Best Foods For The Brain To Help You Study

Looking to supercharge your brain and level up your mental game? You’re in luck!

We’ve pulled out the best foods to give your brain power a serious boost, and elevate your studies to the next level. From omega-3 superheroes and antioxidant avengers to vitamin-packed warriors, we’ve got the scoop on what to nibble for the ultimate brain power upgrade.

Read on to learn which are the best brain foods to help you study, concentrate, and perform at your best whether you’re revising, writing out a 10,000 word essay, or heading into exam season. So, whether you’re a student after laser focus or just want to keep your mind sharp, bring these things into your diet and unlock your brain’s full potential!

Dark Chocolate & Cocoa Products

Let’s start with one of the tastiest things on our list of foods for the brain. Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants and is a brilliant source of iron. The iron can help moderate chemicals in your body which are involved in mood control. People who regularly eat dark chocolate have a huge reduction in the risk of symptoms of depression.

Other studies have shown that increasing your intake of cocoa products can help reduce your mental fatigue, improve blood flow to the brain, and boost memory on mental tasks. All the good things you need for your studies.

Sadly, this doesn’t include white chocolate, or your favourite Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Caramel. Sorry, we know, but it ain’t all that bad right?

Coffee

Hey, we all feel like we need a coffee to get the motors rolling before your studies. The great news is, it can help with more than just waking you up after a big of a wild night before. Coffee is filled with caffeine, yay, and also antioxidants, which can both help to support good brain health.

Caffeine helps increase your alertness, keeping those sleepy moments at bay, and helping boost things like dopamine, to keep you feeling happy throughout the day. Caffeine, will also help improve your concentration and ability to maintain attention on what you’re working on.

Test out drinking 2-4 cups of coffee a day, but be careful. Too much caffeine can trigger the shakes, and once you go beyond your tolerance you can end up reducing all the benefits it brings, and actually harming your ability to concentrate.

Fruit & Veg – A Rainbow Colour Mix

When it comes to shopping for fruit and vegetables, it’s a good habit to get your five a day in yes. But it’s also really important to mix things up. Generally speaking, you want a mix of colours. It sounds a bit crazy on the surface, but the mix of colours will also bring a mix of nutrients to your meals. 

From apples, kiwis and bananas, to red cabbage, sweet potatoes and leeks. The combinations are endless to be honest.

Spices

Spices are a calorie free, and importantly guilt free, way to add a heck of a lot of flavour to your meals, while improving the health and function of you brain while you’re at it. Spices are recognised for their antioxidant properties and can help reduce anxiety and depression. 

Include the following spices in your meals to help your brain work at its best: turmeric, saffron, black pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, and rosemary.

Turmeric in particular is a wonderful spice, often something you’ll add to curries and spicey meals. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to directly benefit the cells in the brain, helping new brain cells grow! As well as this, it’s a wonderfully effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As we mentioned, turmeric can ease symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Berries

Berries are filled with a whole host of compounds that help improve the health and performance of your brain. They help increase blood flow to the brain, are anti-inflammatory, and improve the brain functions of memory and learning. Look out for blackberries, blueberries, strawberries.

Blueberries are one of the key superfoods you should bring into your diet. They are brilliant for brain health, helping with antioxidants to support a healthy and well functioning immune system.

Citrus Fruits

Look out for oranges and grapefruits when you’re in the fruit and veg section of the supermarket. THey are linked to all sorts of health benefits, but importantly linked to the promotion of good brain health. They are rich in flavonoids, which help promote learning and memory, as well as protect your nerve cells from injury.

You can also reap the benefits if you bring citrus fruit juices into your diet. They are more concentrated sources of the brain health compounds found in the citrus fruits. Grapefruit juice enhances blood flow to your brain to help improve performance when you need to concentrate most.

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts are filled with healthy fats and oils our brains use to function properly, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3, helping improve your memory. Walnuts have been linked to improving how the brain interprets verbal information, and improved reaction times and brain performance.

Seeds are another brilliant super food, containing vitamins and minerals, like magnesium, vitamin E, and zinc. They are a great source of protein, helping your brain and muscles to repair after the wear and tear of your student life starts taking its toll. Seeds are also rich healthy fats like omega-3 and omega-6, helping your body with anti-inflammatory properties. Rich in fibre, seeds can also help keep away your hunger when you need a quick snack, and they’ll help improve a good digestive system.

Eggs

Eggs can help delay brain shrinkage, and that sounds pretty scary so we’re gonna load up. Eggs are filled with vitamins and nutrients that are necessary for a well functioning brain. Selenium is crucial for things like memory, cognition, and motor performance. Choline is needed for brain development and helps memory storage and muscle function. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in neurological health, and if you’re short of this your brain function will be impaired. Eggs also contain lutein, a nutrient that helps improve visual and mental function. The nutrients are spread throughout the egg, so make sure you eat the whole egg, not just the egg whites.

If you’re vegan, look for fortified foods with various B vitamins in them, like plant based milks, and breakfast cereals. You can also consider supplements to help boost your intake.

Avocados

For all those out there that love avocado and cream cheese on a bagel, we have some good news for you. Avocados are packed with magnesium, which supports good brain function, and helps keep away symptoms of depression, and help you recover from those symptoms if you are feeling pretty down.


More Advice on Food at Uni

Now you know what you need to eat to get your through the academic year and make it feel like a breeze. Diet is a really great help in sorting out your mental function and helping reduce anxiety. When you’re next in the supermarket, have a quick check of ways to save money on your food shop here. Want to figure out everything else there is to know about surviving freshers, head on over to our Student Advice hub to learn more.