Eat Smart

4 Smoothies to Boost Your Brain

As the cold weather nears, it’s important to keep your mind and your body healthy. This means exercising, getting enough sleep, and incorporating well-balanced meals into your diet. One of the biggest mistakes students make is not eating breakfast, a BIG no-no! Whether you aren’t hungry or don’t have time to grab breakfast, research has shown that eating breakfast boosts your metabolism, increases concentration, and even improves your grades in the long run. Here are some simple smoothie recipes to make in the mornings for a quick and easy breakfast.

Brain Booster Trio Smoothie

With the brain booster trio, you get a smoothie that tastes as good as it looks. While sipping the yummy flavors of blueberry, bananas, and almonds, you are simultaneously protecting your brain cells, boosting memory and coordination, and getting a yummy breakfast that will help jumpstart your metabolism and get your day off on the right foot.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 of a medium frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 5 unsalted whole almonds
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey

Directions: 

  • Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth, or about 1 to 2 minutes

Pomegranate and Strawberry Smoothie

The pomegranate and strawberry smoothie is especially good for boosting fiber intake, which affects the glucose levels in your brain. Boosting glucose levels has shown an increase in energy and concentration. With the yummy combination of flavors, this smoothie gives you a sweet treat that is low-calorie and chock full of good antioxidants to boost your brain power.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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

Banana and Coconut Power Smoothie

If you close your eyes while drinking this smoothie, it’s almost like your tanning on a beach in some tropical island far away from all the stress that is college (almost, though we wish it were true!) This smoothie—packed with the protein from bananas, a coconut, and a scoop of protein powder—will have you determined and ready to take on the hectic day ahead of you. Coconut is low in sugar and high in fiber and vitamins, which will provide long lasting energy and even help with memory retention. To add an extra boost of delicious protein, add a tablespoon (or two) of peanut butter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk (hemp almond, rice, or organic 1% cow’s milk)
  • 1 frozen banana, slightly thawed
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend well

“Happy, Healthy Self” Smoothie

This smoothie is what I dub the “happy, healthy self smoothie” because it affects your emotions, motivation, and pleasure senses in your body. This smoothie is great if you have a long day ahead of you and know you need to focus—something all of us will be experiencing with finals coming up in a couple of weeks. The key ingredient in this recipe is milk, because it provides a healthy amount of protein to boost dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for making you feel happy and motivated. An added benefit? This smoothie keeps your blood sugar level steady and gives you a small amount of caffeine to help “kick start” your morning!

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions:

  • Combine all the ingredients except the protein powder in a blender, and blend on high speed until smooth
  • Add the protein powder and lightly blend until incorporated

By Annie O’Sullivan

Advertisements