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Snacks to boost your brain power

Some foods are great all rounders for your health and wellbeing, and are especially good for your noggin, so if you’re snacking try to aim for these healthier snacks.

Beans

Chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils contain high levels of protein to power the brain. 

Legumes of all varieties contain high concentrations of folic acid to improve information recall.

Blueberries

These powerful little antioxidants are more like brainberries, as they protect the brain against oxidative stress, and also offer memory-boosting agents like anthocyanin and flavonoids.

These properties can enhance spatial memory and learning.

Caffeine

In small doses, caffeine can energise you and help you concentrate. 

If not a coffee drinker try green tea, which also contains the L-theanine amino acid to keep you energised and alert, minus the coffee jitters.

Chocolate

Dark chocolate offers a double-whammy, with antioxidant properties to combat cognitive decline, as well as the natural stimulant of caffeine to enhance focus. Chocolate can help improve memory, alertness and clarity by increasing blood flow to the brain. Not all chocolate is created equal though – the darker it is, the more benefits your brain will receive.

Kale

Kale is heralded as a superfood for a number of reasons, including that it’s great to eat when you study. It offers a healthy dose of vitamin E to protect your brain against nerve-cell degeneration, as well as folate, which increases blood flow to the brain to prevent mental fatigue. Have it in a salad or made into oven crips with olive oil and seasoning.

Popcorn

Healthy whole grains like brown rice, whole grain bread, oatmeal and even popcorn contain fibres and vitamins that improve blood flow throughout the brain and help memory function. They also improve blood-sugar stability, which can curb hunger pangs.

Seeds and Nuts

Sunflower seeds as an example,  give your body a dose of soothing tryptophan – an amino acid that helps reduce stress and anxiety.

An analysis of data from the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study showed that having one serving of nuts a day is associated with a 30% lower risk of heart disease 

compared with having one serving of red meat a day.

Spinach

Spinach is one of the healthiest greens around, and is packed with nutritious and healthy antioxidants, iron, and minerals that improve concentration. 

The magnesium, folic acid and vitamin B12 found in spinach aid in the production of healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen to your brain and protect neurons.

Harvard have researched a whole host of foods linked to better brainpower. Read more here.

Keep Well, Dr Clara Russell