Eating smartly throughout the day is obviously best for your overall health. However, there’s no doubt that there are plenty of benefits to making sure that you’re eating a proper breakfast.
As the Cleveland Clinic notes, studies have shown that eating within the first few hours after waking up can boost energy levels, be beneficial for the heart, and even lower the risk of diabetes. On top of that, a nutritious breakfast can improve cognitive function by boosting your memory and concentration, according to WebMD.
If you want to take full advantage of what early eating can do for your mind, check out the following 3 best breakfast habits that experts recommend for keeping your brain sharp every day. And next, don’t miss The #1 Best Juice to Drink Every Day, Says Science.
Add flax seeds
Rachel Fine, a registered dietitian and owner of To The Pointe Nutrition, says that adding flax seeds is a great breakfast habit to adopt for your cognition.
“Flax contains a high percentage of omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) per serving. ALA fatty acids convert in the body to EPA and DHA, which are two important omega-3’s specifically for brain health,” says Fine.
Flax seeds are so easy to incorporate into your favorite breakfast meals, too, but they must be ground in order for you to fully digest them and gain their full health benefits, Fine says. “I sprinkle flax in oatmeal and yogurt,” she suggests. You can also add them to your smoothie.
Related: The Best Foods That Boost Your Memory After 40, Dietitians Say
Opt for walnuts
Adding walnuts to your morning meal is also a great option, says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert, and author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen.
“Whether you’re having a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt, it’s smart to top it with a handful of walnuts. Studies suggest that including walnuts as part of a healthy diet may play a role in helping maintain and improve cognitive health as we age. The benefit comes from the numerous phytochemicals in walnuts.”
How can you make walnuts a part of your breakfast? According to Largeman-Roth, “in addition to adding whole walnuts to dishes, you can also try topping toast with creamy walnut butter.”
Enjoy some berries
Largeman-Roth also suggests enjoying berries with your breakfast.
“Berries, including blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries, contain plant chemicals that help keep our brains healthy. Many studies have shown that berries help delay Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Beyond that, “berries fight inflammation and oxidative stress, which are involved with the aging of the brain,” Largeman-Roth says. “You can top everything from yogurt to toast with fresh berries, and swirl frozen berries into your smoothies.”
Related: The #1 Best Smoothie to Drink, Says Dietitian
To find out more about what’s ideal to eat for the health of your brain, be sure to read 30 Best & Worst Foods for Your Brain.