Walnuts, green tea, spinach, salmon, blueberries, and corn
Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
Most people don't give much thought to their midday meal—it's just fuel to get them to dinner. But choose lunch wisely and it can do wonders.
To stay sharp, try:
  • Grilled salmon
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Walnuts
  • Blueberries
  • Green tea

    The science behind it:
    These foods enhance memory and learning, says Fernando Gómez-Pinilla, PhD, a professor in UCLA's neurosurgery department. Omega-3s in salmon and walnuts help nerve cells communicate; antioxidants in spinach and corn (such as vitamin C and flavonoids) optimize brain cell performance; and green tea also helps boost brain function.

    Next: To watch your weight, try...
Whole wheat rolls, lentil soup, nonfat dressing, and salad with grilled chicken
Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
To watch your weight, try:
  • Lentil soup
  • Vegetable salad with grilled chicken
  • Nonfat dressing
  • A whole wheat roll

    The science behind it:
    According to research at Pennsylvania State University, people who start with soup eat fewer calories at that meal. (Just make sure the soup is broth based rather than cream based.) The lean protein in lentils and chicken will keep your hunger in check, and vegetables and whole wheat bread—both high in fiber—will fill you up.

    Next: For more energy, try...

Pita, tomato, pesto, and plum
Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
For more energy, try:

  • A whole grain pita pocket with cannellini beans
  • Arugula
  • Tomatoes
  • Pesto sauce
  • An apple, orange, peach, or plum

    The science behind it:
    This lunch will take time to digest—thanks to whole grains (pita), protein (beans), and healthy fats (olive oil and pine nuts in the pesto). The result is a time-released supply of calories, says registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet. "This will give you fuel for five hours of afternoon energy."

    Redo lunch! 5 fast brown-bag lunch recipes

  • As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


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