We all can vouch for the fact that nutrition slides down our priority list when we're in stressful situations, and for us students this stands especially true during the revision period when we are busy cramming all the notes.
We might find ourselves reaching out for energy drinks, sugary snacks or highly processed food, but with the right diet, we can improve our brain health, increase concentration and feel alert for longer periods as opposed to the ephemeral spikes in energy produced by the unhealthy counterparts. Plus, eating right doesn't have to be complicated!
Here are (almost) straight out of the box snack ideas for you to incorporate into your study routine.
1. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are an ideal nutritious snack. Our bodies cannot produce a lot of the fatty acids that they provide and so it's the only way to get these nutrients into our diet. It's been proven that nuts and seeds boost memory, improve concentration and helps you think faster. Pro tip: activate your nuts before eating them to benefit from the increased nutrient value.
Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, dark cherries, goji berries, and mulberries are all packed with antioxidants that help keep our memories sharp as we age. They're also a great source of fibre and glucose, which provide energy for the brain.
Just a single piece of fruit can be a fabulous snack option as well. Apples, oranges, grapes, kiwis, pineapples, or bananas will all help in giving your brain a boost of energy while supplying vitamins, minerals and fibre to your body. It's time to raid the fruit bowl!
4. Dark chocolate
This is a snack for all the chocoholics out there! Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and natural stimulants. It improves blood flow to your brain, helping you focus better and it increases the body's production of mood-boosting endorphins, making you happier.
Eggs are a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including B6 and B12 vitamins, folate and choline, and at the same time one of the easiest things to cook (shout out to hard-boiled eggs).
Our body uses fats derived from the food we eat for healthy brain activity, cheese is a delicious way to keep our brain healthy as it's rich in omega 3 and fatty acids, a good source of healthy fats, protein, calcium and B vitamins.
7. Greek yoghurt
This is great if you need a more substantial and more filling snack (hello all-nighter). Twice as high in protein than regular yoghurt, it'll fill you up just by having it on its own or mixing it with your favourite granola or fruits. Yoghurt has also been proven to relieve stress and boost mental capacity.
Olives contain polyphenols, a natural chemical that reduce oxidative stress in the brain. By eating a daily serving of healthy olives you can help improve your memory. Remember that!
Written by LSE Social Media Ambassador Nafisa Singh