Your mother was right – breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Try these breakfast brain boosters with foods shown to keep brain cells healthy and ward off age-related cognitive decline.
- Breakfast Quesadilla– need a fresh take on eggs?Try a breakfast quesadilla. Choline, a B vitamin found in eggs, has been shown to play a role in brain function and memory. In a study of almost 1400 men and women published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who consumed foods with choline performed better on memory and verbal learning tests than others. Eggs also provide high-quality protein, a nutrient that helps you concentrate by keeping your blood sugar stabilized and helping you feel fuller longer. Eggs are excellent brain boosters.
- Oatmeal – Oats contain iron, zinc, potassium and B vitamins, nutrients that encourage brain development and help your brain to function at full capacity. The fiber in oats will also help keep hunger at bay until your next meal. Studies have shown that children who ate oatmeal for breakfast scored up to 20 percent higher on tests than children who ate sugary cereal. When the sugar high wears off, there is a dip in blood sugar that negatively affects memory and concentration. So, when shopping for oatmeal, look for the steal cut variety or just plain oats, not the sugar filled, flavored packets!
- Blueberries– all berries are rich in tannins, which protect brain cells and may play a role in improving memory by communication between brain cells. However, blueberries are also rich in antioxidants and other phytochemicals that have been linked to improvements in learning, thinking, and memory, as well as possible reductions in neurodegenerative oxidative stress. Toss blueberries on your oatmeal, in yogurt or make a smoothie to get a smart start to your morning.
- Almonds – Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, providing almost 40 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) in a one-ounce serving. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that vitamin E might help prevent cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Almonds also provide a healthy combination of protein, fiber and good-for-you fats to help maintain your blood sugar levels – keeping you focused and energized.
- Apples– running short on time? At least grab an apple on your way out the door. Apples are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant plant chemical that protects brain cells. According to scientists at Cornell University, quercetin defends your brain cells from free radical attacks, which can damage the outer lining of delicate neurons and over time, lead to cognitive decline. Just remember to leave the skin on, since the highest amount of quercetin is found in the skin of the apple.