Whether or not you agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you probably know that a healthy morning meal can serve as fuel, making you feel more energetic and sharper.
When it comes to boosting your brain power, your goal should be to get the right amount of calories (or energy), plus a balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, says Danielle Levy-Wolins, R.D., in-house dietitian at the healthy meal-delivery service Thistle. “Taking a look at your breakfast plate, consider making half the plate fruits and veggies, a quarter of the plate protein and a quarter whole grains,” she explains. “Healthy fats are more of an addition and can include avocado, olive oil, and any type of nut or seed.”
Meanwhile, you should try to cut back on processed foods, added sugar, and simple carbs, which can cause your energy to tank (and your mind to become foggy) before lunch rolls around.
To keep your brain sharp, consider adding these foods to your breakfast plate:
- Berries, which contain flavonoids that have been linked to slower rates of cognitive decline.
- Fatty fish is especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have long been understood to protect and bolster cognition.
- Leafy greens provide brain-boosting nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin K, and folate.
- Eggs are a great source of choline, which has been shown to improve brain health throughout life—but only in their yolks.
- Nuts provide protein, and walnuts in particular have tons of omega-3s and are associated with healthier brains.
Beyond boosting cognition, these foods provide the calories, protein, and nutrients you need to feel your best throughout the day. One 2015 study even found that “brain foods” such as these can promote mental health, meaning they’ll leave you feeling better overall.
According to Levy-Wolins, an ideal brain-boosting breakfast would be a half-cup of oatmeal, a two-egg omelet with veggies, and some berries. The Mediterranean diet is also a good guide to cognition-enhancing breakfasts—tons of its staples, including leafy greens, fish, whole grains, and yogurt, have been linked to slower cognitive decline and better overall health.
Ready for more brain-boosting breakfast ideas? Read on for 10 recipes that will make you (and your taste buds) happy.
Jake Smith, an editorial fellow at Prevention, recently graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in magazine journalism and just started going to the gym. Let's be honest—he's probably scrolling through Twitter right now.
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