Feeling hungry can really impact on your ability to concentrate and stay on task.
It’s so tempting to reach for easy and delicious packaged snacks that might not be doing us any favours. So, if you’d like to be a bit more health conscious and feel better that your snack habits are actually boosting your brain power, here’s a few options you could try.
Containing flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin C berries could help to:
- improve communication between brain cells
- reduce inflammation in your body and help you feel better
- increase brain cell plasticity, helping to form new connections, boost learning and memory
- manage stress and anxiety
Try snacking on blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants and mulberries, if you don’t want them on their own you could add them to cereals, yoghurt, cakes and slices, or turn them into smoothies. They’re just as good in dried or frozen form which could save a few dollars.
Containing omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, Vitamin E, Zinc, Magnesium, B vitamins and tryptophan, these foods could help boost cognition (includes memory and thinking skills), fight stress and improve your mood.
You could substitute less healthy snacks with:
- Trail mix
- Roasted pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Peanut butter (delicious on apples as well as bread and crackers… whole grain of course)
- Mixed roasted nuts
- Coconut chips
Whole grain foods have a low GI meaning they release energy slowly into your body and keep your energy and mental alertness going for longer and helping you feel full for longer too (so you might not want to snack as often), they’re also a good source of Vitamin E.
Why not try snacking on:
- Whole grain breads or wraps
- Oats in the form of cereals, porridge or muesli bars
- Whole grain crackers and chips
Full of monounsaturated fats, avocados help promote blood flow, which boosts oxygen delivery to your brain improving its ability to work better. They also contain folate, vitamins B, C, and E, and potassium which provide lots of benefits and can may help reduce your blood pressure – I think we could all do with some of that right now.
Incorporating avocados into any part of your diet is beneficial so how about mashed on toast, try adding a quarter to your smoothies (I promise you won’t even know it’s there), or even a cheeky guacamole on your wholegrain nacho chips.
Bet you find this one easy to jump on board with. Studies have shown that “moderate” intake of dark chocolate containing flavanols (a plant-based antioxidant), along with magnesium and zinc, could not only boost blood flow to your brain but also help you to combat stress.
Brimming with lycopene a powerful antioxidant which could boost your brain power, you could snack on cherry tomatoes or indulge yourself with some chips and salsa (cooked tomatoes are even better for optimising your bodies absorption).
Bananas are high in potassium and magnesium said to provide brains with energy which in turn could help increase focus, and the ability to pay attention and to learn, they could also improve and help better regulate moods.
Quick and easy to eat on their own, you could also add them to:
- Or ice cream for a deliciously rewarding banana split treat