Brain Healthy Foods: Six Simple Snacks

October 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm 1 comment

Healthy eating is a big part of keeping your brain fit. It provides the energy you  need for clear thinking, the nutrients for building, protecting and even repairing your neural network of brain cells.  And by choosing healthy snacks, you can prevent blood glucose  roller-coasters that is associated with memory problems. So what’s healthy, and what’s not?  Here are a few suggestions:

Image by forwardcom on Stock.Xchng1. Go Nuts

Nuts make excellent snacks, each variety providing a different brain-boosting mix of nutrients. Walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans…. all of them benefit the brain in a variety of ways, providing protein, Omega-3’s, and more.  A handful of them a day is a great addition to the diet (but watch out for the overly salted mixes, and don’t over indulge; nuts are high in fats)

2. Get Seedy

Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are delicious roasted, and great for the brain.  Sunflower is high in thiamin and tryptophan, while pumpkin seeds contain Vitamins A and E, Zinc, along with Omega fatty acids.  You can buy them pre-roasted for snacking, or as part of a trail mix along with other nuts and dried fruits.

3. Be Fishy

Salmon, albacore tuna, herrings and sardines are all high in vital Omega oils, as well as proteins.  Try them smoked or mixed with olive-oil based mayo on a cracker for a tasty, satisfying, brain boost between meals.

Image by straymuse on Stock.Xchng4. Berry Your Brain

Longing for something a bit sweeter? Fresh or dried berries can satisfy that sweet tooth and give a big boost to the brain.  Strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries  are all rich in anti-oxidants, and have all shown to have remarkable mind-boosting effects in lab studies with animals, and they likely have the same effects on humans.  They’re best without added sugars (which can spike blood glucose levels) so if you go for the dried snacking types,

5.  Dark Chocolate. Yes, I said Chocolate.

Not all of our traditionally sinful snacks are bad for us.  Chocolate  is high in antioxidants and contains stimulants which appear to improve focus and concentration, mood, memory and blood flow in the brain.  How cool is that? But again, moderation matters, so limit yourself to a little bit at a time, and try to balance it with other snack foods.  (Berries and nuts go great with it!)

6. Become an Egg-HeadImage by Ulgadew on Stock.Xchng

Hard-boiled eggs or egg salad on whole grain crackers can provide a solid brain-boosting snack.  High in protein and healthy fats, eggs also contain  anti-oxidents and the brain-crucial B-Vitamin choline – which is so effective in helping to build and repair neurons, that it’s actually used to improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients.

So put down the potato chips and twinkies! Instead, pick up a selection of brain healthy snacks.  Your mind and memory will thank you!

Don’t miss out on Dakim’s “Give Thanks for Loved Ones” Contest, running now through November 5th.  You could win a $2500 brain fitness system for a senior friend or family member!

Entry filed under: Nutrition & Diet. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. AT  |  October 12, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    These are great snack suggestions. They are basic, easy, filling and yummy. It’s so good to have a reminder about the snacks we should be grabbing. It’s so easy to fill the pantry with processed food that will ultimately slow us down, both in body and brain. Thanks!

    Reply

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About This Blog


A healthy mind and brain is key to a healthy, active life. Come along for the ride as we explore the basics of brain health, with topics including:
  • Physical Exercise
  • Cognitive Training
  • Stress Management
  • Social Interaction
  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • A Sense of Purpose & Connection
Authored by Tori Deaux
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