9 Breakfasts That Jump-Start Your Brain
There's no getting around the fact that you have to eat breakfast. That is, if you want to maintain a healthy weight, shed pounds, or simply have enough energy to make it to lunch. So why not make your morning meal count even more by choosing these mind-sharpening meals from the book Brainpower Game Plan?
The plan incorporates foods shown to keep brain cells healthy and stave off age-related cognitive decline, including berries, nuts, olive oil, veggies, fish, and more—all power nutrients that will keep your whole body well, too.
Plain yogurt gets smarter when you top it with walnuts (a good source of brain-saving omega-3s) and berries (one of the most concentrated sources of antioxidants). Protein from the yogurt, combined with fiber and whole grains from shredded wheat squares and high-fiber cereal, gets digested slowly for steady energy (and better concentration) all morning long.
¾ c low-fat plain yogurt
½ c shredded wheat squares
¼ c high-fiber cereal
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts
¼ banana, sliced
¼ c berries
LAYERall ingredients in a bowl and eat immediately.
NUTRITION (per serving) 336 cal, 16 g pro, 59 g carb, 10 g fiber, 9 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 159 mg sodium
Fried eggs become healthier when you cook them with a brain food like olive oil; tomatoes, spinach, and an apple on the side round out the meal with important antioxidants.
1 tsp olive oil
1 whole wheat English muffin
1 slice reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1 slice tomato
3 baby spinach leaves
1 sm apple
1. FRY1 egg in olive oil.
2. FILLEnglish muffin with cheese, tomato, spinach, and fried egg.
3. SERVEwith apple.
NUTRITION(per serving): 360 cal, 20 g pro, 50 g carb, 9 g fiber, 22 g sugars, 12 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 350 mg sodium
A quickie breakfast for busy women; you can even whip up this smoothie the night before so it’s ready when you walk out the door. Packed with antioxidants, omega-3s in flaxseed, and fiber from fruits and whole grains, this breakfast will help you stay sharp—and full—until lunch.
8 oz fat-free milk
½ c frozen berries
½ banana, sliced and divided
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
⅓ c high-fiber cereal
1 slice whole wheat toast
¼ c regular or no-salt-added 1% cottage cheese
BLEND milk with berries, ¼ banana, flaxseed, and cereal.
SERVEwith topped with cottage cheese; ¼ banana, and cinnamon.
NUTRITION (per serving) 361 cal, 23 g pro, 64 g carb, 17 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 597 mg sodium
More from Prevention:11 Brain-Boosting Smoothies
Shake up a blah bowl of cereal with pumpkin seeds and sliced peaches, good sources of vitamin E, healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants.
¾ c whole grain cereal
½ c high-fiber cereal
4 tsp pumpkin seeds
1 med peach, sliced
8 oz fat-free milk
1. MIX cereals together.
2. TOPwith pumpkin seeds, peach, and milk.
NUTRITION (per serving) 348 cal, 18 g pro, 75 g carb, 21 g fiber, 6.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 248 mg sodium
Adding raisins, apples, and almonds to plain oats provides a tastier and more satisfying texture, not to mention a great source of brain-boosting flavonoids and vitamin E.
½ c raw oats
2 Tbsp raisins
¼ c chopped apple
1 Tbsp slivered almonds (or 6 almonds, chopped)
4 oz low-fat plain yogurt
2 oz fat-free milk
½ tsp brown sugar or honey (if desired)
MIXingredients together and eat immediately.
NUTRITION (per serving) 361 cal, 17 g pro, 57 g carb, 6 g fiber, 8.5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 114 mg sodium
Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which experts think make brain cells communicate with each other better. Use it, along with cottage cheese, to top whole-grain toast for a filling, fiber- and protein-rich meal.
2 slices whole wheat toast
¼ c regular or no-salt-added 1% cottage cheese (whipped or regular)
2 slices red onion
2 oz smoked salmon
1 med orange or 6 oz orange juice
1. TOP toast with cottage cheese, onion, and salmon.
2. SERVEwith orange or orange juice.
NUTRITION (per serving) 338 cal, 24 g pro, 52 g carb, 9 g fiber, 4.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 523 mg sodium
Feta cheese and salsa flavor this healthy egg wrap. Healthy fats from olive oil and antioxidants in the salsa provide a brain-healthy ingredients; filling fiber from the wrap and protein from the yogurt will help you avoid mid-morning cravings.
2 egg whites
1 tsp olive oil
1 8-inch whole wheat tortilla
¼ c crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
2 Tbsp low-fat plain yogurt
¼ c salsa
4 oz black currant juice or orange juice.
1. SCRAMBLEegg and egg whites in olive oil.
2. FILL tortilla with feta and eggs. Fold in half and microwave (or heat in a skillet) until cheese melts.
3. TOPwith yogurt and salsa.
4. SERVEwith black currant juice or orange juice.
NUTRITION (per serving) 352 cal, 23 g pro, 35 g carb, 5 g fiber, 15 g fat, 5 g sat fat, 590 mg sodium
This yogurt is anything but vanilla! Pumpkin, pear, honey, and walnuts meld for a tangy-sweet, crunchy flavor. Even better, this tasty mix of omega-3s and antioxidants will help your brain cells stay young and pliable.
¼ c canned pumpkin
1 sm pear, chopped and divided
1 tsp honey
¾ c low-fat plain yogurt
½ c Kashi GoLean cereal
1 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
1. STIR pumpkin; ½ pear, and honey into yogurt.
2. TOPwith cereal, walnuts, and remaining ½ half pear.
NUTRITION (per serving) 362 cal, 19 g pro, 61 g carb, 12 g fiber, 8.5 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 177 mg sodium
Skip the syrup and top this breakfast favorite with brain-boosting berries, yogurt, and flaxseed instead. It’s healthy, yummy, and a great weekend meal for the whole family.
2 whole grain waffles
½ c frozen berries (thawed)
½ c low-fat plain yogurt
2 tsp ground flaxseed
TOP waffles with berries, yogurt, and flaxseed.
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