BLOG: Breakfast is brain food. While it’s important to fuel the body for the day ahead, it is also needed to power the mind. The importance of a balanced breakfast before school has been widely studied as a tool for improved academic performance. However, a good breakfast has also been linked to better brain function and improved work performance in adults.
This often leads to the question: Does what I eat matter? Yes. While any breakfast may be better than no breakfast, what you eat can play a large role in how well your brain functions on a particular day. Most evidence shows that foods with a lower glycemic index, or those that are absorbed slowly, are more beneficial in improving brain function. Foods such as oatmeal, eggs, and whole wheat bread, contain fiber and protein that slow digestion. This prevents the body from experiencing sudden drops in blood-sugar levels, which in turn may trigger a release in hormones that affect concentration and memory.
In addition to protein and fiber, calcium is a critical nutrient for brain function. Calcium is responsible for controlling the release of neurons inside the brain. Therefore, a lack of calcium can deprive the brain of the nutrients needed function properly. The best breakfast for brain function includes all three: protein, fiber, and calcium. And of course, each of these nutrients can be found abundantly among the shelves of your local Stewart’s Shop.
Beginning in the refrigerated section, eggs and dairy products are two of greatest ways to incorporate protein into your morning meal. Just one egg contains 6g of protein, and low fat milk contains 8g per cup. Consuming dairy, including low fat milk, yogurt and cheese, is also a great way to add calcium. Therefore Stewart’s dairy products are a true value, with both protein and calcium working together to improve cognitive function!
Looking for brain powering suggestions? Try serving eggs, whole wheat toast, and a glass of milk for breakfast a few times a week. This meal is an excellent balance of protein, fiber, and calcium.
Stewart’s also has several ready to go options that can boost your brainpower as you head into work. The yogurt in Stewart’s strawberry and blueberry parfaits is a great source of protein and calcium, while the fruit and granola provide the fiber needed to make a quick meal. You might also try the English muffins prepared with peanut butter available at the counter - this is a fast on the go breakfast that is full of protein and fiber!
Breakfasts with these nutrients are the same wholesome meals that prevent hunger, and fuel the healthy body discussed in last week’s article! And with increased body and brainpower, the true value of Stewart’s breakfast may be in more than just the nutrients!
-Christine Sloat, RD, RDN
About Christine: Christine Sloat is a Registered Dietitian and life-long resident of upstate New York. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics from the University of Delaware, with clinical training at Albany Medical Center. She has a nutrition consulting business, Nutritious Notions LLC.