Who said what’s good for you brain can’t also be good for your weight? Nurture Your Brain & Manage Your Cravings with these healthy snacks.
STAY FOCUSED: Enjoy hummus on whole wheat with a splash of turmeric
Hummus is made with chickpeas which are rich in fiber. Hummus is also usually made with olive oil. The combination of both ingredients will deliver slow release carbs to help fuel your brain while avoiding glucose spikes. Chickpeas are also rich in the Vitamin B family which is excellent to manage stress and give you energy. Sprinkle powdered or freshly grated turmeric on it. Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant spice. It is being studied for Alzheimer’s Disease prevention as it is thought to prevent amyloid plaque building in the brain. It has a slightly bitter taste so try it before sprinkling or combine it with cinnamon and cumin powder.
BOOST YOUR MEMORY: Sprinkle a hard-boiled egg with Cayenne pepper
Egg yolks are rich in choline considered a precursor of acetyl-choline, a neurotransmitter involved with memory. An egg is +/-70 calories and contains almost 8g of protein. It will satisfy your hunger and is very “portable”. Cayenne pepper is good for your blood vessels and heart. Nurturing your capillaries is essential to maintain good brain function as blood flow in your brain is essential to transport nutrients and oxygen to your cells.
NURTURE YOUR CRITICAL THINKING & INFORMATION FLOW: Spread avocado instead of butter, mayonnaise or margarine on your sandwich
Avocado contains healthy unsaturated fat. This will help keep your brain cells’ membrane flexible. This fat also protects nerve endings a.k.a astrocytes, which play an important role in brain communication. Studies also show fat provided by this fruit can improve the brain pre-frontal cortex ability to plan and perform critical thinking. Avocado is rich in fiber as well with 4 to 5g per half. The combination of healthy fat and fiber will help satisfy your hunger and avoid future cravings.
PROTECT YOUR GUT, PROTECT YOUR BRAIN: Combine sugar free (but not fat free) yogurt with blueberries or any berries
Sugar free yogurt, made with organic milk, is rich in probiotics, which support a healthy flora in your guts. If you live a dairy free life, eat some fermented vegetables -sauerkraut is so trendy now- which are as rich in probiotics. The intestinal flora protects the lining of your guts in order to avoid chemicals and undigested substances from going through and getting in your blood flow. More and more research is now proving that the gut is our second brain and gut damage leads to neurological damage. Escaped chemicals will create inflammation in your body including in your brain. Add berries, especially blueberries. considered a power food because they contain powerful anti-oxidants that will protect your brain from aging too quickly. The protein and fat in the yogurt combined with a healthy source of sugar in the fruits will give you a boost mid-afternoon.
LEARN FASTER: Carry your own homemade nuts and dried fruits trail mix
You can’t go wrong creating and carrying your own mix of nuts and dried fruits. Be light on the fruits however as they contain a lot of sugar. I recommend no more than 20%. I met Dr. Oz on a plane and Dr. Hyman at a conference and they were both carrying their bag of nuts, principally made of cashew nuts, almonds and walnuts. Dr. Oz, refused his flight meal and instead got his nuts. He said they helped him get going all day and stay alert. Nuts contain anti-inflammatory agents such as Omega-3. Omega-3 is a very healthy fat known to boost your learning abilities. A nuts/fruits trail mix makes the perfect combination of healthy fat, sugar and protein. Use dried blueberries, cherries and cranberries. They will still have retained some of their anti-oxidant properties.
If you have other healthy snack ideas you can always share them on our Facebook page or at our Wednesday Evening CogniDiet Free Meetup!