Use Your Brain!

Use your brain to eat right! Healthy snack options exist, whether you buy them or make them yourself.

Strawberry-banana chia seed smoothie

From soy to egg protein to seeds and berries, you have many options for brain-boosting, tasty snacks. The foods we choose can have an impact on brain function by helping it to work at its peak performance. Check out a few snacks you can buy, and two tasty recipes to make, that will satisfy you, with an added benefit for your brain!

Strawberry-banana chia seed smoothie

This is a smoothie that tastes too good to be true. With the help of fresh fruit and some chia seeds, you’ll be eager to sip (and maybe spoon) this healthy treat until the last drop! Chia seeds are said to help improve mental focus and concentration, and if that’s not enough, they’re a great source of fiber, antioxidants and protein, and are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Yields one 12-ounce smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 frozen banana (To freeze bananas, peel them and cut into 2-inch slices. Place in sealable freezer bags until ready to use.)
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon ground chia seeds (You can grind these using a clean coffee or spice grinder.)
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a blender, cover and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve with a strawberry garnish.

Bountiful blueberry trail mix

Bountiful blueberry trail mix

This trail mix is loaded with nuts and seeds, not to mention blueberries, and is a perfect on-the-go, easily made snack. We also like to sprinkle a little of this trail mix on our oatmeal! A 2012 Harvard study shows that strawberries and blueberries can help reduce memory decline. Flavonoids in the berries have anti-inflammatory properties. Stress and inflammation contribute to a decline in brain function, which may be slowed by increasing your intake of flavonoids. Bring on the berries!

Yields approximately 2-1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup dried blueberries
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the almonds, pistachios, and sunflower seeds.
  3. Pour in the maple syrup and toss until everything is well coated.
  4. Spread out the mixture on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the mixture.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove the mixture and allow it to cool, still on the baking sheet, on a wire rack.
  7. When cool to the touch, add the dried blueberries and toss to mix.
  8. Store in an airtight container.

CalNaturale Svelte protein shakes

CalNaturale Svelte protein shakes

CalNaturale Svelte protein shakes not only taste great, but also make a handy grab-and-go snack option. These non-dairy, gluten-free and vegan shakes contain soy protein; soybeans have been found to influence the immune system and hormones linked to emotion, and ultimately boost brain function, according to a recent Sino-Japanese study. Each shake includes 5 grams of fiber, 11 grams of protein, and only 6 grams of sugar in each 11-ounce bottle. Shakes are available in four flavors: chocolate, French vanilla, cappuccino, and spiced chai.

ips egg white (ch)ips

ips egg white (ch)ips

Who knew a crunchy snack chip could be made from egg whites? ips offers snack chips made with corn, egg white, and other all-natural ingredients, which include 7 grams of protein (the equivalent of two egg whites) per serving. These chips are pressure-puffed, not fried, and have half the fat of regular fried potato chips. According to ips, eating protein-rich foods boosts levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which helps keep your brain at its sharpest. A recent Cambridge University study shows that egg proteins can help you stay awake and alert, and suggests that eggs are in fact a super-food. These snacks are available in four flavors: aged white cheddar, barbecue, cinnamon sugar, and sea salt and black pepper.

More healthy foods

10 Power foods for women
Nutrition challenge: Eat more greens
8 Nutrients missing from your diet

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