That first meal of the day might be doing more for you than you think! It turns out that some breakfast choices can actually boost your brainpower. Here are a few brain-healthy ways to start your day.

Flaxseed Meal

Flaxseed meal is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids (like those in salmon and other fish) that are crucial for brain development. Experts say they help brain cells communicate with each other. Nuts and seeds, too, are nutrient powerhouses that may not only boost brain performance but also improve mood. Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and flavonoids are just the right blend of protein and carbs to keep you fueled all morning long.

Bran Flax Muffins feature ground flaxseed, oat bran, chopped nuts, raisins, shredded carrots and apples. POW!

Photo by CCLoves2Bake

Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is packed with minerals and vitamins, including vitamin E, to help protect cells and ward off disease. These amazing pancakes also deliver pumpkin, applesauce, and whole wheat flour.

Photo by Dianne

Whole Grains

Whole-wheat flour, like other whole grains, helps keep blood-sugar levels stable, which means energy and concentration stay steady. Whole grains are a good source of brain-energizing glucose as well as B vitamins that help maintain healthy muscles, skin, hair, and a good metabolism. Nuts add brain-boosting fatty acids and help your kids feel full longer.

VIDEO: Buckwheat Pancakes

Here are dozens of whole-grain pancake recipes.

Quinoa and Blueberries

While most of us think of—and eat—quinoa as a grain, it's actually a seed. That's good news for breakfast, because seeds supply the important protein-carbohydrate package that keeps kids fueled and focused. The antioxidants in blueberries are great memory-boosters.

Bonus points for knocking back this delicious Razzy Blue Smoothie, which contains both blueberries and flaxseed meal #ftw.

Photo by CCLoves2Bake

Spinach

Popeye was really onto something! Leafy greens like spinach are high in folic acid and iron, and even a mild iron deficiency can cause lapses in learning, memory, and attention.

This smarty-pants green smoothie also has yogurt, which has calcium to help nerve function and dopamine—yes, dopamine!—to keep you bright, perky, and alert.

Groovy Green Smoothie. Photo by ChristineM


Check out our collection of Healthy Breakfast Recipes.


This article originally appeared in Allrecipes magazine.

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