As Thursday rolls around in all of its end-of-week glory, your brain is ready for the weekend break ahead. Unfortunately, the neverending to-do list lingering on your desk has other plans for you. But, according to Mike Dow, Ph.D., author of The Brain Fix, you can actually snack your way to mental clarity. Generally speaking, Dow recommends opting for foods that enhance overall cognitive function and promote positive mood. Find out Dow’s snack suggestions below, and end the week on a strong note.
In the Morning
Kick-start your day with Greek yogurt topped with walnuts and berries. Dow recommends getting a yogurt fix on the daily since it “significantly reduces anxiety, thanks to the probiotics that produce feel-good and stress-relieving neurotransmitters.” He explains that walnuts also support a positive mood, while the fibrous berries are “chock-full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants that… make their way through the blood-brain barrier.”
In the Afternoon
For an afternoon pick-me-up, snack on broccoli and red bell peppers with hummus. Unlike processed snacks that lead to poorer memory and cognitive function (we’re looking at you, chips and crackers), you’ll feel sharper and more level-headed. This is because the vitamin C keeps your cortisol levels steady, which will also reduce stress levels while the healthy fats will provide you with more conservable energy.
In the Evening
If you still have some work to finish up in the evening and feel hungry, eat a banana with pistachios while sipping on chamomile tea. “The bananas and pistachios both contain vitamin B6,” Dow says. “This is a stress-relieving powerhouse that fights the frantic feeling of scatterbrain.” Also, the amino acids will help your brain produce more melatonin so you get a good night sleep.
What are your favorite nutrient-rich snacks that get you through a busy day? Share your productivity-boosting health hacks with us in the comment section below!