The best brain foods also make delicious, brain-healthy snacks. With these 15 snack ideas and recipes, you can boost your brain nutrition between meals. All around the world people are eating more snacks than ever before. Globally, 400 billion dollars are spent annually on snack foods. On average, we get 25% of our calories from snacks. And most of them are processed foods loaded with sugar, chemicals and unhealthy fats that are bad news for your brain. Processed snack foods aren’t really food at all. They are “food-like” concoctions developed by scientists aiming for the “bliss factor” — The perfect balance of fat, sugar, and salt that make these foods intentionally addictive. This gives new meaning to that old potato chip ad slogan “Bet you can’t eat just one,” doesn’t it?
We think it makes sense to choose brain boosting foods that nourish rather than hijack your brain. Eating the best brain foods when you snack can help prevent brain fog, fatigue, and that afternoon slump. They can make you happier and more productive.
Here are some great snack ideas featuring some of the best brain foods, plus a little background on why they’re so good for your brain.
- 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(Omega 3)
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. For an easy snack or meal at the office, try Wild Planet’s Albacore Tuna Single Serve Pack. It contains no added salt, water, oil, broth or fillers, it’s convenient, and delicious.
There’s significant evidence, most notably from Tufts University, showing that eating blueberries may improve cognition and promote memory. Feel free to eat them raw, but if you’re in the mood for a delicious treat that also saves lives, try a Wild Blueberry Pistachio bar from This Bar Saves Lives. The bars are all-natural, non-GMO, gluten free, kosher, and just plain awesome. For every bar you buy, a packet of life-saving food is given to a child in need.
- 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. Try the Kind Healthy Grains Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt bar. Crunchy, full of flavor and with just a kiss of sea salt, these bars are delicious and packed with 5 super grains!
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. Tender Grown healthy snacks for the office.Try Tender Grown’s Chipotle Broccoli Crisps. They’re vegan, gluten and dairy free.
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.
fruigees – healthy snacks for work. There are tons of ways to snack on carrots. I like to eat them plain, pair them with hummus, and puree them in my Vitamix. If you’re looking for a carrot snack that you can stash at your desk, try Fruigees Carrot Orange fruit pouch.
- 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. Sahale Snacks has a wide variety of all-natural nuts and fruit mixes. My personal favorite is the Almonds with Cranberries, Honey and Sea Salt.
- 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. Hard boiled eggs are a great option for busy workdays, but you should also try Ips, the original egg white chip.
The natural nitrates found in beets have been found to improve blood flow throughout the body, most notably the brain, improving focus and concentration. For an easy snack to stash at your desk, try Sweet & Beets form Terra Chips.
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. There are a ton of great rosemary snack options. Personally, I always keep some flavored natural sea salts in my desk to spice up my snacks and meals at the office. Great choice is the Parmesan Rosemary Popcorn from Quinn’s Popcorn.
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. The Better Bean Company makes an entire line of easy and healthy snacks that make office snacking easy. These tasty beans come in five delicious flavors, they’re gluten free, vegan, and Non-GMO too.
- 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. I don’t think I have to convince you to eat chocolate, but I will encourage you to pick a high quality brand made with fair trade chocolate and natural ingredients.
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! I’m sure your office already has a coffee maker, but if you’re in the mood for a refreshing coffee twist at the office, try this cold brew option from Chameleon Cold Brew.
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. Raw avocado with hot sauce is one of my favorite snacks, but Wholly Guacamole has an even easier option, that’s tasty too.