When it comes to sitting exams or writing that behemoth dissertation, it’s easy to feel your energy levels slipping and your mind starting to wander.
But before you reach for the Redbull to help you burn the midnight oil, it’s first worth considering a healthier alternative.
Nutrition experts swear that eating well and sticking to the right foods can actually make a real difference in keeping your brain at peak operation.
Here are just a few of the brain-boosting items they recommend:
They may not be the most exciting foods but wholegrains stave of hunger like no other.
Easy options include porridge, wholemeal bread, brown rice and buckwheat. These are also pretty cheap so should fall within your student budget. If you can buy in bulk and share with your housemates, even better. They last for ages and are handy snack to have on hand.
If you combine a wholegrain with some protein, it will help keep your blood sugar levels balanced, which is essential for optimum mood and concentration.
Not to mention, the high levels of magnesium in buckwheat also help calm nerves, which pretty much everyone needs for exams!
Nuts and berries
Blueberries have become a popular superfood, known for their antioxidant quality. But these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists.
Many dark fruits and vegetables have antioxidant content, thought to help protect the brain and slow age-related decline.
Frozen berries are a a good staple to keep in your freezer. They are cheaper and don’t lose any nutritional value while frozen.
Nuts can also give you an energy boost, but it’s best to steer clear of flavoured or coated nuts as they tend to contain added sugars and salt.
Good news! Chocolate can help you study – kind of.
Dark chocolate has a mild effect on increasing blood flow and reducing blood pressure. The magnesium it contains is also a key ingredient for relaxation.
But don’t just reach for any Cadbury’s bar you find – nutritionists recommend you eat chocolate with over 80 percent cacao content to avoid high sugar levels that counteract the goodness.
Water is absolutely essential on so many levels for your health. But a study from the University of East London and the University of Westminster found that keeping hydrated can also boost attention by almost 25 percent.
Even a small shot of water is enough to improve performance, and drinking more – around 300ml – you’re looking at improved memory and an improved mood.
These are all super accessible and affordable ways to give you the boost you need to keep powering through when you hit the books. So put down the caffeine pills and grab yourself a handful of berries – exam success awaits!