Tag Archives: food

RECIPE: Purple Monster Smoothie (snack drink for the brain)

 

A great snack that helps rejuvenate the brain after draining amounts of studying, work, chores, etc.!  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

Purple Monster Smoothie

Serves: 1

What you Need:

  • 2 frozen bananas, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup orange juice (or soy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Putting it all Together:

  • Place bananas, blueberries and juice in a blender and puree.
  • Use honey and vanilla to taste and voila!

Enjoy! :)

RECIPE: Glazed Hazelnut & Berry Salad (improves memory)

Here at Fit Brains, we have been testing and building up a beautifully delicious collection of recipes that help with improving brain health.  Now, we’re ready to start rolling out our collection slowly.  We will be adding a new recipe to our recipe collection page every couple of days, so make sure to check back often!

The first recipe we would like to introduce is the Glazed Hazelnut & Berry Salad.  This dish will help with memory improvement.

Glazed Hazelnut and Berry Salad

Serves: 2-4

What you Need:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 10 cups salad greens
  • 1 cup of your favorite berries
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Special Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons shallots
  • Salt and Pepper as desired

Putting it all Together:

  • Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 F.
  • Combine oil and honey in a small bowl.
  • Add nuts to the bowl and toss to coat.
  • Place nuts in a small baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  • While they cool, begin the dressing.
  • Combine berries, oil, vinegar, water, mustard, garlic and honey in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer to a small bowl and stir in shallots.
  • Just before serving, place greens in a large bowl.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the greens and toss to coat.
  • Divide the salad as desired.
  • Scatter your favorite berries, feta cheese and glazed nuts over your salad and serve!

Let us know how you enjoyed the recipe in the comments below!  

Happy healthy eating from the Fit Brains team!

Top 10 Brain Foods

You are what you eat” – that’s a saying we always hear!  However, most people think about how food affects the body, but not the brain.  The brain needs proper nutrients just like the rest of your body.  It actually needs more energy to operate properly than other organs!

Here are 10 brain foods you can incorporate into your daily diet to maintain a healthy brain:

 

1. Salmon - Improves brain tissue development, fights cognitive decline.
2. Blueberries - Improve memory, reduce stress, reduce age-related declines in motor function and coordination.
3. Avocados - Increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure to maintain effective mind functioning.
4. Flax Seeds - Build and protect neurons, aid the processing of sensory information.
5. Coffee (in moderation) - Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia…and of course, gives you a brain energy boost!
6. Nuts - Improve memory and mental clarity, fight insomnia.
7. Whole Grains - Promote cardiovascular health, which improves circulation flow to the brain.
8. Tomatoes - Eliminate free radicals in your body, prevent age-related cognitive diseases.
9. Eggs - Provides energy for your brain, improves memory.
10. Dark Chocolate (in moderation) - Increases focus and concentration, improves your mood!

 

What foods do you eat to keep your mind active & healthy?  Leave a comment and let us know!

Obesity and a Happy Brain

Brain HealthAs most of us get into middle age we might take special notice of our body’s ability to keep a few extra pounds around the waist. Most of us understand the importance of eating healthy and the disease risk associated with extra weight around the belly.

Recent research suggests the brain’s ability to sense gratification may be critical to overeating behavior. We may have a gene that assists us with knowing when we are filled after eating. Research now indicates that a brain that does not express satiation will lead to continued eating and increased risk of obesity.

We know that a healthy diet and regular exercise are very important for maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding obesity. However, genetics also plays a role in which an important neurochemical, Dopamine, may play a critical role. Dopamine is the primary neurochemical that regulates our pleasure sensation.

Eating temporarily boosts dopamine levels, but obesity may be associated with fewer Dopamine receptors which lead to less sensation of pleasure with eating. Research now suggests that the brain regions important to Dopamine expression when eating treats such as a milkshake does not get activated in those who are obese.

Interestingly, Dopamine has been studied as a primary mechanism for addiction and impulsive behavior including eating. Attempts are underway to try and understand how Dopamine might be triggered even in obesity to reduce impulsive eating so as to reduce gaining more weight. To read more about Dopamine, click here

Food and our Health

With regard to the human brain we can provide general advice about how to promote brain health across the lifespan. When we were cavemen and cavewomen we ate one good fat for every bad fat. Today, we eat about 15 bad fats for every good fat. This is important because our brains are composed of about 60% fat and the lipid substance helps to facilitate information processing.

Thinking live a cave person might be a good exercise when thinking about what to eat. We should try and eat plants/vegetables, nuts, beans, fruit, fish, and lean game such as chicken. We should try to reduce processed foods, red meat, trans fatty acids, soda and foods high in sugar. We should strive to eat less than more and use utensils more often as it might help to less consumption of food and a healthier consumption of foods.

It is also important to realize that foods are supposed to be pleasurable and that an occasional piece of cake, pie, ice cream, etc will not cause major damage to the system. This is particularly true when one follows some of the general advice above.

I personally have begun a study of my own diet with increased intake of fruits and vegetables, reduction in processed fats, removal of soda from the diet, and increased fish and lean chicken. It is not uncommon for me to now have fruit in the am and day with a salad (olive oil and vinegar are good for the brain), and a piece of fish or chicken at night. I have been relatively consistent though I fail now and then. I am observing change in body mass and in psychology including energy and mental alertness.

Stay tuned and I will provide you an update in the near future!

Tea, Chocolate Chemical May Boost Memory

We are starting off the Fit Brains Brain Health blog with some good news. Some food items that we actually do like might be good for us and not the reverse. In a recent study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers believe it may be possible to boost memory. The article states:

“It may be possible to boost memory with a plant compound called epicatechin, which is found in foods and drinks including blueberries, grapes, tea, and cocoa”.

To read the full article, click here.