Walnuts look like a brain, and they’re actually one of the most potent brain-supporting foods. They’re rich in Omega- 3 fatty acids, which nourish and protect your noodle. Remember, the brain is made up largely of fatty materials, so eating high quality fats (like those found in walnuts) have a powerful protective effect on your cognitive function.
Though peanut butter may seem like a kids’ food, Bauer says not to count out that creamy (or crunchy) goodness if you’re a little strapped for cash. “This protein-packed spread also boasts healthy fats, and the combo can help keep you feeling full,” she says. She suggests choosing natural peanut butter (no added sugars or oils) and limiting yourself to 2 Tbsp per serving so that the calorie count doesn’t get out of hand.
“They’re an inexpensive source of lean protein, taking the place of pricier poultry, meat, or fish in dishes like soups, stews, and chilis,” says Joy Bauer, RDN, a health and nutrition expert for NBC’s Today show and author of From Junk Food to Joy Food. She notes that both canned and dried beans are heart-healthy, and that a recent study shows they may help you lose weight.