The 7 Best Protein-Rich Snacks for Brain Health, According to Nutritionists

The 7 Best Protein-Rich Snacks for Brain Health, According to Nutritionists

It is undeniable that the brain is the most fascinating and complex organ in the human body. It is truly amazing that our consciousness, memories, intelligence, emotions, senses and motor abilities can be processed and placed directly below our skull. If maintaining or improving these vital functions is your top priority, eating a balanced diet full of brain-supporting nutrients is key.

According to a 2021 study published in nutrition reviews, Top nerve-boosting nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin D, iron, zinc, iodine and protein. Among the nutrients mentioned, there is one that plays a crucial role in the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that transmit messages from one nerve cell to another. And that nutrient is protein! As the body’s main control center, the nervous system needs adequate amounts of protein and amino acids to function at its best.

If you’re finding it difficult to meet your daily protein needs, high-protein snacks can help you fill in any nutritional gaps. Here are seven of the best protein-rich snacks to support your brain health.

1. Canned salmon

With its pink color and intense flavour, salmon is packed with protein and nutrients that make it an ideal brain food. According to the USDA, there are 22 grams of protein in 3 ounces of salmon. And if you choose to buy it canned, you can easily turn it into a healthy midday snack like avocado stuffed with salmon or a quick and easy salmon salad over crackers or chips. Not to mention, salmon is an excellent source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. 2022 review published in Treat us It highlights that 35% of the brain is made up of omega-3 fatty acids, which enhance cognition, memory, learning and blood flow in the brain. To get these benefits, try making these 5-star Ginger Soy Salmon Balls.

2. Nuts

If you’re looking for a crunchy, easy-to-eat snack that’s good for your brain, mixed nuts are a great protein-rich choice. From walnuts to almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts, a 2020 study published in Molecular nutrition and food research found that regularly eating a variety of nuts is associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline and improved cognitive function. Nuts like peanuts also contain a fair share of protein, with 7 grams in one 1-ounce serving, according to the USDA. But small, brain-shaped nuts (walnuts), in particular, are known for their brain-supporting benefits due to their high omega-3 fatty acid content.

If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you can use nuts and nut butters along with dried fruit to create one of our delicious and balanced energy ball recipes. Recipes like these easy-to-portable and delicious peanut butter filled energy balls are topped with cocoa powder for an extra boost of brain-supporting antioxidants.

3. Greek yogurt with blueberries

The creamy texture of Greek yogurt, paired with the sweet and tart flavor of blueberries, makes for a protein-rich morsel between meals that can do wonders for your brain health. According to the USDA, a 7-ounce serving of plain Greek yogurt contains 20 grams of protein. If that’s not impressive enough, a 2022 review was published in Gerontology journals She found that probiotics, such as those found in Greek yogurt, encourage gut-brain interactions that can improve cognitive and mental health. By adding blueberries to this delicious snack, you also get the added bonus of brain-protecting antioxidants. So, next time you head to the store, be sure to grab Greek yogurt and a bowl of blueberries for this easy-to-make blueberry yogurt recipe.

4. Edamame

Eating plant-based protein sources like edamame is another way to boost your brain function. Just one cup of cooked edamame contains 18 grams of complete protein, according to the USDA. In addition to their protein content, edamame is also packed with fiber, folate, iron, choline and plant compounds called isoflavones that may benefit brain health. In fact, a 2020 study published in Nutrition reviews He noted that isoflavones found in soy may improve cognitive function, i.e. memory, in adults. If supporting your memory system is one of your goals, try snacking on delicious edamame with Aleppo peppers.

5. Quinoa bites

Edamame isn’t the only whole plant protein on this list. Quinoa is also a complete protein with 8 grams per cup, according to the USDA. When it comes to supporting your mental health, a 2023 review published in Advances in nutrition He pointed out that consuming more Whole grains, including quinoa, may be linked to improved mood and reduced anxiety. When combined with fiber-rich broccoli and satisfying cheddar cheese in Baked Broccoli Quinoa Bites, it makes a healthy, balanced snack for the brain.

6. Boiled eggs

On those days when you need a mid-morning snack to boost your brain power, consider boiling an egg or two. According to the USDA, one hard-boiled egg provides 6 grams of protein. This means you can get up to 12 grams of protein if you choose two hard-boiled eggs. Eggs are also a great source of choline and lutein, as indicated by a 2018 study in the journal Journal of the American College of Nutrition Two important nutrients are emphasized in the first 1,000 days of life for proper development of the brain and nervous system. There is even an indication that lutein may help reduce the risk of cognitive decline in adulthood. If you need a hassle-free way to cook eggs, you may want to plug in your air fryer to prepare hard-boiled eggs in the air fryer.

7. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they pack a huge amount of protein into every serving. According to the USDA, one ounce of pumpkin seeds contains 8 grams of protein. More specifically, pumpkin seeds are high in the amino acid tryptophan. 2022 study published in the plants It confirms that the tryptophan found in pumpkin seeds can be converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin, which has been shown to help support mental health, memory, and more. One way to add more pumpkin seeds to your diet is to whip up a batch of Super-Seed snack bars.

Bottom line

Although the brain is one of the most complex organs in the human body, eating high-protein snacks that nourish it doesn’t have to be complicated. The trick is to look for protein-rich foods that also contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals that nourish the brain. Several snacks that top the list include salmon, Greek yogurt, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, edamame, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds. By adding a few of these foods to your snack list, your taste buds and brain will thank you.

#ProteinRich #Snacks #Brain #Health #Nutritionists