Let’s face it, life is busy, especially at the office.
When we’re working as hard as we can to stay on top of every project, deadline, and the million other things that demand our attention, sometimes the thing we neglect most is proper nutrition.
The irony: by neglecting to eat a balanced diet and choosing to keep healthy snacks for work, we’re actually denying our brain the nutrients it needs to work properly in the first place. In other words, it might take less time to eat junk food at the office, but doing so actually makes it harder to do our jobs effectively.
So, what are our options exactly?
Option 1: Choose low-nutrient foods that hurt our mental performance and health.
Option 2: Choose nutrient-rich, brain food snacks that boost our memory and overall health.
So instead of bringing donuts to the office, consider one of the healthy brain food snacks listed below instead. You’ll have a much more productive day at the office because of it.
Of all the brain food snacks that will help improve memory and brain power, here are the top ones we recommend based on taste, cost, and ability to be eaten on-the-go:
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Coconut oil
- Kale chips
1. Whole grains
Our ability to concentrate and focus starts with an adequate supply of energy to the brain in the form of glucose. By choosing whole grains, with a low-GI, that release glucose slowly into the blood stream, you’ll feel mentally alert all day. Some good options include wheat bran, oatmeal, and whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals.
Fish is chocked full with omega-3 fatty acids, which are clinically proven to optimize brain function, preserve cognition, boost memory, prevent heart disease, and reverse age-related loss of brain function.
There’s significant evidence, most notably from Tufts University, showing that eating blueberries may improve cognition and promote memory.
4. IQ Bars
Although plenty of “smart” snacks out there claim to be brain food, IQ BARs are on another level entirely. Each bar boasts six nutrients that boost brain function including Omega-3 fats, flavonoids and magnesium.
How’s that for brainfood?
As a great source of minerals like magnesium, chickpeas will deliver a healthy dose of brain fuel when you need it. Also, Magnesium helps speed up message transmission in your brain and allows blood vessels to relax, which in turn feeds more blood to your brain.
Studies suggest that the powerful antioxidant, lycopene, found in tomatoes can help protect the brain from free radical damage. This promotes optimal brain function, and reduces the risk of alzheimer’s.
7. Pumpkin seeds
Zinc is vital for enhancing mental agility and memory. Just a handful of pumpkin seeds a day is all you need to get your recommended daily allotment of this super vitamin.
Increase cognitive function and boost brainpower with broccoli, a great source of vitamin K. Chop them, and eat them raw at the office. Pair with hummus for a awesome, energy boosting snack.
Always eat your carrots! Not only are they good for your eyes, but they’re a great way to fuel your brain. They contain high levels of luteolin, a compound that reduces age-related memory deficits and inflammation in the brain.
10. Go nuts
Nuts are a great source of Vitamin E, a vitamin proven to prevent mental decline, based on a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
11. Whole Eggs
Eggs great for brain power, especially the choline-rich yolk. A recent study found that people with diet’s high in choline scored higher on verbal and visual memory tests, and are less likely to develop dementia. Choline can also help by aiding in constructing our “memory” neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, and it can lower homocysteine.
The natural nitrates found in beets have been found to improve blood flow throughout the body, most notably the brain, improving focus and concentration.
Walnuts are a brain power food loaded with Vitamin B12 and B6, shown to prevent memory decline by eliminating homocysteine in the blood. They’re are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve your memory function as you age.
A recent study found that enhanced memory began with just the smell of rosemary. One of the main chemicals in rosemary oil, called 1,8-cineole has been linked to brain performance—in a recent study, higher levels of 1,8-cineole resulted in increased speed and accuracy on tests.
A 25-year Harvard study, of more than 13,000 women, showed that eating high amounts of leafy green vegetables caused less age-related cognitive decline. Kale was among the most impressive in the study.
A recent study at the University of Innsbruck in Austria found that participants that drank two cups of coffee per day improved memory, reaction time, and neuron signaling, more than the control. More notably, the 676 daily coffee drinker participants experienced less mental decline than nondrinkers over a ten-year period. In other words, bottoms up on your cup of Joe!
While you may be familiar with the benefits of green tea, Matcha is a type of green tea that offers a unique taste that you will start to crave. Matcha is not only a popular new item for busy professionals and students, it also contains a number of antioxidants that boost brain activity.
Quinoa is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber that help to balance blood sugar while providing the essential glucose to the brain. It’s also filled with iron, a vitamin known to keep the blood oxygenated, and B vitamins, known to balance mood and protect blood vessels.
Spinach has been proven to prevent damage to DNA, cancer cell growth, and tumor growth, and it can also prevent dementia.
20. Greek Yogurt
A team at UCLA found in their research study, that yogurt can have an effect on the way your brain functions. Aside from the yogurt that is packed with protein and calcium, it is a delicious snack to top with your favorite fresh fruit for even more brain-boosting goodness.
L-tyrosine, an amino acid found in turkey and chicken, helps the brain produce dopamine, the chemical responsible for mental alertness and memory.
Avocados are a great source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, known to increase blood flow to the brain, reduce cholesterol, and improve antioxidant absorption. Avocados also contain vitamin E which can protect the brain from free radical damage, and also vitamin K and potassium, which can reduce the risk of stroke.
23. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which the body uses for energy. It also seems to have a positive impact on blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and it acts as an anti-inflammatory, linked to helping prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
A great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, beans provide steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associated with many other sugar sources. They’re also rich in folate and essential omega fatty acids, nutrients critical to brain function.
25. Dark Chocolate
Loaded with antioxidants, chocolate has been known to boost mood and ease pain, but the flavonols in chocolate have also been shown to improve blood vessel function, which improves brain function and memory.
26. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds contain a rich mix of brain powering protein, omega fatty acids, and B vitamins, and they also contain tryptophan, which the brain converts into serotonin to boost mood and combat depression.
Seaweed is yet another powerful brain food, because it’s filled with omega 3 fatty acids and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Seaweed is also a great source of folic acid, which has been shown to improve verbal and memory performance. It is also needed to make serotonin, which affects mood in a positive way.
If you hadn’t guessed, the days when healthy snacks meant rice cake are long gone. Today, you don’t have to sacrifice taste to enjoy the benefits of improved health and brain power.
But, don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Next time your hungry at the office, choose a snack that fuels your tastebuds and your brain too.
The post 27 Brain Food Snacks To Boost Your Memory & Productivity appeared first on SnackNation.