If you’re looking to learn how to study more efficiently or improve your mental alertness in order to achieve better grades, you may have tried all kinds of different study techniques. But simply choosing foods that fuel the brain can have a significant effect on your academic performance. Eating certain foods can improve your focus, retention of information, and remain mentally alert when studying.
Junk food, lots of chocolate, energy drinks and crisps are often eaten in place of normal meals to “keep energy levels up”. However, this is not only harmful to your long-term health, but can also negatively affect your brain function.
Here are some ‘brain food’ recommendations…
Most fish contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential to proper neural function. Most of our brain is made up of fatty tissue, so it makes sense that eating fish and other foods high in fatty acids would help us focus more and learn how to study more efficiently. Eating fish regularly can also reduce your risk of dementia as you get older, another indication of its impact on brain health.
Like fish, many types of nuts such as almonds, pistachios, and walnuts contain high levels of essential fatty acids that help your brain to perform optimally. As an added benefit, nuts contain a good amount of iron and also provide oxygen to the brain which increases your mental alertness and ability to retain information. Since nuts are high in unsaturated fat (“good” fat) and calories, they make great sources of energy as well. S
3. Whole Grains
Eating refined carbs like white bread, pasta and cakes is not only bad for your physical health, but it also leads to sleepiness and lack of slow-release energy. Luckily, whole grains tend to have the opposite effect and can lead to enhanced memory function and even better grades. Eat plenty of wholegrain breads, rice, and pasta while you study for sustained energy release.
An apple a day can help you improve your study habits and academic performance as well. The peel of the apple includes a powerful antioxidant called quercetin that enhances memory function. Combine your daily apple with a plan for how to study effectively.
5. Cruciferous Vegetables
‘Cruciferous’ vegetables are a group of vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. Research has proven that these type vegetables had the most positive effect on memory retention, meaning they are the most likely to help you achieve better grades. Eating these vegetables raw is the best way to get the optimal nutritional benefit, since cooking them often cooks out the nutrients your body and your brain need most.
Spinach definitely has important nutrients and vitamins proven to boost brain power, and that could mean better grades for you. Spinach is packed full of folic acid and has even been shown to reverse memory loss. If you don’t like the taste of this dark green stuff, you can always use it in a recipe such as a quiche or smoothie to mask the flavour.
Popping a handful of colourful berries in your mouth can enhance your studying. Berries such as blueberries, cherries, blackcurrants, raspberries, cranberries and blackberries have significant health effects directly related to brain function. Not only do these snacks reduce the level of toxins in your bloodstream, but they also contain phytonutrients and antioxidants that improve blood flow to the brain and enhance neural activity as well.
Onions have long been revered for their ability to improve important brain functions like memory and focus. Red onions in particular can help enhance your ‘retention and recall’ ability, especially when combined with a revision programme that utilises memory-boosting strategies. The compounds in onions, namely anthocyanin and quercetin, have even been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Adding these foods to your diet is a simple and effective way to enhance your study sessions. Eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated and paying attention to your nutrition is a great way to complement your study. By eating right, you’ll be more likely to remain alert, focused, and energized while you study.