We've talked about the brain benefits of the outdoors, activity, and time spent in green spaces. And this week, there's a specific, beloved outdoor activity we want to talk about – picnicking. The warm days of summer are the perfect time to dust off that wicker picnic basket and blanket. Heading on a picnic offers some surprising health benefits, too.
From bonding with others, to getting more time in breathing fresh air, picnicking offers many benefits. Hike to your picnic spot or play active games before your meal and you'll reap even more benefits. Eating outdoors in the sunshine with others relieves stress and boosts your mood. Bonus - you get a nice dose of vitamin D.
You also want that picnic meal to be healthy, and with these helpful tips, you can make sure your picnic is brain-healthy.
- Smoked salmon – Salmon and other fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acid. These can boost memory and learning. Serve smoked salmon on whole-wheat crackers for a tasty starter.
- Fresh Veggies – Crunchy veggies like broccoli are refreshing if you’re having a picnic on a warm day. Packed with vitamin K, broccoli can aid in brain health and memory.
- Salads Packed with Green, Leafy Veggies – Salads are easy to prepare and transport. Containing lots of nutrients, greens are essential for optimal brain health.
- Fresh Blueberries – If you want something sweet as a part of your picnic, take some fresh blueberries. These berries can give memory a boost. Eat them alone or add to a tasty fruit salad.
- Dark Chocolate – Finish your picnic with a square of dark chocolate. It has brain-boosting compounds that enhance cognitive function.
- Green Tea to Drink – While you’ll want to stay hydrated with plenty of water (it’s essential for a healthy brain, too), green tea is a brain-healthy drink to take along on your picnic. It’s full of compounds that help you relax and boost brain function.
A picnic offers the perfect way to celebrate the warm days of summer, so find a blanket, a picnic basket, and start planning. With these helpful tips, you can pack a brain-healthy meal that everyone will love. You'll enjoy all the health and brain benefits of picnicking together with people you love. Stay tuned, next week we'll be taking a look at some habits you may have that could be harming your brain.