What does the food you eat have to do with how your brain functions?
It's becoming common knowledge that the foods we eat affect our bodies but did you know that our food choices can affect how our brains function too?
In fact, there's a hold field of research developing around Food Psychiatry and every day, scientists are learning that what we eat takes a toll on our brains. So what can we do to support healthy brain function? Choose wisely of course!
Choose your foods with care. When it comes to "brain foods" I like to seek out foods rich in vitamins, minerals, good fats and antioxidants. It's these nutrients that will help to protect the brain from disease and provide it energy to function.
By picking foods that benefit the brain, you have the beneficial consequence of nourishing your whole body too.
That's why I came up with these brain-boosting Oatmeal Blueberry Cookies that are packed with both antioxidants and healthy fat. Watch the video here (the recipe is down below!).
Studies have shown that dark chocolate, is rich in healthy antioxidants. These potent antioxidants (polyphenols, flavanols, catechins specifically), in addition to relieving the brain and body of oxidative stress, have also been linked to improved cholesterol levels because they work to slow down the oxidizing nature of bad cholesterol. Chocolate also contains minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium, and phosphorus.
It probably goes without saying that blueberries are also high in antioxidants. In fact, blueberries are among the most antioxidant rich fruits in the world.
Another one of the world's most powerful antioxidants is cleverly disguised as an every day favorite spice - Cinnamon. A little bit of cinnamon goes a long way, and its antioxidant powers are why it should be a staple in your home. As little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon daily can have positive effects on your blood sugar levels, digestion, and immune system. Larger doses of cinnamon are even shown to be beneficial for improving heart disease risk and cutting your risk of diabetes, cancer and those neurodegenerative diseases I mentioned earlier.
Thanks to the almond butter and walnuts in this recipe, you’re also enjoying a boost of healthy fats that will keep you feeling fuller longer. It's also good to note that because fat takes longer to digest, it can help give you more sustained energy — i.e. less chance of a sugar crash.
Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies
- 1/4 cup drippy almond butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons applesauce
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1 scant cup oats
- 1/4 dried, or 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- pinch of pink himalayan salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F, then line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together ingredients in the order listed above. The batter with be thick and a bit sticky. Scoop dough and form into cookie shape before placing onto the parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes for smaller cookies, for larger cookies bake 13-15 minutes. The cookies will continue to bake and firm up once out of the oven.