Brain Food Powered Breakfast That You Need To Start Eating Right No
Guess what? Here is a shocking piece of information— Your brain is made up of 60% fat. Yes, you read it right, one of the most misunderstood components of nutrients in the food family plays one of the most important roles for your cognitive function. Now, before running to the nearest Mcdonalds with an excuse that you need to fuel up on your “brain food”, you need to know that the fats that we're talking about are healthy fats such as omega-3s, monounsaturated (MUFA) fats and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA).
Some of the food sources of these healthy fats include fatty fruits such as avocado and bananas, fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon as well as lentil and legumes. Research shows that if your diet lacks in these healthy fats, your brain can be deprived of nutrients to function at its best ability.
So when you entered that 3 p.m slump and feel like you need a light snack to get back your on toes to tick-off your daily to-do list, and you want to avoid consuming excessing additional sugar in your granola bar or any sugar-fill treats because these foods are only offering a short-term energy boosting effect (literally a sugar high moment), and instead you’d prefer some MUFA and PUFA such as dark chocolate, nuts or yogurt.
But if you want to start your day off right to keep your brain functioning at its maximum potential all day long (don't we all?),we recommend this brain food power breakfast with a Asian twisted ingredients that can help to improve your brain power:
Coconut Banana Pancake
When those pancake cravings hit, try this wonderfully tropical vegan version instead. Simple swaps like vegetable oil instead of butter and coconut milk instead of full cream milk mean that you can still get delicious pancakes without the guilt. You can also opt to switch the plain flour for a healthier alternative like wholemeal flour. However, if you are on a budget you can enjoy the classic ingredients.
Estimated calorie count: 179 (per serving of 10 pancakes)
150g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp golden caster sugar
400ml can coconut milk, shaken well
vegetable oil, for frying
1-2 bananas, thinly sliced
2 passion fruits, flesh scooped out
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, and stir in 2 tbsp of the sugar and a pinch of salt. Pour the coconut milk into a bowl, whisk to mix in any fat that has separated, then measure out 300ml into a jug. Stir the milk slowly into the flour mixture to make a smooth batter, or whizz everything in a blender.
Heat a shallow frying pan or flat griddle and brush it with oil. Use 2 tbsp of batter to make each pancake, frying two at a time – any more will make it difficult to flip them. Push 4-5 pieces of banana into each pancake and cook until bubbles start to pop on the surface, and the edges look dry. They will be a little more delicate than egg-based pancakes, so turn them over carefully and cook the other sides for 1 min. Repeat to make 8-10 pancakes.
Meanwhile, put the remaining coconut milk and sugar in a small pan. Add a pinch of salt and simmer until the mixture thickens to the consistency of single cream. Use this as a sauce for the pancakes and spoon over some of the passion fruit seeds.
Thosai or Chapati
For an easy and fast breakfast you can opt for another breakfast: Thosai or Chapati.
Thosai is a flat Indian bread that is made from black lentils and rice batter, with very little oil. It is basically a fermented crepe, which accounts for the slightly sour taste. Thin and crispy yet soft in other places, thosai comes folded on the plate and is served with coconut chutney and lentil curry (dhal) for dipping. The taste is deceptively light because it will be filling. There are other variations such as egg, cheese or potatoes.
Another type of Indian flatbread, chapati is made from wheat flour and water, ideal for those watching their waistline. It resembles a flat pancake and should be soft and light, even in taste. Chapati is usually served with dhal (lentil curry) or a light chicken or fish curry gravy.
Both are approximately 120kcals. These foods are a good source of proteins and eggs are a good source of omegas. Usually, these foods are commonly available at your local Mamak stall or supermarket. If you’re at mamak, you can add on some banana for dessert for that additional carbohydrates, fats and protein to give you an extra boost throughout the day.
If you're a bit of a coffee addict, turns out you're doing your brain a favor. A brain health expert mentioned that "the combination of antioxidants in coffee and tea along with a moderate dose of caffeine is neuroprotective," further explaining that people who have three small cups of coffee per day decrease their chances of dementia.
Many research has suggested that Japanese diet is associated with mental health and specified that rice, miso (soybean paste) and fish consumption affected quality of life, sleep quality, impulsiveness and depressiveness. Furthermore, the study showed that the combination of rice and miso was supposed to be associated with mental and physical health. The Japanese diet consists of rice and other dishes with vegetables, fish and meat. Combinations of rice and other dishes have been developed over the centuries in order to have a nutritionally balanced diet. In addition, the sleep quality index scores showed improvement after the intervention of rice-based meal.This showed that rice-based diet impacts mental and physical health and investigates the consequences of dietary intervention of rice. The present study supports that rice-based diet benefits brain health.