I Study Brain Health & Longevity: This Is My Favorite Snack For Cognition
When you're feeling hungry midday, it can be tempting to reach for something quick—which oftentimes means processed (and not the healthiest). However, let us remind you that not all grab-and-go snacks have to come from a box. In fact, your body will thank you if you reach for something simple and packed with protein.
Just ask cognitive health and longevity expert Max Lugavere: On a recent episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, he shared his go-to snack to nurture his brain and keep his energy levels balanced. His answer? A simple cup of Greek yogurt. Here, find a few ways to mix up this expert's favorite afternoon nosh.
Why Greek yogurt makes a great midday snack.
Because Greek yogurt doesn't take much time to prepare (just, you know, scoop some into a bowl and dig in), it makes a great snack for those on the go. Not to mention, Greek yogurt is packed with nutrients. Of course, you can reach for a dairy-free alternative, like almond or cashew yogurt, if you follow a plant-based diet. Lugavere, however, says dairy yogurt has some worthy perks, if you can tolerate it.
"Full-fat dairy has a number of really cool nutrients in it; whether we're talking about vitamin K2, or butyrate, or CLA, I think there's a lot of good to be had in dairy, if you're not one of the many people who are dairy sensitive," Lugavere explains. Research has even shown that dairy has the potential to enhance cognitive function as you age1. As Lugavere adds, "If you're not dairy sensitive, I do think that it is a food worth welcoming back to the table."
Beyond that, Greek yogurt is an affordable option, too. "Greek yogurt is one of the most economical ways of getting a high-quality protein source in the modern supermarket," Lugavere shares. One 4-ounce serving of Greek yogurt contains 12 grams of protein, so you get a lot of bang for your buck."
How to spice up a cup of Greek yogurt.
If you find a cup of plain Greek yogurt a tad boring, here are a few ways to have fun with your snack—and keep it blood-sugar-friendly.
Add toppings: There are tons of options to choose from when it comes to dressing your yogurt. Some of our favorites include nuts, berries, seeds, cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey.
Pack in skin-supporting supplements: Yogurt serves as an easy vehicle for powdered supplements. Our go-to, of course, is the mbg beauty & gut collagen+. Not only is this blend packed with even more protein (thanks to the grass-fed collagen), but it also contains vitamins C and E, hyaluronic acid, and turmeric for extra skin-healthy benefits.* Bonus: It comes in a chocolate flavor (with zero added sugar) for those who prefer something more rich.
If you're curious about what Lugavere eats in a day (beyond this delicious snack), check out the full daily menu here.
When it comes to selecting a midday snack, something easy and quick is generally the way to go. Greek yogurt (especially with collagen powder) is packed with protein to help satisfy your midday hunger. Feel free to add your favorite fruits, nuts, and other toppings to spice it up. If you're looking for a specific recipe, check out this decadent yogurt parfait—you won't be sorry you did.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.