Here it is – 2:00 PM. Whether you’re sitting in a lecture at college, at the office or just trying to keep up with little kids, the afternoon sure does have a way of bringing on that… sludgy feeling. It’s difficult to concentrate. Motivation and productivity take a nose-dive. We may look to snacks to get us through the final hours of the day, but often times, we reach for the wrong things, like chips or a Diet Coke, and it seems to help, at first. But before long we’re right back to that heavy, drowsy feeling, only worse. Do you have a hard time getting through the afternoon slump? If so, you’re not alone. And fortunately, there are tons of great snacks that are healthy, energy-boosting and good for your cognitive function. Here are some brain-power snacks for the desk and backpack that you can bring to work or school and get that boost of mental and physical energy!
Healthy, Energy-Boosting Snacks for Brain Power
Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries have all shown to have a positive effect on brain function. Loaded with antioxidants, berries improve the communication between brain cells. Keep a baggie of these in your lunch box and you’ll be firing on all cylinders.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds) are packed with Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these nutrients have linked to better brain function and improved cognition!
Chocolate’s main ingredient, cacao, is good for your mental health! According to this study, cacao flavonoids encourage neuron growth and blood vessel function (which increases blood flow) in the sections of the brain that are involved in memory and learning. So you see? A little chocolate is good for you, mentally and emotionally. 😉
Put down the crunchy snack from the -ito food group (you know, fritos, doritos, cheetos…) and back away slowly. Loaded with carbs and sodium, chips wreak havoc on your blood sugar, resulting in concentration and energy difficulty. Instead, try kale chips! Kale contains glucosinolates and other antioxidants that help keep your brain running strong all day. Season them with turmeric for a double-dose of brain-power! Turmeric contains curcumin, which stimulates cell growth.
It’s all about the quercetin, baby. (The what, now?) Apples have high levels of quercetin – a powerful antioxidant that is found to protect brain cells against oxidative stress, which is known to cause a number of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
What are your favorite energy-boosting, brain-powering snacks that help you get through the day?