There are so many upsides to eating healthy. Not only does proper nutrition help maintain physical functioning, but it also helps improve cognitive function as well. Nutrients like lutein, omega-3, vitamin B, vitamin D, and protein have been proven to boost brain functions, give you more energy, better mental clarity, and help keep you healthy and strong.
These 5 nutrients for the brain are critical to helping your brain stay sharp. And brain-boosting snacks can help give you the energy and nutrients you need in-between meals.
Below, I’m sharing a round-up of brain food snacks you can munch on between meals to keep your tummies satisfied and keep your brain, mood, and body healthy and strong.
10 Brain Food Snacks Ideas
Reach for a side of leafy greens like broccoli, kale, spinach, or collards as your next healthy snack and brain boosting foods. These leafy greens provide us with a high amount of lutein – a powerful plant pigment found in every part of the brain that aids in learning, improves memory, and your brain’s processing speed to sort through information.
Studies say, seniors with high levels of lutein in their blood measure “superior crystallized intelligence” when compared to those with lower levels.
Broccoli also has high amounts of antioxidant levels, making it a great source for also helping to prevent free-radical damage. Since leafy greens aren’t as dense as other vegetables, you’ll want to measure out about 2 cups per serving, which would only make up on average about 14 calories.
Cheese and crackers
The next time you need a brain boosting snack, prepare yourself a cheese and whole-grain cracker board. Whole grains are a great source for B vitamins, which help metabolize nutrients for the brain for energy, improve cognitive decline, and help protect against dementia.
Pairing your crackers with low-fat cheese adds protein and vitamin D, which keep the brain healthy and strong. So the next time you reach for cheese and crackers while food shopping, opt for a pack of whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese. Your brain, mood, and body will thank you. For 1 serving 55 pieces, this healthy snack is about 128 calories.
One of the most well-known brain-boosting foods out there are nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds contain some essential amino acids which help improve overall health. Sunflower seeds contain high amounts of vitamin B6, which works to improve cognitive function, concentration, and improve mood. If you eat 1 cup of this healthy snack, that will be about 818 calories. So satisfying.
Pumpkin seeds are another type of seed that is found to improve memory and brain function. Pumpkins are a great source of lutein and contain antioxidants, which protect the brain from free-radical damage. This tasty, brain-boosting snack contains 285 calories in 1 cup.
There is a select number of foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. Eggs are one of them. Keep a selection of hard-boiled eggs in your fridge for an easy grab-and-go snack that’s packed with protein, amino acids, lutein, and contains a high amount of B vitamins — all brain boosting nutrients!
Be sure to eat the egg yolks since all together it helps to reduce inflammation, improve memory, and promote healthy brain function. There’s 77 calories in 1 egg.
Who doesn’t love a good dip? Avocados are known as a super food for a reason. This green, brain boosting snack is a healthy fat that contains high amounts of lutein and magnesium. Magnesium is reported to help boost moods and brain function and has been used as a treatment for recovering from depression. 1 medium sized avocado contains about 240 calories.
Fermented foods like greek yogurt is a great source of live bacteria that can enhance healthy gut function, improve memory, slow cognitive decline, and decrease anxiety. Greek yogurt is packed with protein and calcium. It can be enjoyed by itself or paired with fruit or nuts. 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt has 80 calories.
Who says you can’t have dessert and eat healthy at the same time? When you have a sweet tooth, but want to indulge guilt-free, reach for a portion of dark chocolate. Studies show that dark chocolate can be highly beneficial for brain health. It is high in antioxidants and helps fight free radicals – the trigger for a number of human diseases.
It also improves cognition, memory, mood, and immunity. A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate contains around 500-700 calories.
If you’re not a guacamole dip kind of person, maybe you’d prefer salsa with fresh veggies. Eating a tomato-rich salsa is a great source of lycopene, which plays a role in keeping your brain focused. Throw in some corn to your salsa and you’ll add a bit of crunch and lutein nutrients which aid in learning and memory. There are about 36 calories in 100 grams.
Did you know blueberries can also help improve memory and cognitive function? Blueberries contain B vitamins, vitamin C, and antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and makes this brain boosting snack one of the healthiest foods around.
Studies show blueberries being linked to helping reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s – neurodegenerative diseases related to age. By incorporating a fresh bowl of blueberries into your diet, you’re sure to improve memory and your overall cognitive health. A one-cup serving of blueberries contains 80 calories.
Do you like these brain food snacks we listed and want more snack ideas like this? Click here for more healthy eating tips to keep your belly satisfied and your brain, mood, and body healthy and strong.