3 Smoothie Formulas For Brain Health, From A Nutritional Psychiatrist
Smoothies are a go-to for breakfasts and afternoon pick-me-ups. They're a great way to blend a bunch of nutrients, fruits, and veggies into one neat, tasty package. And while I have a good repertoire of recipes to pull from, I'm always on the lookout for more inspo—especially in the form of simple formulas, like the three nutritional psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, M.D., recently shared on his Instagram.
"I love smoothies because there are endless combinations that work so well together," he writes on the post. "The key with smoothies is to try all of the different flavor combinations you can think of until you find ones you love." He does also note, though, "while smoothies are a fantastic way to pack a punch of vitamins and nutrients, they shouldn't replace chewable food!"
He goes on to share three seriously tasty-sounding combos—all with only a few key superpower ingredients—that he calls "Healthy Brain Smoothies." Brb, adding these to my grocery list ASAP:
Peanut butter + chocolate + kefir
There are few pairings I love more than peanut butter and chocolate. Dark chocolate offers heart-brain benefits since it's a good source of flavonoids and polyphenols, while nut butters are good sources of healthy fats and protein for energy. This formula also includes kefir, a fermented beverage that's chock-full of probiotics—those good bugs help support gut health and, in turn, the brain.
2. Kale + blueberry + banana + cashews
A fun update on a classic green smoothie, this small group of ingredients covers lots of nutrients. Both kale and blueberries are good sources of antioxidants, which can help support the brain's resilience to oxidative stress. Kale is also packed with vitamins, like A, C, and K. Add in high-fiber banana and cashews for a dose of magnesium, which can help regulate blood sugar.
3. Mango + mint + pumpkin seed
Adding herbs to a smoothie can be a great way to boost flavor, without adding sugars—and this pairing of mint and mango sounds like an ideal summer breakfast. What's more, some studies have linked the smell of mint to memory benefits1—making it a great choice when you need a little extra focus. Pumpkin seeds offer a multitude of powerhouse nutrients, including omega-3s, magnesium, zinc, iron, and B vitamins.
These three- and four-ingredient flavor combos are meant to provide flavor inspiration, but they're not the entire recipe. Always be sure to add your liquid of choice (like coconut water or alt-milk) and any other nutrients you prefer. Beyond these clever blends, there are also a number of foods for brain health worth adding to your daily diet.
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.