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The Top 9 Brain Foods for Studying and Exams

When you’re a student trying to memorize and understand a lot of new information, it’s important to keep your health in top shape. Staying healthy can promote academic performance and help you reach your educational goals.

Although an overall healthy diet is most important for keeping your body and brain nourished and ready to take on difficult tasks, research shows that certain foods may be especially important for brain health and promoting mental performance.

The following foods have been linked to improved brain health and make excellent choices when you’re cramming for an exam.

Here are the top 9 brain foods for studying.

1. Berries

Berries are rich in a variety of compounds that may help promote academic performance and protect the health of your brain. Berries, including blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries, are especially high in flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins are believed to improve mental performance by increasing blood flow to your brain, protecting against inflammation, and improving certain signaling pathways that promote nerve cell production and cellular processes involved in learning and memory.

2. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are highly nutritious, and their intake has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including the promotion of brain health.

Similarly to berries, citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are rich in flavonoids, including hesperidin, naringin, quercetin, and rutin, among others.

3. Dark chocolate and cocoa products

Cocoa has the highest flavonoid content by weight of any other food, which is why cocoa products like chocolate significantly contribute to dietary flavonoid intake. Consuming flavonoid-rich cocoa products may favorably affect brain health .

4. Nuts

Nuts are packed with nutrients that are essential for brain health, including vitamin E and zinc. They’re also portable and versatile, making them an excellent choice for study snacks .

Nuts are concentrated sources of healthy fat, protein, and fiber, and they can help keep you fueled throughout marathon study sessions. Plus, some research shows that snacking on nuts may even help improve certain aspects of brain function.

Eggs are often referred to as nature’s multivitamin due to the variety of nutrients they contain. They’re particularly rich in nutrients that are necessary for brain function, including vitamin B12, choline, and selenium.

6. Avocados

Avocados are versatile fruits that can be enjoyed in several ways, including mashed into guacamole, spread on toast, or simply enjoyed whole with a bit of salt. As a convenient study snack, they may also help boost your brain function.

7. Fish

Omega-3s are essential fats that play important roles in brain health. They’re concentrated in fatty fish, which are also excellent sources of other brain-health-promoting nutrients like vitamin B12 and selenium.

It’s no surprise that a number of studies have linked fish intake to enhanced brain function.

8. Beets

Beets and beet products are rich in nitrates, which your body converts into a molecule called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide plays many important roles in your health, including proper nerve cell communication, blood flow, and brain function.

9. Red, green, and orange vegetables

Vegetable intake in general is associated with better brain function and the promotion of overall health .

Red, orange, and green vegetables, including peppers, carrots, and broccoli, contain a variety of beneficial plant compounds, including carotenoid pigments, that have been shown to benefit mental performance.


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