If you want to start your day in good favor of your brain, there’s a neuroscientist, neurosurgeon, and other brain experts recommend eating breakfast: Overnight oats with walnuts and blueberries.
When it comes to standard overnight bird’s nest, all you have to do is:
Soak 1/2 cup of rolled oats with 1 cup of almond milk.
Leave it cold overnight.
In the morning, eat fresh blueberries and walnuts.
You’re more likely to eat healthier when there’s a nutritious breakfast waiting for you in the morning, and this easy way will help boost your brain health in the first place.
“The food we eat is directly related to how the brain works,” said Randall Wright, MD, a neurologist at Houston Methodist Hospital. When it comes to diet and eating, we’re seeing that it’s all about brain energy.
The brain uses a large portion of its energy compared to the rest of the body.”
That’s why it’s important to energize your brain with foods that help it fight stress and damage, which is exactly what this nutritious breakfast will help you do. Here are four benefits of an overnight oat breakfast with blueberries and walnuts.
1. Blueberries have compounds that protect your brain
Delicious blueberries can help protect your brain from damage and improve its long-term function. Brain experts tend to recommend three diets for a healthy brain – all of which recommend fruit and one of them specifically recommends blueberries.
“Often, when I tell patients about diets that they should focus on brain health, there are three main diets that I mention: The Mediterranean diet, the MIND diet and the DASH diet,” said neurosurgeon Philip Stieg. Founder of the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center.
Here’s what you need to know about each of those diets:
Mediterranean diet: This diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, high-fiber bread, whole grains and healthy fats, which have been linked to a reduction in the incidence of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, depression, stroke and Parkinson’s disease, Every Michigan Medicine.
DASH Diet: Also known as The Diet Method to Stop Hypertension, this diet focuses on foods that lower blood pressure and “harmful” LDL cholesterol, while recommending vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nonfat or low-fat dairy products, poultry, beans, nuts and vegetable oils, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Dr. Stieg notes that a heart-healthy diet also tends to be healthy for the brain.
Mind Diet: The most famous diet for brain health, the MIND Diet (Dash diet for neurodegenerative delays) is a combination of the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet and was formulated by researchers to emphasize foods that affect brain health. ministry. It includes plenty of vegetables, meat-free meals, nuts, occasional fish and olive oil, and specifically called blueberries, which have been linked to slower rates of cognitive decline, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The MIND diet recommends two or more servings per week of any berries but suggests that blueberries may have more benefits. Older adults who ate more blueberries and strawberries had the slowest rates of cognitive decline in a July 2012 study in the journal Annals of Neurology. The California Strawberry Commission partially funded the study, but it’s notable because it looked at data on more than 16,000 participants from the Nurses’ Health Study for more than 20 years.
In the study, people who ate a lot of blueberries and strawberries delayed cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years. Anthocyanidins, which are a subclass of flavonoids, can cross the blood-brain barrier to accumulate in areas of the brain responsible for learning and memory, such as the hippocampus.
“It’s clear that berries, and especially blueberries, especially blueberries, have direct benefits,” said Marwan Sabbagh, MD, an Alzheimer’s disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. Flavonoids are free radical removal agents and very powerful antioxidants.”
In other words, flavonoids can help protect from the effects of oxidative stress and inflammation that occur naturally in your body. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Oxidative stress is thought to play a role in many diseases, including those affecting the brain such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
“The chemicals in blueberries are something the brain needs to protect itself,” Wright said. When our diet doesn’t reflect that, that’s when illness can begin.”
The antioxidants in blueberries can help prevent or delay cell damage in your body, but it’s best to absorb them through food – while diets high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables have been shown to have health benefits, Antioxidant supplements have not been shown to be helpful in preventing disease, according to the NIH.
2. Walnuts contain fat that is good for the brain
Nuts like walnuts are rich in vitamin E, which is known for its brain-protecting uses, according to the Mayo Clinic. The MIND diet recommends eating a handful of nuts at least five times per week instead of processed snacks like french fries – choose only the raw, unsalted type without adding sodium, sweeteners or oils.
In particular, walnuts contain the most alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid, than any other nut. They also have higher levels of polyphenolic compounds (an antioxidant type) than any other nut. According to the American Dietetic Association, both ALA and polyphenolic compounds can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation — which are two causes of cognitive decline, according to the American Dietetic Association.
“The cells in our bodies have cell walls made up of lipids or fat,” says Dr. Stieg. Good fats help build a normal and healthy cell wall, so you want to make sure that you have the right fat in your diet.”
Eating more walnuts increases the performance of adults on cognitive tests, no matter how old they are, in a December 2014 study in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.
Like many other walnut studies, this study was funded by the California Walnut Council. However, it still makes sense because this is the first representative study of walnut intake and cognitive function, and it includes all the cognitive data available on many National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES).
3. Oats give you durable energy, beneficial for the brain
Dr Wright said: “Our brains are not designed to have more calorie-rich foods in our systems, and in modern times, there are too many foods rich in calories and glucose, which is detrimental to the brain.
“Maintaining stable blood glucose levels is extremely important for the brain, and that’s why oats grow.”
According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
More than 250 adults with type 2 diabetes received dietary intervention for 30 days, with follow-up after one year,
in a randomized controlled trial in December 2013 published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Two of the intervention groups received 50 grams or 100 grams of whole oats per day, along with a healthy diet. The other two groups did not change their diet or follow a healthy, high-fiber and low-fat diet.
Participants in the oat group saw a significant drop in blood sugar levels after a meal compared to the control group, and eating more oats resulted in more reductions. Participants in the group of 100 grams of oats even lost weight modestly after a year.
4. It helps protect your heart, which can protect your brain
Your cardiovascular health is closely linked to your brain health and overnight oats with blueberries and walnuts are beneficial for both.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your heart sends blood through vessels throughout your body, and damage to those vessels can lead to serious health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and dementia. By keeping your blood vessels healthy, you’ll have a healthier heart and brain.
According to the CDC, you can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia by eating healthy foods like grains and fruits, limiting foods with saturated fat, added sugars, and too much sodium.
When you choose overnight oats with walnuts and blueberries instead of bacon or pies in the morning, you’re benefiting both your heart and your brain.
“Saturated fat is not only harmful to heart disease but also harmful to brain health,” Dr. Sabbagh said. That’s why you want to cut back on red meat, lard, butter, and fried foods.
Oats contain soluble fiber, which can help lower your LDL cholesterol and thus lower total blood cholesterol, according to the Mayo Clinic. And high-fiber foods can also lower blood pressure and inflammation, leading to even more benefits for the heart. In fact, every 10g of fiber per day was associated with a 15% reduction in the risk of dying from heart disease in a May 2012 study of more than 306,000 participants in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Other tips for creating your best overnight oat breakfast
Skip the added sugar: Choose a sugar-free whole oat when you prepare oats overnight or regular oatmeal. Dr Sabbagh said: “Eat whole oats, as packaged oatmeal can contain a lot of sugar, so you’re beating your purpose. Plus, blueberries will add a natural sweetness!
Try other types of coatings: You don’t need to stop at blueberries and walnuts! The MIND diet usually requires nuts and berries, so add almonds, strawberries and other coatings.
Start small: Processing oats overnight won’t transform your brain overnight — but taking small steps like upgrading what you eat for breakfast can still make a difference. “Any improvement is good, and it starts with what you put in the grocery cart,” Dr. Sabbagh said. Anything is an improvement over nothing.”