May 27, 2017

Power your mind with brain smoothies

As finals week arrives, and the weather heats up, studying and writing essays become a recurring burden. Finals are undeniably stressful and dreadful, which calls for a refresher that is fast, simple, nutritious and increases alertness. These flavorful, blended smoothies have certain ingredients that enhance brain immunity and memory; in other words, “food for thought” to help you power through the semester’s end and finish strong.

Blueberries have been proven to protect the brain against oxidative stress which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. They can help long-term cognitive improvement. Blueberries along with spinach have been shown to restructure parts of the brain helping to prevent memory loss.

Spinach has all of the essentials for vital health: iron, potassium, beta-carotene, vitamin C and calcium.

Kale contains vitamin C and vitamin K, a powerful antioxidant. Kale is high in brain-friendly carotenoid antioxidants, which protects your body and brain from oxidative stress.

Walnuts have antioxidants, copper and magnesium and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. A diet inclusive of a daily serving of walnuts reduces inflammation in the central nervous system and reverses cognitive deficits, according to Chicago Now.

Bananas are high in antioxidants, dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine increases attention and memory while serotonin lifts mood and curbs appetite.

Avocado increases blood flow and reduces your blood pressure.

Apples, including its juice, prevents the loss of an important neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which is essential for brain agility.

Almonds are very high in protein, fiber and omega 3’s as well as vitamin e, which helps prevent poor memory according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Almond milk is a great source of Vitamin E that also helps to reduce cognitive decline.

Flaxseed oil is omega-3 rich and helps with mood, but also focus and memory.

Green tea contains L-theanine, a beneficial amino acid that has a calming effect, especially with high anxiety levels.

Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie

2 large handfuls baby spinach or baby kale

3/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

1/2 banana

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened green tea

1/2 unsweetened almond milk

A handful of ice

Recipe from withfoodandlove.com.

Blueberry Brain Power Smoothie

1 cup apple juice

1 ripe banana

1 ½ cup frozen blueberries

½ cup frozen raspberries

1/4 cup raw walnuts, preferably soaked and drained

Recipe from delish.com.

Brain Power Green Smoothie

½ cup raw oats

1 cup pineapple juice

½ c. orange juice

4 handfuls of spinach or kale

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 frozen bananas

Recipe from adashofsoul.com.

Elizabeth DeCicco can be reached at [email protected]

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