There’s no denying that traditional dorm room snack staples – think pizza, chips and beer – are tasty, but they’re not going to do you any favors during finals. When it comes to boosting your brain power, there are some foods that have what it takes. Here are six must-eat foods for finals week or any time you need a brain boost, along with ways to make them almost as palatable as pizza.
Studies suggest that eating plenty of blueberries can help combat memory loss thanks to antioxidants called flavonoids that keep the brain sharp and may help neurons communicate for maximum cognition. Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries show similar super powers. They’re an easy go-to snack as-is but if you’re not a fan, try them in smoothies with gut-healthy yogurt or even over ice cream.
It doesn’t get easier than grabbing a few containers of already shelled nuts during your next grocery run, and that’s good because walnuts are full of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your brain in tip top condition. Eat them as-is or add to cereal, granola or a yogurt parfait.
Loaded with choline, B12 and vitamin D, which all have been shown to play key roles in brain function, eggs might just be a student’s best friend. Not a fan of scrambled eggs or frittatas? Try out this simple deviled eggs recipe from Kraft and you and your study buddies will reap the rewards when it’s test time. This simple brain-boosting snack is easy enough to whip up in dorm kitchens; just hard cook eggs; peel and halve; mix yolks with mayo, yellow mustard, salt, pepper and smoked paprika; and spoon the mixture back into the whites.
Surprised to see cheddar on a list of health foods? One study found that people who regularly indulged in dairy scored better on cognitive tests. Maybe thanks to the essential fats – yes, fats – in cheese or the B12, K2 and protein. Now you can even buy cheese enriched with more DHA for extra brainpower. Snack away by the stick, slice or cube, especially during those long overnighters.
Lab rats that eat like Popeye perform better on memory and cognition tests. Possibly due to spinach being packed with lutein, folate and beta-carotene – three nutrients linked to keeping memory sharp. Not a fan of spinach salad? Add a few handfuls of this power green to your fruit smoothie recipe or layer some on your next cheeseburger.
Chowing down on salmon during a study session might seem weird, but you can get all of the benefits of this food’s omega-3s without having to make a pricey reservation at a fine restaurant. Canned salmon and some mayo turns into an awesome sammie or wrap that will make studying a snap – and you get brain bonus points for garnishing it with a piece of cheese and few leaves of spinach.
These are just a few of the many brain food snacks that can improve academic success.
Happy snacking and good luck on your next exam!