Oatmeal: Brain Health Benefits & Easy Recipe!

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You probably have heard that oatmeal is an excellent choice for breakfast because it’s healthy, easy to make, and filling…but did you know it’s a brain booster as well? 

Here are some amazing brain health benefits of oatmeal:

  • Shot of Glucose: Oatmeal is a low Glycemic Index food, meaning it doesn’t spike blood sugar. It produces a shot of glucose that your body takes out of the carbohydrates to help your brain function
  • Essential B Vitamins: Research have shown B vitamins reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease & brain shrinkage
  • Vitamin E: Experts in the US found the annual rate of functional decline among dementia sufferers was reduced by 19% thanks to a daily vitamin E supplement
  • Selenium: A single serving of oats contains over a quarter of the selenium you need each day to protect brain cells from oxidants
  • Manganese: A single serving of oats contains over two-thirds of the manganese you need each day to help he body process the brain nutrients Choline & Thiamine.

Below is a basic recipe on how to make oatmeal plus some additional toppings you can add that are also super brain foods!

Easy Oatmeal Recipe (+ optional brain-healthy toppings!)

Serves: 2

What you Need:

  • 1 Cup Water (we like to substitute with soy/almond milk to make it creamier!)
  • 1/3 Cup Steel Cut Oats
  • Honey or Brown Sugar

Optional Brain-Healthy Toppings:

  • Berries (e.g. Blueberries, Blackberries)
  • Bananas
  • Cinnamon
  • Nuts (e.g. Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews)
  • Seeds (e.g. Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds)
  • Nut Butters

Putting it all Together:

  1. Bring water (or milk) to a boil
  2. Add oats, reduce heat to low
  3. Stir in a little honey or brown sugar to sweeten
  4. Simmer for 15-20 minutes (or however long the package says) until water is absorbed
  5. Add toppings of your choice & enjoy!

Leave a comment below & let us know how the recipe worked out for you & suggest your own variation!  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

RECIPE: Melon Slices with Raspberry Sauce (improves memory, prevents Alzheimer’s, protects vision)

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Honeydew melon & raspberries are amazing brain foods!  Raspberries contain antioxidants that can prevent inflammation in the brain.  Berry fruits have also been reported to improve memory & motor control.  B-vitamins found in Honeydew melon help prevent or slow down the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  Honeydew melon also contain an important antioxidant called Zeaxanthin to protect vision by absorbing harmful blue light rays and preventing age-related Macular Degeneration.

Here is an easy & healthy Melon Slices with Raspberry Sauce recipe for a delightful fruity snack! 

Melon with Raspberry Sauce

Serves: 2-4

What you Need:

  • 2 2/3 cups raspberries, unsweetened
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 1 honeydew melon

Putting it all Together:

  • Set aside a few raspberries for garnish.
  • Place the remaining berries in a blender and process until pureed.
  • Add the honey, lemon juice and ginger and process longer.
  • Strain and discard seeds, then set sauce aside.
  • Cut the melons into desired shapes and arrange nicely on a plate.
  • Drizzle with raspberry sauce and top with reserved berries!

Leave a comment below & let us know how the recipe worked out for you.  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

RECIPE: Wild Alaska Salmon Kebabs (improves memory & mood)

Salmon kebabs

Another superfood for the brain is salmon.  Salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, which helps the brain function properly and keeps the immune system working.

The brain is mainly fat, and omega 3 fatty acids feed the brain and allow neurotransmitters to flow more smoothly.  Eating salmon will therefore help combat poor memory, and increase positive feelings and thoughts by balancing out hormones.

Here is a creative, brain-healthy, and body-healthy recipe for Wild Alaska Salmon Kebabs.  This recipe is also Low-Carb, Low-Sodium, Sugar-Conscious, Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, and Wheat-Free!  Pair the kebabs with some couscous, quinoa, or side salad and it’ll be a perfect meal!

Wild Alaska Salmon Kebabs

Serves: 4

What You Need:

  • 1 pound wild salmon fillets, cut into chunks
  • 1 zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 large red onion, cut into chunks
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

Putting It All Together:

  1. Soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water for about 10 minutes prior to grilling.
  2. Place the salmon, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Whisk together the garlic, olive oil, and lime juice in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the salmon and vegetables, toss, and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the grill or broiler. Skewer the salmon and vegetables, reserving marinade, and grill or broil 5 to 7 minutes, turning once, until salmon is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
  5. While cooking, boil the marinade in a small saucepan for 5 minutes. Drizzle over skewers and serve.

Leave a comment below & let us know how the recipe worked out for you.  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

Socializing & Building Relationships for Brain Health

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Did you know socializing can boost your brain health?

Connecting with friends & family is one of the easiest ways to maintain a novel environment for our brains.  Friends & family provide opportunities to communicate, interact, and share experiences. They also provide the necessary motivation to stay mentally active and involved.

Socializing and sustaining a social network can seem difficult or daunting, but keeping in touch can be as easy as picking up your phone!  If you’re having trouble getting started, how about trying these 6 simple steps…

Your Game Plan for a Strong Social Network:

  1. Open your address book – Search your brain, book, or phone for your list of contacts.
  2. Pick your priorities – Categorize your contacts into 3 groups: Family & closest friends, Good friends, Casual acquaintances. 
  3. Make a plan to connect – Based on your priorities, determine some people you want to connect with weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly and mark reminders in your calendar.
  4. Follow through – Contact them in advance to schedule the get-togethers. If they’re not there, leave a message.
  5. Reschedule – If your friend or family member can’t make it, plan another day to reconnect.
  6. Meet & play Fit Brains together! – Once you meet, make sure you have something to do.  Playing Fit Brains is a great idea as you can have fun together & compare scores.  A little competition with your friends & family will also keep you motivated to continue to train & challenge your brain!

Fit Brains Trainer

By playing Fit Brains for 5-10 minutes a day, you can stimulate your brain health.  It’s probably the most fun & enjoyable exercise you will ever experience so take advantage of it!

We have some exciting plans coming up here at Fit Brains in the next few months that will certainly delight your brain, so stay tuned!

Fit Brains’ List of Happiness!

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The Fit Brains team has created a List of Happiness!  Anyone who needs a little pick-me-up at anytime will just have to visit this list to break a smile 🙂

YOU can be a part of this list too…

What is one thing that triggers happiness in YOUR brain?  

Leave us your happy answer in the comments & we’ll add it to the list!

  • “Dancing keeps my body and mind happy and healthy” – Carol A. Keierleber
  • “MUSIC triggers happiness in my brain!” – Jordan Leo Yelle
  • “Books!” – Ulanda Dargis
  • “Spending time with my granddaughter” – Sharon Bylevedlt
  • “My pets” – Sylenda Harvey
  • “Meditation” – Ravel Viirsalu
  • “A hug” – Wendy Vanns
  • “Walk quickly 40 minutes/day” – Charles Eggerstedt
  • “Riding my bike to the local park to watch the sunset over the mountains” – Deane Alban
  • “Planting seeds” – Gail Asher Wells
  • “Seeing a smile” – Denise Gooch Orr

RECIPE: Lemon Garlic Hummus (improves memory & learning)

Hummus for the brain

Hummus is a Mediterranean staple that is rich in B vitamins and Omega-3s, nutrients that are essential to brain health!  Hummus is made out of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are healthy fats that will keep your brain nourished and focused.  Hummus is great as a study or work snack as it’ll help your brain remember things easier and stay concentrated.  Hummus also has no sugar and relatively little sodium, which is a bonus to maintaining a healthy diet as well!

Check out this simple & delicious Hummus recipe we have for you below that’ll help keep your brain performing at its best!

Lemon Garlic Hummus

Serves: 1-4

What you Need:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Whole wheat pita bread, cut into wedges

Putting it all Together:

  • In a blender, combine the oil, lemon juice, beans, garlic and salt.
  • Cover and process until smooth.
  • Transfer to a small bowl and serve with whole wheat pita wedges!

Leave a comment below & let us know how the recipe worked out for you.  Check out the Fit Brains collection of recipes, we will add new brain healthy recipes every couple of days so visit often!

6 Tips To Relax The Mind

Sometimes, the influx of work and daily to-dos are stressful for many of us.  Our brains will likely become exhausted on more than a few occasions so we need to remember how to relax the mind!

Here are 6 tips from the Fit Brains team to help you clear & calm the brain during those stressful days!

  1. Yoga / meditation – Practicing yoga or meditation will help relax the body, mind, and soul. Sign up for a trial yoga class, many community centers will offer the 1st class for free. You can also try meditating at home by sitting in a comfortable position, closing your eyes, clearing your mind, and thinking about one specific but stress-free thing for 10-30 minutes.
  2. Keep hydrated – Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated and clean. Toxins can build up in the body if it is dehydrated, which will often clog up the mind.
  3. Listen to music – Listening to music you enjoy triggers natural endorphins in your brain, so take a break and listen to some soothing music that you love.
  4. Shut off your brain – Do something mindless and/or repetitive. Activities like easy chores or light exercises are good because they don’t require a lot of thinking. Good examples are swimming, folding laundry, going for a walk, doing the dishes.
  5. Eat right – Cut back on stimulating foods such as coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and candy. Also try to avoid processed & artificial foods. You are what you eat so you need to eat healthy to have a healthy mind!
  6. Treat yourself – Do something you love and know will lower your stress level. We have all been living in our bodies long enough to know the things we like to do that will help us relax. Sometimes all we need is a break! Take a nap, get a massage, melt away in a bubble bath…do whatever you need to do to recharge yourself!

While brain breaks are great once in a while, don’t forget to keep your mind active on a regular basis to maintain its optimal performance! The Fit Brains Trainer app is great for exercising the mind without any burden of stress. If you have kids, they can stimulate their brain skills with our new Fit Brains for Kids app as well!