It is challenging to come up with fun tiffin ideas at 7am that will also boost the brainpower during exams. I don’t think my brain will work fast to research and innovate with natural foods so early in the morning. Not just during exams, and not just for kids, all of us concerned about our families’ health and fitness want to come up with innovative lunch box ideas to keep things healthy and interesting.
Don’t forget to include some coconut curry, or use cold pressed coconut oil and turmeric in your families’ diet. While coconut oil breaks into ketones that given brain cells energy and act as brain fuel, turmeric boosts the brains oxygen intake and keeps the mind alert. Apart from these, there is walnut, almonds and even chocolate for good brain health! So here’s a list to make your morning simpler with Tiffin ideas that boost brain.
#1 Chocolate Walnut Pinwheel Sandwich
Dark chocolate has small amounts of caffeine that keep the brain alert. It also triggers the feel-good hormones that will keep you happy during exams. Dark Chocolate with at least 70% cocoa is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Walnuts, which look like brain in their shape, are rich in nutrients and good for memory, concentration. You can read more about the benefits of walnuts here.
To make this sandwich use fresh bread, slightly moistened with softened butter. Then spread melted, dark cooking chocolate on the bread, sprinkle it with crushed walnuts. Now roll the bread into swiss roll style and secure with four toothpicks: two toothpicks at the ends and two in the middle. Now slice the roll inbetween the toothpicks to make the pinwheel.
#2 Spinach Omlette cooked in Coconut Oil
Egg yolks have choline that helps in development of the fetal brain in pregnant women. Eggs, also breakdown bethane, the happy hormone and make you feel happier. Spinach and green leafy vegetables are loaded with vitamins A and K, and studies have shown that they result in better brain health and slower deterioration. Coconut oil, cold pressed is anti-inflammatory; it slows memory loss as you age and also destroys bad bacteria in your gut. Coconut oil is also full of nutrients that benefit the brain, combined with spinach and egg it boosts the calcium absorption in the body. Find this and more recipe for Killer Ideas for Breakfast Eggs here.
#3 Broccoli, Tomato & Toasted Almond Spaghetti cooked in Olive Oil
Broccoli with choline and vitamin K help in keeping your memory sharp, and vitamin C helps in boosting immunity. Lycopene in tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant that helps in good brain health by preenting free radical damage to the cells. Almonds, have been given to Indian kids for centuries to boost the brain power before exams. Almonds are known to strengthen memory and concentration because they are rich in nutrients, antioxidants and lean protein that help in repair of brain cells.
Here is a recipe that combines three of these powerful brain-boosting foods. Find how to cook a carbonara pasta here.
#4 Roasted Beetroot & Cheese Roll
The natural nitrates in beetroot help in boosting the blood flow to the brain, and that’s how it also improves the performance of your mind. Whole grains in rotis or bread improve the blood flow to the entire body and also give energy. Any sharp tasting or salty processed cheese goes well with roasted beetroot. Grate beetroot on the large perforation of a box grater. Then lightly roast it on a tava. Mix it with grated cheese, cardamom, cinnamon and clove powder and roll it into a roti.
#5 Coconut Curry & Rice with Turmeric
Coconut Oil is rich in medium chain triglycerides, which break down into ketones, which can be used by brain cells for fuel. It is full of vital nutrients that give energy and nourishment to the brain and other organs ensuring quick healing and an active body.
Turmeric also helps in boosting antioxidant levels and keeps your immune system healthy, it also improves your brain’s oxygen intake, keeping your mind alert and able to process information.
Here is a simple curry paste made for maximum turmeric absorption that you can use in different meals.
#6 Hyderbadi Tomato Kut with Boiled Eggs & Roti
Tomato is rich in antioxidant lycopene, while egg yolk is rich in choline that helps improve brain health. Both of these are beautifully combined in a tomato kut. To make tomato kut, simply cook tomatoes without water, add salt, turmeric and garlic on low heat with a fitted lid. Once soft, grind into a fine paste. In a pan, add curry leaves, onion seeds and the paste. Add red chilli powder and garnish with boiled eggs.
#7 Daal Khichdi Balls
As mentioned earlier, turmeric helps in healing the brain and also betters the oxygen intake of the brain. To maximize turmeric absorption, add black pepper and ghee to your khichdi. Once a semi-dry khichdi is ready shape in into balls, coat it with papad brumbs and deep fry in ghee to make khichdi balls.
#8 Egg, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich
Eggs, green leafy along with tomato are full of essential micronutrients. It makes a light and healthy lunch in buttered whole grain bread. It is perfect for a quick bite when you are in a rush for energy and nourishment.
#9 Palak Paneer & Multigrain Roti Rolls
Spinach has lutein. Lutein is a powerful antioxidant. Lutein in comparison to other carotenoids is absorbed well by the brain. It therefore helps in improved function of the brain including memory and learning.
Palak Paneer or any saag with an assortment of leafy greens such as mustard greens, dill leaves and as such is good for digestion and full of powerful micronutrients. Make sure that you don’t over cook the greens, this will reduce its nutrititional benefits. Whole grain wheat rotis will provide energy and nutrition in this meal.
#10 Masala Pumpkin seeds snack – Munchies
Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc. Zinc helps enhance memory and thinking skills. Pumpkin seeds also have stress-busting magnesium, vitamin B and tryptophan, which help the good mood chemical serotonin. Roasted pumpkin seeds are simple munchies that can also be added on top of salads or soups for some texture.
To make them simple dry or buy washed, sun dried, raw pumpkin seeds. Lightly roast the on a tava until golden brown. Add Himalayan pink salk, amchoor, red chilli powder to the toasted seeds. Store them in an airtight container. Use them as an in-between meals munchy.
#11 Prawn Curry Risotto
Coconut oil has come to be known as super food for its aid in calcium absorption, reduction in belly fat and obesity related problems. As I have mentioned before it is brain fuel. This along with curcumin in turmeric, which helps in healing, repair and better oxygen intake by the brain, together make a magic mantra for brain health. In this recipe you can replace the prawns with any oily fish like salmon, tuna or mackerel (bangda). These oily fish improve brain function because Omega 3 fats and essential fatty acids in these fish help in health of the brain cells.
The recipe video is given below.
Along with these healthy tiffins, encourage the young and the old ones to spend fifteen minutes each morning in deep breathing and meditation. This will improve concentration, clear the mind and help in stress busting. Such techniques are very useful before exams to calm the mind and think clearly. If you have any more creative ideas to be used with these brain boosting foods, then please share in the comments below.
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