23 Healthy Brain Food Snacks that Boost Memory and Brain Power

foods that boost memory and brain power

Let’s face it, life is busy, especially at the office.

When we’re working as hard as we can to stay on top of every project, deadline, and the million other things that demand our attention, sometimes the thing we neglect most is proper nutrition.

The irony: by neglecting to eat a balanced diet and choosing to keep healthy snacks for work, we’re actually denying our brain the nutrients it needs to work properly in the first place. In other words, it might take less time to eat junk food at the office, but doing so actually makes it harder to do our jobs effectively.

So, what are our options exactly?

Option 1: Choose low-nutrient foods that hurt our mental performance and health.

Option 2: Choose nutrient-rich, brain food snacks that boost our memory and overall health.

So instead of bringing donuts to the office, consider one of the healthy brain food snacks listed below instead. You’ll have a much more productive day at the office because of it.

Of all the brain food snacks that will help improve memory and brain power, here are the top ones we recommend based on taste, cost, and ability to be eaten on-the-go:

  • Blueberries
  • Nuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Kale chips
  • Spinach

Get some free healthy snacks for your office here.

1. Whole grains

Our ability to concentrate and focus starts with an adequate supply of energy to the brain in the form of glucose. By choosing whole grains, with a low-GI, that release glucose slowly into the blood stream, you’ll feel mentally alert all day. Some good options include wheat bran, oatmeal, and whole grain breads, pastas, and cereals.

super human snacks - healthy office snack

For an easy grab ‘n go option, try Super HUMAN Snacks. They’re made with all-natural ingredients, fewer calories, and tons of whole grains. Plus, for every bag you buy, HUMAN donates a nutritional pack to a child in need. My favorite is the BBQ Crisp!

2. Fish

Fish is chocked full with omega-3 fatty acids, which are clinically proven to optimize brain function, preserve cognition, boost memory, prevent heart disease, and reverse age-related loss of brain function.  

Wild Planet tuna healthy snack food

For an easy snack or meal at the office, try Wild Planet’s Albacore Tuna Single Serve Pack. It contains no added salt, water, oil, broth or fillers, it’s convenient, and delicious.

3. Blueberries

There’s significant evidence, most notably from Tufts University, showing that eating blueberries may improve cognition and promote memory.

this bar saves lives blueberry

Feel free to eat them raw, but if you’re in the mood for a delicious treat that also saves lives, try a Wild Blueberry Pistachio bar from This Bar Saves Lives. The bars are all-natural, non-GMO, gluten free, kosher, and just plain awesome. For every bar you buy, a packet of life-saving food is given to a child in need.

4. Tomatoes

Studies suggest that the powerful antioxidant, lycopene, found in tomatoes can help protect the brain from free radical damage. This promotes optimal brain function, and reduces the risk of alzheimer’s.

two moms in the raw tomato basil

Opt for a handful of cherry tomatoes for a quick and healthy office snack, or for an extra burst of flavor (without the added guilt) try the Tomato Basil Sea Crackers from Two Mom’s in the Raw. They’re completely raw, gluten free, non-gmo, kosher, and handmade!

5. Pumpkin seeds

Zinc is vital for enhancing mental agility and memory. Just a handful of pumpkin seeds a day is all you need to get your recommended daily allotment of this super vitamin.

Try the Kind Healthy Grains Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt bar. Crunchy, full of flavor and with just a kiss of sea salt, these bars are delicious and packed with 5 super grains!

6. Broccoli

Increase cognitive function and boost brainpower with broccoli, a great source of vitamin K. Chop them, and eat them raw at the office. Pair with hummus for a awesome, energy boosting snack.

Tender Grown healthy snacks for the office

Try Tender Grown’s Chipotle Broccoli Crisps. They’re vegan, gluten and dairy free.

7. Carrots

Always eat your carrots! Not only are they good for your eyes, but they’re a great way to fuel your brain. They contain high levels of luteolin, a compound that reduces age-related memory deficits and inflammation in the brain.

fruigees - healthy snacks for work

There are tons of ways to snack on carrots. I like to eat them plain, pair them with hummus, and puree them in my Vitamix. If you’re looking for a carrot snack that you can stash at your desk, try Fruigees Carrot Orange fruit pouch.

8. Go nuts

Nuts are a great source of Vitamin E, a vitamin proven to prevent mental decline, based on a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

sahale-almonds healthy snacks

Sahale Snacks has a wide variety of all-natural nuts and fruit mixes. My personal favorite is the Almonds with Cranberries, Honey and Sea Salt.

9. Whole Eggs

Eggs great for brain power, especially the choline-rich yolk. A recent study found that people with diet’s high in choline scored higher on verbal and visual memory tests, and are less likely to develop dementia. Choline can also help by aiding in constructing our “memory” neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, and it can lower homocysteine.

ips egg white chips healthy office snacking

Hard boiled eggs are a great option for busy workdays, but you should also try Ips, the original egg white chip. They’re deliciously crunchy, made with corn, whey protein, and egg whites. And with 6 grams of protein per serving, this is a chip that you can feel great eating!

10. Beets

The natural nitrates found in beets have been found to improve blood flow throughout the body, most notably the brain, improving focus and concentration.

terra chips sweets and beets healthy snacking

For an easy snack to stash at your desk, try Sweet & Beets form Terra Chips. They’re a delicious combo of beets and sweet potato that your whole office will enjoy.

11. Walnuts

Walnuts are a brain power food loaded with Vitamin B12 and B6, shown to prevent memory decline by eliminating homocysteine in the blood. They’re are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve your memory function as you age.

sahale snacks maple pecan

Another great healthy on-the-go snack from Sahale Snacks, check out their Maple Pecan mix with walnuts, cherries and cinnamon.

12. Rosemary

A recent study found that enhanced memory began with just the smell of rosemary. One of the main chemicals in rosemary oil, called 1,8-cineole has been linked to brain performance—in a recent study, higher levels of 1,8-cineole resulted in increased speed and accuracy on tests.

quinns popcorn parmesan & rosemary

There are a ton of great rosemary snack options. Personally, I always keep some flavored natural sea salts in my desk to spice up my snacks and meals at the office. Here’s a great option for rosemary flavored sea salt. Another great choice is the Parmesan Rosemary Popcorn from Quinn’s Popcorn. They never use GMO corn, coatings or chemicals on the bag, or any other scary stuff found in traditional microwave popcorn. This is truly microwave popcorn reinvented.

13. Kale

A 25-year Harvard study, of more than 13,000 women, showed that eating high amounts of leafy green vegetables caused less age-related cognitive decline. Kale was among the most impressive in the study.

rhythm superfoods kale chips zesty nacho
Kale is delicious in salads, soups, stir fries, and even plain, but my personal snack food addiction kale chips. My favorite grab ‘n go option is the Zesty Nacho from Rhythm Superfood. Their kale chips are never fried, just gently air-crisped under low heat.

14. Coffee

A recent study at the University of Innsbruck in Austria found that participants that drank two cups of coffee per day improved memory, reaction time, and neuron signaling, more than the control. More notably, the 676 daily coffee drinker participants experienced less mental decline than nondrinkers over a ten-year period. In other words, bottoms up on your cup of Joe!

Chameleon Cold Brew coffee
I’m sure your office already has a coffee maker, but if you’re in the mood for a refreshing coffee twist at the office, try this cold brew option from Chameleon Cold Brew. They use a highly select blend of 100% organic, fair trade certified Arabica coffee beans and filtered Texas Hill Country water. The result is a super smooth, less acidic and highly caffeinated coffee, which can be enjoyed hot or cold.

15. Quinoa

Quinoa is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber that help to balance blood sugar while providing the essential glucose to the brain. It’s also filled with iron, a  vitamin known to keep the blood oxygenated, and B vitamins, known to balance mood and protect blood vessels.

simply 7 quinoa chips

Try the Sea Salt Quinoa Chips from Simply 7 Snacks. The best part about these snacks? You won’t find any ingredients on the label you can’t pronounce or recognize.

16. Spinach

Spinach has been proven to prevent damage to DNA, cancer cell growth, and tumor growth, and it can also prevent dementia.

the better chip spinach and kale
For a crunchy spinach-packed snack, try the Spinach & Kale Chip from The Better Chip. Their snacks are developed with smart snackers in mind — using farm fresh ingredients that deliver an authentic, great-tasting flavor profile.

17. Poultry

L-tyrosine, an amino acid found in turkey and chicken, helps the brain produce dopamine, the chemical responsible for mental alertness and memory.

krave basil citrus turkey jerky

When you’re in a hurry, and craving turkey at the office, try the Basil & Citrus Turkey Jerkey from Krave Jerky. This is one of the SnackNation team’s favorite on-the-go snacks because it’s made with all natural ingredients, and it’s delicious.

18. Avocado

Avocados are a great source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, known to increase blood flow to the brain, reduce cholesterol, and improve antioxidant absorption. Avocados also contain vitamin E which can protect the brain from free radical damage, and also vitamin K and potassium, which can reduce the risk of stroke.

wholly guacamole avocado healthier snacks for the office
Raw avocado with hot sauce is one of my favorite snacks, but Wholly Guacamole has an even easier option, that’s tasty too. Wholly Guacamole Mini’s are loaded with deliciousness–their classic guacamole dip is only 100 calories, it’s made with natural ingredients and it’s completely gluten free.

19. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which the body uses for energy.  It also seems to have a positive impact on blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and it acts as an anti-inflammatory, linked to helping prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.

dang coconut chips

Perhaps the most delicious brain-boosting snack on this list is all natural, vegan, gluten free, and made from coconuts. The winner is Dang Toasted Coconut Chips. These coconut chips have all the benefits of coconut oil.

20. Beans

A great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, beans provide steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associated with many other sugar sources. They’re also rich in folate and essential omega fatty acids, nutrients critical to brain function.

The Better Bean Company makes an entire line of easy and healthy snacks that make office snacking easy. These tasty beans come in five delicious flavors, they’re gluten free, vegan, and Non-GMO too.

21. Dark Chocolate

Loaded with antioxidants, chocolate has been known to boost mood and ease pain, but the flavonols in chocolate have also been shown to improve blood vessel function, which improves brain function and memory.

endangered species dark chocolate

I don’t think I have to convince you to eat chocolate, but I will encourage you to pick a high quality brand made with fair trade chocolate and natural ingredients. Try the the lineup from Endangered Species Chocolate. This brand also gives back 10% of net profits to partner organizations that support species conservation.

22. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds contain a rich mix of brain powering protein, omega fatty acids, and B vitamins, and they also contain tryptophan, which the brain converts into serotonin to boost mood and combat depression.

somersauls pacific sea salt snacks

Get the Pacific Sea Salt flavor of Somersaults. They’re a crunchy, nut-free snack made with sunflower seeds and toasted grains.

23. Seaweed

Seaweed is yet another powerful brain food, because it’s filled with omega 3 fatty acids and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Seaweed is also a great source of folic acid, which has been shown to improve verbal and memory performance. It is also needed to make serotonin, which affects mood in a positive way.

seasnax seaweed snack

There are several great companies that make delicious seaweed products, but my personal favorite is SeaSnax, especially the onion flavor.

Conclusion

If you hadn’t guessed, the days when healthy snacks meant rice cake are long gone. Today, you don’t have to sacrifice taste to enjoy the benefits of improved health and brain power.

But, don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself. Next time your hungry at the office, choose a snack that fuels your tastebuds and your brain too.

 

 

A passionate singer, yogi, and vegan baker, you can usually count on Jessica to be writing songs, inventing recipes, or doing handstands. Most notably, Jessica is recognized (by her parents) for a 3 minute vocal solo at Carnegie Hall (at 13), by her friends for her amazing Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, and also by her yogi friends for her recent mastery of Camel Pose. In all seriousness, Jessica is beyond excited to write for SnackNation, and to share her passion for health, wellness, and delicious foods.