11 Brain-Boosting Smoothies

11 Brain-Boosting Smoothies
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Smoothies for brain health

You can do crosswords and Sudoku puzzles until your hand hurts, but all that brain-busting work will go to waste if you don’t fuel your thinker with the right nutrients. When you eat for your brain, you will think more clearly and efficiently, says Daniel Amen, MD, author of Unleash The Power Of The Female Brain.

The following smoothies are packed with foods that help boost blood flow, stabilize blood sugar, and neutralize free-radical damage—all important for optimal brain health. Check out all 11 recipes now!

Banana-Coconut Smoothie

Inflammation is just as bad for your brain as it is for your body. Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which experts believe are necessary for transmitting signals between brain cells. Blueberries and raspberries are also known for encouraging healthy connections between the cells of the brain.

SERVINGS: 1

1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 small banana, peeled and frozen
1/4 cup diced pineapple
2 Tbsp chia seeds
3 ice cubes
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 serving whey protein powder (vanilla)

1. COMBINE all the ingredients except the protein powder in a blender, and blend at high speed until smooth.
2. ADD the protein powder and lightly blend until incorporated.

NUTRITION (per serving) 380 cal, 24 g pro, 67 g carb, 14 g fiber, 4.4 g fat, 1.1 g sat fat, 59 mg sodium

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in motivation, emotion, and pleasure, and it’s easily boosted by a healthy serving of protein—found here in the form of protein powder and soy milk. Chia seeds keep your blood sugar steady, says Dr. Amen, while a moderate amount of caffeine will keep you focused. Mix up this smoothie when you really need to get things done!

SERVINGS: 1

1/2 cup small banana, peeled and frozen
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup soy milk (vanilla or plain)
1 double shot (approximately 1/2 cup) organic espresso
1 serving whey protein powder (vanilla)

1. COMBINE all the ingredients except the protein powder in a blender, and blend on high speed until smooth.
2. ADD the protein powder and lightly blend until incorporated.

NUTRITION (per serving) 383 cal, 24 g pro, 31 g carb, 3 g fiber, 18.6 g fat, 2.8 g sat fat, 143 mg sodium

Fiber helps regulate blood sugar. And since glucose is your brain’s chief source of energy, it’s important to keep those levels steady, says Dr. Amen. This low-cal smoothie is full of fiber, along with other brain-friendly antioxidants.

SERVINGS: 1

1/3 cup pomegranate juice
2 tsp raw honey
3/4 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
2 Tbsp fat-free plain yogurt
1 Tbsp flaxseed oil
4 ice cubes

1. WHISK pomegranate juice and honey in a small cup to dissolve the honey completely.
2. COMBINE the strawberries, yogurt, oil, ice cubes, and pomegranate mixture in a blender.
3. PROCESS for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thick and smooth. Pour into a glass.

NUTRITION (per serving) 262 cal, 3 g pro, 35 g carb, 3 g fiber, 14 g fat, 1.3 g sat fat, 31 mg sodium

Besides containing antioxidants, green tea also has theanine, an amino acid that helps you focus and relax at the same time, says Dr. Amen. The honey contains all 22 essential amino acids, which provide the building blocks of protein for brain cells.

SERVINGS: 2

3 Tbsp water
1 green tea bag
2 tsp raw honey
1½ cups frozen blueberries
1/2 medium banana
3/4 cup calcium-fortified light vanilla soy milk

1. MICROWAVE water on high until steaming hot.
2. ADD tea bag and let step for 3 minutes. Remove tea bag.
3. STIR honey into tea until dissolved.
4. BLEND all ingredients (including the tea) on the highest setting until smooth.

NUTRITION (per serving) 125 cal, 1.8 g pro, 29 g carb, 4 g fiber, 1.3 g fat, 0.2 g sat fat, 32 mg sodium

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