One of the best ways to support yourself during this cognitively demanding time, is to load up with brain-boosting snacks. A healthy snack for studying should be both easy and nutritious. Here, we wrap up some must-have study snacks that fuel your brain while you cram for the next test.
The Right Foods to Boost Your Brainpower
Whether you’re a school student, uni student or just need to support your brain, the foods you eat can make or break your concentration and learning capacity. The brain is an energy-demanding organ, and even more so during periods of learning, growth and adaptation. Therefore, it’s important to focus on high protein, moderate fat and complex carbohydrate foods while studying.
Give your brain and body the foods it needs to support attention and learning. Also, getting the right macronutrients for your brain may depend on your individual metabolism. Fresh fruits and vegetables, high quality protein and healthy fats is a great basis to any students’ diet.
Student Lifestyle Essentials
It might be obvious, but there’s more to being a successful student than having healthy snacks on hand. Sure, this will go a long way, but there’s some other lifestyle habits that are equally important to foster. Making a concerted effort to keep these lifestyle habits in regular rotation will help you now and later in life. Top tips for staying well (and getting great results) as a student are:
- Quality sleep (read more on why good sleep matters)
- Fresh air and sunlight exposure
- Exercise and movement
- Hydration! (I mean water, not energy drinks)
- De-stress techniques (mindfulness and deep breathing)
Healthy Study Snacks
Knowing how to choose the right snacks while studying is easier than you think. Interestingly, some of the healthiest brain-food snacks are also the most delicious. The likes of peanut butter, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, avocado and blueberries are all incredibly beneficial to brain health. Foods that are high in polyphenols, and naturally high in protein and fat are my go-to recommendations for studying (and really, any snacking!). Extra points go to foods that are natural sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids, with a focus on choline and DHA for brain function. Eggs, salmon, sunflower seeds and chia seeds all make the grade here.
For some other study snack inspiration, check out these ideas:
- Peanut butter stuffed dates
- Chia pudding with fresh blueberries
- Cottage cheese on brown rice crackers
- Tinned wild salmon
- Seed crackers
- Healthy smoothies
- Hard boiled eggs
- Dark chocolate blueberries
- Dried Fruit
- Seaweed snacks
- Salmon roe
- Healthy granola with hemp seeds
- Pepita chocolate bark
3 Brain-Boosting Snacks For Study
Getting organised and making a few snacks ahead of time will save you and your brain in the long run. Having a plate of healthy study snacks to eat while your head’s in the books will ensure you’re giving your nervous system the nutrients it needs to perform optimally. These recipes all support brain function, cognition, learning and memory formation. So, on the next study break, whip up these healthy foods to keep you fuelled and boost your concentration.
Avocado and salmon roe on seed crackers
A study-friendly snack couldn’t be simpler. There’s almost no prep time required, yet the brain benefits are huge. Healthy fats, protein and fibre, plus fibre to keep you satisfied and full. These little savoury bites are an omega-3 weapon. Everyone knows that salmon is one of the highest sources of omega-3. However, it’s not always convenient to cook up a salmon fillet. This is where salmon roe (salmon eggs) come in. They’re actually a better source of bioavailable omega-3 DHA than anything else. The research on the protective effects of DHA in the brain are mounting.
Simply slice ½ avocado into bite-sized pieces and serve on top of some good quality seed crackers. Adorn each cracker with 1 tsp. salmon roe for maximum DHA brain benefits. If you’re not a fan of salmon roe or can’t source it, a small slice of cured salmon has some quality omega-3 as well.
Scrambled eggs with hemp seeds on spelt toast
Eggs would have to be one of the healthiest, most versatile foods on the planet. Scrambled eggs are super simple and nutritionally sound for brain health. It's an obvious choice for people wanting a good study aid. Now, add a sprinkling of hemp seeds and you’ve instantly doubled the brain benefits. Start the day with this super easy breakfast, or make it when you feel you need a decent meal to nourish your mind.
- 2 or 3 free range organic eggs
- 2 tbsp. Butter
- 1 small pinch of chopped parsley or chives (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 heaped tablespoon. hemp seeds
- Spelt toast to serve
- Heat a pan on medium heat and add butter to melt
- Crack eggs into a measuring cup and whisk to combine
- Add salt, pepper and chopped herbs to egg mixture
- Once pan is hot, add eggs and allow to set in the pan slightly
- Allow the eggs to cook, creating ribbons of scrambled egg with a spatula
- Remove the eggs from the pan once they're almost fully cooked.
- Add hemp seeds on top
- Serve with buttered toast and enjoy
Blueberry Chia Bars
Full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamin C and utterly delicious. Blueberries, chia, cacao - it’s an antioxidant bomb and very beneficial for the brain. Blueberries are a popular berry with some major health advantages. Both dried blueberries and fresh fruit have a load of research in support of their effects on brain health, cognition, memory and learning. As a sweet treat, these blueberry chia bars are wonderful and really hit the spot if you’re needing a sugar fix, without the added energy dip.
These bars are great for adults, but are also especially great for kids to support study needs. In fact, research shows that blueberries are very beneficial in children’s health, for cognition and memory. For more on the incredible health benefits of blueberries, head over here.
Making these bars is slightly more involved, as there’s 3 layers to construct. But, they’re worth it! If you’re looking for a snack to improve response time to demanding tasks, these bars could be it. Keep in the freezer and enjoy as a snack any time of the day.
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 300g fresh or frozen blueberries
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- ⅓ cup cacao powder
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- Line a 9’’ x 5’’ loaf pan with unbleached baking paper and set aside.
- Place the base ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Using a spatula, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared loaf pan.
- Next, in a food processor or blender, puree the blueberries. Add the chia seeds and mix until combined. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes, or until it thickens. Once the mixture is thick, spread it evenly over the base layer.
- In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients and pour the mixture over the blueberry chia layer, making sure to spread it out evenly.
- Freeze the bars until firm. To serve, let the bars thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes and cut as desired.
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