For the sake of acing that next test, chuck the potato chips in the trash, cross the Oreos off your shopping list and pour the soda down the drain. Enticing though they may be, these snacks will give you a quick sugar rush and then a crash, leaving you feeling sluggish and unmotivated. Instead of the standard junk food try these alternatives that will satisfy your hunger and improve your brainpower.
1) Tummy rumbling? Go for cereal with blueberries.
Carbohydrates are necessary; you just have to make sure you choose the right kind. Whole grains will give you energy that lasts, avoiding counterproductive peaks and valleys in your blood sugar. Blueberries—the original superfood—are full of antioxidants that improve brain function. A bowl of whole grain cereal with blueberries will give you the right amount of energy to power through a tough study session.
2) An apple a day keeps forgetfulness away.
Apples are one of the easiest snacks to toss in your bag. Keep one with you in case hunger strikes unexpectedly. CampusTalkBlog tell us that the peel of an apple has an antioxidant, quercetin, which is linked to improved memory. Not only are apples handy, they can also make your study time more effective.
3) Dig into a bag of trail mix with nuts.
Nuts are high in fatty acids, vitamin E, and iron. According to CampusTalkBlog, the iron in nuts can improve oxygen levels in your brain, making you more alert and better able to retain information. Mix up your favorite nuts, dried fruit and a little chocolate for a quick and easy treat that will fill you up. And because I know you’re wondering: no, a bag of Nestlé chocolate chips doesn’t count as “trail mix.”
4) Just say no to pumpkin spice lattes.
Look, I don’t want to encourage anyone to start guzzling coffee by the trenta-sized cupful (SRSLY STARBUCKS, DID THE WORLD REALLY NEED THE TRENTA?) but if you do rely on caffeine to make it through the day, for the love of your brain, please don’t get your caffeine from soda, energy drinks or sugary coffee concoctions. The sugar may make an otherwise unpalatable cup of mediocre coffee drinkable, but the crash afterwards will leave you worse off than when you started. If you’ve got to have caffeine, trade out your soda and Redbull for a single cup of black coffee. Huffington Post claims that coffee, compared to other non-natural sources of caffeine, will not only help you stay alert, but it is also full of antioxidants that are great for brain health. Just make sure you use it sparingly since researchers have found that people who are dependent on caffeine exhibit less energy than people who don’t drink coffee at all.
5) Chow down on chips and guacamole.
Could there be any better news than this? EAT GUAC FOR YOUR BRAIN. WebMD points out that avocados are made up of the kinds of fat that are good for you. Not only do avocados keep your hunger at bay, they also contain important nutrients that improve circulation, which in turn translates to improved brainpower. So next time your parents tell you to stop hogging the guacamole at your local Mexican restaurant, just reply with, “Do you want me to get into college or not?!?”
When you’re in the middle of an all-night cram session, it may seem like junk food is the most convenient way to fuel your hard-working brain. However, these five snacks will supply more than just the calories you need to keep going. So the next time you’re feeling peckish, do your brain a favor and eat something that’ll give it the nutrients it needs to work at peak efficiency.
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