5 Smoothie Superfoods for a Better Brain
Smoothies have become known for their role in for simplifying our breakfast routines and fuelling us post workouts. But with the right ingredients, these nutrient dense mug meals can also be the ultimate brain food. So to help you kick your performance into high gear, here are 5 smoothie superfoods to help banish brain fog.
With over 22 amino acids, 25 minerals, 18 vitamins, 59 trace elements and 14 fatty acids, bee pollen is considered one of natures most completely nourishing foods. It provides us with a high dose of “neuro-nutrients” like amino acids, which are the building blocks for neurotransmitters. If your supply of neurotransmitters drops too low, it is impossible to stay focused, motivated or even simply be happy. Toss a tablespoon into your next blender creation. *If you’re allergic to bees, avoid bee products as they could cause a severe allergic reaction.
MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. Which basically stands for rocket fuel for your brain! These unique fatty acids are easily converted into ketones, which provide instant energy for the brain. Bonus: these easily digested and utilized fats help boost metabolism to help you to burn fat more efficiently. Start by adding ½ tsp of MCT oil to your smoothie and gradually increase to 1-2 Tbsp over time. We love this stuff so much, we carry it in our office.
Green tea contains both stimulating caffeine and high a dose of L-theanine, an amino acid shown in studies to relax the mind without causing drowsiness. This synergistic combination provides a sustainable boost of energy without the jitters of java, which would explain why Monks have been using it for thousands of years to promote mindful alertness during long periods of mediation. Get your daily dose by adding 1 cup of chilled green tea to your smoothie or toss in a tsp of Matcha Green tea powder to your favourite recipe.
I’m pretty sure I don’t have to convince you to add chocolate into your life, but let’s clarify that not all chocolate is created equal. If you’ve noticed raw cacao and cocoa (note the spelling) at your favourite grocery store, it’s not a typo. Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. This process leaves the enzymes and delicate antioxidant nutrients intact. While cocoa, on the other hand, is made by roasting the beans at high temperatures, which denatures the molecular structure and destroys the enzyme and nutritional content. Several studies have shown that the unique flavanols in raw cacao have the ability to improve blood flow to the brain and improve cognitive function. Start by adding 1 tsp of raw cacao to your smoothie and adjust to suit your tastes.
For thousands of years, Peruvians have been using maca to enhance energy, stamina and libido. This starchy root vegetable has been found to improve brain health by reducing the breakdown of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that are necessary for us to learn, move and remember. Pick up a bag of this dried root powder at your local health food store and show your brain some love by tossing a tablespoon into your smoothie. Tip: Maca can be a tad strong in the flavour department so pair it with other powerful flavours. It’s camouflages perfectly with some raw cacao.
If you haven’t mastered the art of making smoothies quite yet, be sure to check out my foolproof formula on how to make awesome smoothies.
Now get out there and nourish you neurons!
In health & good taste,
Heather- EPL In-House Holistic Nutritionist