Dr. Uma Naidoo is an an award-winning board-certified Psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, professional chef, nutrition specialist, and author of the best-selling book This is Your Brain on Food: An Indispensable Guide to the Surprising Foods that Fight Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD and More.
When it comes to brain food on the go, few options rival the ultra-portable yet fresh smoothie. Customizable, easy to make, and easy to eat, here are my go-to recipes for a smoothie that hits the spot:
It’s a 10 (...different fruits and veggies in 1!)
The combination of folate-rich mixed greens, berries rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, almond butter for a healthy dose of vitamin E, avocado for cognition-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, and a dose of hemp seeds to round out the fiber punch, this smoothie is truly a brain-food all-star.
Ingredients: (serves 1)
- One handful mixed greens (I love spinach and arugula)
- ½ c assorted berries, fresh or frozen
- 1 T almond butter (can sub any preferred nut butter or coconut oil)
- ½ avocado
- 1 T hemp seeds
- ¾ to 1 c almond or other plant-based milk
Directions: Blend at high speed for 30s-1 minute. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!
Chocolate Protein Smoothie
Feels like a milkshake, but has all the health benefits of a smoothie! This decadent smoothie contains muscle repairing protein, empowers our gut microbiome, and might even benefit libido (check out my book for more on this!).
Ingredients: (serves 1)
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 T walnuts
- 1 scoop plant based or other clean protein powder
- 1 T ground flaxseed
- 1 t organic ground instant coffee powder
- 1 t natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder
- 1 T coconut flakes
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- ½ t honey
- ¼ ripe avocado
Directions: Blend at high speed with ¼ cup ice cubes for 30s-1 minute. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!
Warm Spiced Smoothie
For a hug in a mug. The antioxidants in this warm and spiced smoothie potentiate stronger memory and cognition while providing a nourishing treat.
- 1 T chopped walnuts
- 1 T chopped almonds
- 1 cup unsweetened plant based milk
- ½ Anjou or other pear, chopped
- 1 T almond butter
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1 cardamom pod, crushed or cardamom powder
As a Nutritional Psychiatrist, I know firsthand the importance of finding easy, breezy ways to enjoy fresh and brain-boosting food on the go. Which smoothie will you try first?
Hungry for more?
In my book, This Is Your Brain On Food, I dive deep into cutting-edge research to explain the innumerable ways in which food contributes to mental health. In doing so, I also seek to show you how to establish and maintain a sound diet to best support your psychological and cognitive health. Hungry for more? You can find me online at www.umanaidoomd.com, and connect with me on Instagram and Twitter, @DrUmaNaidoo, for real-time updates and news in Nutritional Psychiatry.