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Brain Food: Is It Really a Thing?

What to eat to maximize your schoolwork and study sessions

With school right around the corner, you might be experiencing all kinds of changes to your daily routine. One of these may very well be your diet. According to Harvard Health, there are certain types of foods that can benefit your brainpower—and lead to more productive studying. Read on for a nutritious boost to power you through your day.

#1: Dark, leafy greens

Don’t wrinkle your nose at them just yet—leafy greens just might become your best friend. Kale, spinach, broccoli, and other similar vegetables contain lots of “vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene,” which all help slow down memory and brain decay. Try including some greens in your weeknight rotation by dressing them up with soy sauce, olive oil, or stir-frying them. Don’t feel like cooking? Toss some spinach in your breakfast smoothie, which will mask much of the taste. The possibilities are endless!

#2: Go nuts for walnuts

It’s not a surprise that nuts are some of the most nutrient-packed sources out there, but one in particular may be especially beneficial for students. Walnuts contain a fatty acid called ALA, which is key to improving memory, lowering blood pressure, and cleaner arteries. Pack a handful in your lunch or as an afternoon pick-me-up for a concentration boost.

#3: Fatty fish

Yet another food packed with healthy fats is fish, such as salmon or cod. These sources of protein are linked to lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and they’re tasty in a number of versatile recipes. As an example, air-fry your favorite cut of fish and whip up some quick sides for an easy, 20-minute dinner.

#4: Very berry galore

Who doesn’t like berries? Not only are they naturally delicious, but they also contain flavonoids, which give the fruits color and boost your memory. According to the Harvard Women’s Hospital, women who consumed a weekly portion of strawberries and blueberries “delayed memory decline by up to 2.5 years.” That’s a lot! What’s more, you can sneak them into almost any meal, sweet or savory. Try them in salads, desserts, smoothies, or anything your hungry heart desires.

#5: Dark chocolate

This list wouldn’t be complete without a sweet treat. Many studies have shown that cocoa has health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and stress in the brain. However, not all chocolate is created equal. For instance, milk and white chocolate may not have the same properties as dark chocolate—meaning 70% or above. For a satisfying snack or dessert, dip dark chocolate into fruit or mix it into a baking concoction.


Being a student isn’t easy, but luckily, many foods are on your side. There are countless ways to get creative in the kitchen that can supercharge your studying. If you’re low on time or ingredients, try tweaking any of the above recipes to suit your needs. Happy eating!



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