Brain Healthy Holiday Trail Mix Recipe
During a busy day it can be easy to reach for convenient foods and snacks. Those options are not always the most healthy or nutritious. When in a rush, you want to make sure that you are picking snacks that fuel your body and brain. The food you eat has a huge impact on your brain health and function. With just some small tweaks, all of your snacks can be good for the brain. This does not require huge changes or expensive foods, just a little creativity and mindfulness. Brain healthy diets do not have to be hard. Many of these ingredients you probably already have in your cabinet. Here is a super easy trail mix recipe just in time for the holidays to serve at a party or just a snack for those busy days where convenience is a priority.
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
- ½ cup honey roasted peanuts
- 3 Omega 3 Nutrition Granola Bars
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup peanut butter chips
- 1 cup roasted almonds
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup mini pretzels
- Start by breaking up the granola bars into bite size cubes and roll into balls
- Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well
- Store in an airtight container, ziploc bag, or mason jar. Try portioning ½ cup servings for an easier on the go snack or for easy serving at a party.
***Tip for extra crunchy trail mix: try baking the granola bar pieces in the oven for five minutes or until golden brown. Cool and then add other ingredients. If you want a softer/chewier trail mix, skip this step.
All About the IngredientsCranberries
Cranberries are high in vitamin C. In fact, 1 cup of raw cranberries contains 25% of your daily intake recommendation of vitamin C. Cranberries protect against liver disease and lower your blood pressure. They may also help improve eyesight and cardiovascular health. Cranberries are great for gut health and mouth health by helping to replace good bacteria to prevent issues caused by harmful acids in your body. Lastly, they help with urinary tract health.Peanuts
Peanuts are packed with fiber which aids in digestion and reduces inflammation. They are high in unsaturated fats or “good fats.” Good fat helps regulate cholesterol levels. Also, peanuts are a great source of protein. Furthermore, they can help your body stop small blood clots to lower your risk of heart attack or stroke.Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate contains anywhere between 50%- 90% cocoa. Cacao contains flavanols, a type of flavonoid, which are important for the production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes your blood vessels and allows for proper blood flow. Blood flow lowers risk of high blood pressure and improves cognition. Blood flow throughout the body and to the brain makes sure everything is functioning properly and to its best ability. Dark chocolate also has antioxidant properties that help fight cell damage and protect against sun damage. Lastly, dark chocolate contains many essential minerals. It contains phosphorus that helps with bone health, magnesium for sleep quality, and zinc for immune system support. Get the most benefits from your sweet craving by choosing a more concentrated cocoa content like dark chocolate over milk chocolate or white chocolate.Almonds
Almonds help lower the bad type of cholesterol and increase the good kind. They also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help fight heart disease. Almonds are also high in vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and vitamin E. They help lower blood sugar spikes and better gut health. Lastly, they provide your body with protein to help repair and make new cells.Omega 3 Bars
Omega 3 bars contain 1250 MG of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 is very vital to your physical health and mental health too. Your body cannot produce omega-3 on its own, so it is important to make sure you incorporate it in your meals. Omega 3 helps with improving mood, memory, cognitive function, and overall brain health. It may also decrease risk of heart disease, cancer, inflammation and visible aging. Omega-3 fatty acids affect metabolism, function, and response to hormones. They are also energy sources for your cells and cell walls, the basic building block of our bodies. It is important to give your body what it needs to function to its best ability. Omega 3 bars ensure that you do just that!
There are delicious snacks that are also good for the brain. Mindful and brain healthy diets do not have to be hard. Check out our other recipes for more ideas on brain healthy snacks and food for brain healthy diets!
WebMD. (n.d.). Peanuts: Health benefits, nutrients per serving, how to use, and more. WebMD. Retrieved December 20, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-peanuts
WebMD. (n.d.). Health benefits of cranberries. WebMD. Retrieved December 20, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/health-benefits-cranberries
Zaleska. (2022, April 11). The 7 benefits of Dark Chocolate. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved December 20, 2022, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/dark-chocolate-health-benefits/
WebMD. (n.d.). Almonds: Health benefits, nutrients per serving, preparation information, and more. WebMD. Retrieved December 20, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-almonds