5 Great Snacks to Improve Brain Function
Life is hectic. It’s easy to lose track of what foods we put into our bodies every day, especially when we’re on the go and don’t have time to prepare a healthy meal. For students, it’s especially important to keep your brain healthy so you can stay on top of your assignments and exams. Here’s a list of snacks packed with brain power. They’re perfect to keep you going through a long class or study session.
It’s become common knowledge that blueberries are a superfood. Not only are they packed with antioxidants, but they also help reduce inflammation, which is a major cause of brain degeneration. A Tufts University study has shown that blueberries may also aid in delaying and reducing short-term memory loss. Blueberries are great right off the plant or out of the carton, and many people enjoy them frozen.
Avocados are rich in vitamin E, vitamin K, and potassium. These nutrients can lower the risk of stroke and help protect the brain from free radicals. Avocados also contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which are important for maintaining a healthy blood pressure, thus improving blood flow to the brain. In addition, avocados can lower cholesterol and help with antioxidant absorption. Throw them in a salad, slice them up for a sandwich, or enjoy them right out of the skin with a spoon.
Eggs are another powerful brain food thanks to the yolk, which is packed with choline. Studies have shown that people with choline-rich diets perform better on visual and verbal memory tests. Choline has also been shown to reduce the risk of dementia, and it’s key in the production of a memory neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Preparing a batch of hard-boiled eggs and storing them in the fridge makes them easy to grab and go.
Walnuts and Almonds
Nuts in general are great for your brain and nervous system. Like avocados, they are a good source of omega 3 and brain-protective vitamin E. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology involving elderly people suggested that vitamin E can actually help prevent cognitive decline and memory loss. Eating walnuts and almonds raw is great, but soaking them in water for at least eight hours, or overnight, makes it easier for the body to digest them and use more of the nutrients.
Keep in mind that not all chocolate is created equal. High-quality dark chocolate containing at least 70% cacao provides numerous health benefits. It provides iron, magnesium, and polyphenols, which improve blood flow to the brain. The higher concentration of cacao in dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants—in fact, dark chocolate contains 15 times more antioxidants than blueberries and 20 times more than green tea.
So, the next time you’re studying for a major exam or just find yourself needing a snack, try one of these five superfoods. Have a favorite? Tell us in the comments below!