Proper nutrition is the key to improved productivity and brain function.
Snacking can get you from one meal to the next without starving or feeling hangry, so snacks are usually an important part of your day.
However, snacking is tainted by eating foods with empty calories and highly-processed foods like cookies, chips, crackers, candy, etc.
There are definitely types of snacks that can cause your brain more harm than good.
But luckily for all of us, eating the right snacks can actually provide benefits to our brains, and help us fuel our brain and body with the right nutrients, healthy fats, and omega 3-fatty acids, help improve blood flow, have anti-inflammatory benefits, and so on. They can also help us prevent brain fog, afternoon slump, and fatigue, they make us more productive and boost our mood, they improve our mental performance, reduce the risk of degenerative diseases, etc.
So, I’m making a roundup of snacks that you can keep around your office, house, and study area (and you can also carry most of them on the go), that can fill you up and provide the essential nutrients that you need to keep your brain going.
10 Brain Food Snacks
When you think of snacks that can help you in any way, you probably don’t think of chocolate, because it’s usually not the healthiest thing you can eat.
However, if we’re talking about dark chocolate, and you’re eating it in moderation, it can be very beneficial for your brain and your health overall.
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, which help prevent oxidative stress. It’s also full of zinc, which is one of the most important minerals you need to consume for the proper functioning of your body and mind.
So, eating dark chocolate for a snack, especially the kind that is full of cocoa, can help you with your memory, mood, immunity, and cognition.
The only thing about dark chocolate that you need to keep in mind, is to not overeat to the point where it becomes unhealthy.
Oily and fatty fish is an amazing thing to snack on, since it’s very high in omega-3 fatty acids. They help build membranes around your brain cells (and other cells in your body), so they can improve the structure of brain cells. That can also help increase blood flow to the brain.
Since it contains omega-3 fatty acids, eating tuna can help with better cognition, thinking abilities, and it can increase your memory and energy, and boost your brain function.
Some other benefits of tuna are that it’s low-calorie and high-protein, so it’s even great for you if you’re on a weight loss journey.
Making a trail mix made out of nuts and seeds (or buying one pre-made) is probably one of the most common healthy snacks you can find.
Nuts and seeds are brain-boosting foods full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
They’re also full of vitamin E, which is great for maintaining brain health as you age.
Here are the best nuts and seeds you can put in your trail mix, that contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E:
Sunflower seeds, – contains vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acid, selenium, thiamin, they help improve memory and brain function,
Walnuts – one of the top brain-boosting foods, full of omega-3 fatty acid, helps prevent cognitive decline aka helps cognitive function, improves your memory,
Almonds- full of vitamin E, vitamin B, calcium, fatty acids, potassium, they help reduce the risk of cognitive decline,
Peanuts – they have a lot of unsaturated fats, protein, vitamin E, and resveratrol, which will help with your brain health and help prevent some illnesses. You can also eat peanuts in a form of peanut butter, and not just put them in a trail mix (but make sure you either make the peanut butter yourself, of by one with clean ingredients, because some brands are not that great for you),
Avocados are definitely one of the best things to eat to consume healthy fats. Eating healthy fats helps reduce your blood pressure, which reduces the chances of cognitive decline.
For your snack, you can create guacamole and dip some veggies in it.
Eggs are a great source of vitamin B-5, B-12, and folic acid, so they can help prevent brain shrinkage, and delay cognitive decline.
They are full of protein, which is also important to consume.
For your snack, you can eat boiled eggs, or even deviled eggs.
Berries are full of antioxidants which are not also great for reducing inflammation, but it helps your brain as well.
Here are some ways antioxidants in berries can help with your brain health:
It helps delay cognitive decline and age-related neurodegenerative diseases,
It improves the communication between brain cells,
It helps with memory and learning,
It helps prevent oxidative stress,
It reduces risks of Alzheimer and dementia.
Berries are super-easy to eat as a snack, because they’re very easy to pack and eat at work, while studying, and even on the go.
When you’re packing berries for your healthy brain snack, make sure you put blueberries in there – they’re probably one of the best types of berries to eat for your brain health.
We all know the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. There’s a reason such a popular saying exists about apples – they truly are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat for your overall mind, body, and health.
When we’re talking about brain health, they have an antioxidant in them which blocks free radical damage to the brain cells (and other cells in your body for that matter), it helps regulate blood cholesterol, and helps prevent heart diseases.
s also help improve your memory.
For your snack, you can just cut up an apple and eat it by itself, OR you can eat it with peanut butter. If you remember, we mentioned that peanuts are also great for brain health, so if you pair apples with a healthy peanut butter (as we mentioned above, make sure that the peanut butter has clean ingredients, or it won’t be so healthy for you anymore), you’ll get a great healthy brain snack).
There’s no secret broccoli is super healthy – it’s full of fiber, protein, vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin K, etc.), and minerals.
But, besides being good for your shape and overall health, it’s also good for your brain.
It contains vitamin K, which is known to help improve your memory.
Antioxidants in broccoli also help prevent free radical damage.
It also has some compounds that reduce oxidative stress and help lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
You can easily snack on broccoli throughout your day – just cut it up into florets, and quickly boil it with salt to soften it a bit. You can season it as well.
Then, pack the florets and munch on them when you feel hungry.
Green tea is known to boost cognitive function and improve your mood. So, with your next snack, make a cup of green tea.
Yogurt can have a positive impact on the way your brain functions. Plus, it’s a source of healthy fats, and can be used for many snacks – you can put granola and fruit on it to make yogurt bowls, you can dip veggies in it, and you can even use it to make your own healthy ‘ice cream’ or frozen yogurt!