Fueling Your Mind: Discover the 7 Best High-Protein Snacks for Optimal Brain Health, as Recommended by Dietitians

High-Protein Snacks – Undoubtedly, our brains are the most amazing and intricate organs of the human body. Amazingly, our memories, consciousness, emotions, intelligence, motor skills, and senses are all processed within our skulls. If enhancing or maintaining these essential functions is on your list, eating a balanced and healthy diet rich in brain-supporting nutrients is crucial.

According to a study in 2021 released in the journal Nutrition Reviews, the most effective neuro-enhancing nutrients are polyphenols, omega-3 fatty acid B vitamins, fibre vitamin D, iron zinc, iodine and proteins. In the list of nutrients, one is crucial to producing neurotransmitters.

They are chemicals used to carry information from one nerve cell to another. The nutrient in question can be described as the protein! As the body’s primary control centre, the nervous system requires adequate amino acids for optimal functioning.

High-protein snacks can fill any nutritional gaps if you are still trying to satisfy your daily protein requirements. Here are seven top high-protein snacks to help you maintain your brain’s well-being.

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Canned Salmon

Its pink colour and intense flavour make it a good source of proteins and nutrients, making it a perfect brain food. As per the USDA report, it is possible to find 22g of protein within 3 ounces of salmon. If you purchase it canned, it is easy to transform into a nutritious midday snack, such as this Stuffed Salmon Avocado or a quick and straightforward Salmon Salad over chips or crackers. Also, salmon is an excellent supply of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. A review from 2022 published in the journal Cureus states that 35 per cent of the brain’s structure is composed of omega-3 fats that aid in cognition, memory learning, and blood flow in the brain. To reap these benefits, you can whip five-star ginger-soy salmon balls.

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If you’re searching for a crunchy and easy snack that’s healthy for your brain, mixed nuts are fantastic and high in protein. From almonds to walnuts, hazelnuts to peanuts, a report from the year 2020 in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research The study Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that eating different kinds of nuts can lead to the risk of a lesser chance of cognitive decline, as well as better cognitive performance. Peanuts and nuts also have some protein, and 7 grams of protein are in one-ounce serving, per the USDA. However, the mini brain-shaped nuts (walnuts) specifically are well-known for their benefits in supporting the brain thanks to their omega-3 fatty acids amount.

If you’re looking to go that extra mile, you could use nut butter, nuts, and dried fruits to create one of our delicious and balanced Energy ball recipe recipes. Recipes like those in our peanut butter-stuffed balls are a great way to boost your energy levels. Balls are easy to carry around, delicious, and tasty, and they include cocoa powder to boost brain-building antioxidants.

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Greek Yogurt and Blueberries

The smooth taste of Greek yoghurt, when paired with the tart and sweet blueberries’ flavour, can make for a protein-rich, high-protein after-meal snack that is great for your health and brain. Based on the USDA guidelines, the 7-ounce portion of plain Greek yoghurt contains 20 grams of protein. If that’s not enough, a review from 2022 published in the Journals of Gerontology found that probiotics, similar to those present inside Greek yoghurt, can promote interaction between the brain and the gut, improving mental and cognitive health. If you top this delicious breakfast with blueberries, you get the benefit of antioxidants that protect the brain. Therefore, next time you visit the grocery store, buy Greek yoghurt and a jar of blueberries for our simple-to-make yoghurt using Blueberries.

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Eating plant-based protein sources such as Edamame is a different way to boost the function of your brain. A cup of cooked Edamame has the equivalent of 18 grams of total protein by the USDA. Beyond the protein content, it also has folate, fibre, choline, and other plant substances called isoflavones, which can improve the brain’s health. A research study published in the journal Nutrition Reviews journal found that soy’s isoflavones may enhance cognitive function, including memory, for adults. If boosting your memory is your goal, you should eat our delicious Edamame with Aleppo Pepper.

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Quinoa Bites

Edamame is one of many complete plant proteins listed on this list. Quinoa is also a complete protein with 8 grams of protein per cup cooked, as per the USDA. In terms of supporting your well-being, research from 2023 released in Advances in Nutrition noted that eating more significant amounts of whole grains, such as Quinoa, could be associated with a better mood and less anxiety. When paired with broccoli, a source of fibre and delicious Cheddar cheese in our Baked Broccoli and Cheddar Quinoa Bites, It makes for a healthy, balanced and brain-healthy snack.

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Hard-Boiled Eggs

Look at boiling eggs or two when you need a snack to fuel your brain. As per USDA, one hard-boiled egg contains 6 grams of protein. That means that you will get as much as twelve grams of protein if you choose two eggs that have been boiled. Eggs are also a great source of lutein and choline, which a study published in 2018 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition highlights as two essential nutrients in the first 1000 days of life to support good brain development and neurodevelopment. The study also suggests that lutein could help reduce the risk of a decline in cognitive capacity in adulthood. If you are looking for a simple cooking method, connect your air fryer to cook our Air-Fryer Hard-Boiled eggs.

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Pumpkin Seeds

The pumpkin seeds are tiny, but they provide incredible protein in every serving. Based on USDA, one cup of pumpkin seeds has 8.4 grams of protein. In particular, they are rich in amino acids and tryptophan. A study from 2022 published in the journal The Journal of Plant Science HTML3 outlines that tryptophan found in pumpkin seeds is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin, which has been found to aid in improving memory, mental health and others. Another way to include more pumpkin seeds into the diet of your choice is to cook your batch for your Super-Seeds Snack Bars.

The Bottom Line

While the brain is among the most complicated organs of the human body, including high-protein foods that nourish it doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s best to search for foods with protein, which are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids and brain-nourishing minerals and vitamins.

Some snacks that make our list of favorites include salmon, Greek yoghurt, nuts such as hard-boiled eggs and Edamame, pumpkin seeds and Quinoa. If you add a few of these items to your daily snack menu, your taste buds and brain will be grateful.

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