the body is, the more the digestive system is able to ingest its food, and the more efficiently and effectively the blood can deliver the nutrients to the entire brain and body.

The Intelligent Diet

The intelligent diet will naturally contain appropriate sugars and salts. It is therefore unnecessary and in many cases harmful to add additional salts and sugars to food. Similarly, any refined or processed food will tend to be more difficult to ingest, and may contain elements that are damaging to general health.

The adage 'you are what you eat' we now know to be true. Eat with intelligence and become more intelligent. Notes based on Tony Buzan's Book of Genius published by Random House 1994

Natural Health Society of Australia

I used to be a member of the Natural Health Society of Australia and their logo included a graphic with the eight key elements of their philosophy:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Exercise
  3. Relaxation
  4. Sunshine
  5. Fresh Air
  6. Fasting
  7. Pure Water
  8. Thoughts

Think about how each of these affects your thinking, creativity and overall quality of life.

This philosophy was tempered with the Anti-Fanaticism Rule:

It's not what you do 5% of the time that governs your health - it's what you do 95% of the time that governs.

So, if you are following a healthy diet, one 'bad' or 'naughty' meal a week should not be cause for concern.

Last updated: 2nd October 1996

Please feel free to send your comments to Charles Cave