Brain Boosting Ways to Upgrade Your Smoothie
If you’re feeling bored of your regular smoothie recipes, follow our guide on how to shake them up with our rundown of the best brain-boosting ingredients.
One of the reasons blueberries are such a great superfood is that they’re packed full of anthocyanins, compounds which have huge antioxidant benefits. These antioxidants play an important part in fighting oxidative stress caused by free radicals and they help dampen down the inflammatory response, which some studies have linked to brain ageing. Some research has also shown that the antioxidants in blueberries can accumulate in the brain and help improve communications between brain cells. Add a handful of them to your usual morning smoothie or try Workshop’s Glow Smoothie which contains added healthy fats and the gut-boosting benefits of our Probiotic + Prebiotic.
Packed full of potassium which helps maintain healthy nerve function, bananas are a great addition to your daily smoothie. As well as brain boosting potassium, they’re a good source of manganese, which is important for healthy brain function, and are also full of vitamin B6, which encourage the release of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, neurotransmitters that are associated with helping us feel calm and content. Add one to your daily shake or peel and freeze it and use in lieu of ice to cool down and bulk out your smoothie.
You only have to think of your morning cup of coffee to know that how alert and awake it can make us feel, so it should come as no surprise that caffeine actually does boast brain boosting capabilities. Experts believe that as well as triggering some of the feelgood neurotransmitters in your brain like serotonin, that coffee also keeps your brain alert by blocking the chemicals that make you sleepy. Although it’s not something to abuse, it’s proof that a shot of good quality coffee can be a healthy part of your morning arsenal if needed. If you want to try something other than your regular flat white, why not add a shot of cooled espresso to your morning smoothie? Workshop’s Breakfast Smoothie contains coffee alongside oats, a touch of cinnamon and Workshop’s Organic Chocolate Pea Protein.
Containing zinc, magnesium, iron and copper, pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses. While zinc has been shown to help improve nerve signalling in the brain, magnesium is essential for proper brain function and improved memory and mood. Iron and copper meanwhile have also been linked to proper brain function; the brain uses copper to control nerve signals and experts think that disrupted levels of copper in the body can lead to an increased risk of neurodegenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. To reap all the benefits of pumpkin seeds, just add a handful to your regular smoothie for a nutty taste.
You might be more familiar with turmeric in your curry or even latte but try adding a small teaspoon to your smoothie instead. Curcumin, the active anti-inflammatory ingredient in turmeric, has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to enter the brain and directly impact the cells. In addition to its ability to help improve memory, experts believe that curcumin triggers the release of serotonin and dopamine, which help alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety and improve mood. It’s also thought that it positively impacts a growth hormone in the brain that enables brain cells to proliferate. Try combining a scoop of Workshop’s Organic Chocolate Pea Protein with 200ml of milk or milk alternative, a banana, a handful of frozen pineapple, a teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger and blend together.
Vitamin C has long been lauded as a hero of the antioxidant world, but research shows that it might also be useful in helping stave off mental decline, which could be a risk factor for age-related neurodegenerative conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Blackcurrants, as well as being a delicious addition to a fruity smoothie, contain around four times the amount of vitamin C as oranges and so are a great source.