It’s making a super fast breakfast to optimize your brain function, but also getting smart with what you eat as a snack in between meals. Try some of these easy ideas to build more brain-friendly eating habits:
Start your day with some brain food for breakfast:
- Oatmeal mixed with 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, 1 teaspoon peanut butter, sliced banana or other fresh fruit, and some walnuts or almonds on top. Flaxseeds are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a healthy fat that boosts cerebral cortex function.
- Yogurt with fresh fruit and granola. Layer 1/2 cup of yogurt, 1 tablespoon granola, 1 cup fresh fruit (sliced or diced), and a spoonful of nuts such as walnuts and almonds. Almonds are beneficial for increased attention and awareness necessary for learning, as well as restoring memory and cognitive function.
- Eggs. They are a powerful mix of B vitamins (they help nerve cells to burn glucose), antioxidants (they protect neurons against damage), and omega-3 fatty acids (they keep nerve cells functioning at optimal speed).
- Smoothie with berries and beets. The natural nitrates in beets can increase blood flow to your brain, improving mental performance. In a blender, combine 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1 cup frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries), 1/2 cup diced beets (raw or roasted), 1 tablespoon granola, 2–3 dates, 1/4 cup coconut water or plain low-fat yogurt, and 3 ice cubes. Blend for one minute.
Use snacks to get energy and focus better:
- Walnuts. This powerful brain food improves cognitive function and can even reduce memory loss. You need less than a handful for maximum effect.
- Fresh fruit. Rich in vitamin C, fruit boosts mental agility and reduces decline in the brain’s cognitive abilities. Eat it whole (apple, banana, tangerine, pear, peach) or dice several different types of fruit and eat as a fruit salad (watermelon, papaya, mango, berries, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruit, pineapple).
- A fruit and nut mix. Prepare it ahead of time and bring it with you to school or work; it’s great for an energy boost when you feel that mid-afternoon slump. Mix up a tablespoonful each of walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, figs, dates, dried apricots or peaches.