Brain Foods for your Final Moods

Hey y’all! It’s your intern Kaleigh with more information on how to beat your study stress and cravings. Lets face it, finals can get the best of us sometimes. We tend to sleep less, eat more, and cry at the most random things. There are ways to fight the stress though, including making sure what you eat are nutrient dense and, most importunity, YUMMY! Here are a list of brain foods that can be incorporated into your finals week meals and snacks.

1. Kale

Dark Leafy greens may improve memory function. Kale is a goof source of B vitamins, especially folate which is key for brain development. The B vitamins, often called the “anti-stress vitamins,” can halt memory loss, ward off brain aging, banish depression, and even help you live longer.  Kale is also a great sources of vitamin K, a vitamin essential for verbal memory. Additionally, with 120 mg per serving, kale is one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Pretty much Kale is the poster child of brain foods!

2. Blueberries

Berries, such as blueberries, are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. These may boost memory function, improve learning capabilities, motor function, and also provide a good amount of vitamins.  Blueberries contain Vitamin K (36 percent Daily Value), Vitamin C (25 percent DV), Manganese (25 percent DV) and are high in Fiber (17 percent DV).

3. Salmon

Omega-3 fatty acid, found in fatty fish such as salmon, are healthy fats that are essential for good brain health and may boost memory as well. They are known to curb inflammation in blood vessels, and lower your blood triglyceride levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are also key in brain development and function.

4. Walnuts or flax Seeds

Walnuts may improve cognitive function, but also positively impact heart health. Walnuts are high in fiber and contain plant sterols, Vitamin E, and unsaturated fats. All of these help heart health, and can improve blood flow to your brain. Flax Seeds also are good sources of Omega- 3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Higher levels of vitamin E have been linked to less cognitive decline as you get older, so incorporating these in your diet may have long lasting effects on your memory.

5. Avocados

This fruit is high in unsaturated fatty acids, and are a good source of fuel for your brain. Avocados also lower blood pressure, and as hypertension is a risk factor for the decline in cognitive abilities, a lower blood pressure should promote brain health. Sounds like a good excuse to eat more guacamole!

6. Whole Wheat

Whole wheat grains such as oatmeal, whole grains, and brown rice are surprisingly good for your brain! Whole wheat more specifically is good for your heart health, which pumps the blood to your brain for it to function. As Steven Pratt, MD puts it, “If you promote cardiovascular health, you’re promoting good flow to the organ system, which includes the brain.” Whole grains are also full of fiber, phytochemicals and vitamin E. Overall, your body can benefit to switching to whole wheat grains.

7. Beans

Beans can help manage your glucose levels, and keep your energy stable. No more sugar crashes after your Whataburger run! Beans are a great source of protein, and will keep you full during those long study periods. It also contains Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium,Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Copper and Manganese. Having the energy beans provide will help you stay focus longer, and feed your brain much needed nutrients.

8. Dark Chocolate

Saved the best for last! Dark chocolate (70% or darker) contains antioxidants and is a good source of caffeine. Having 1 oz (about 1 square) a day can be beneficial to helping you stay alert and focus while studying. Have a few bites of chocolate with some tea and treat yourself for the work you have done!

Check out these snack food ideas to bring with you as you study this week, and power your brain on the go. Good Luck, and don’t stress! We are almost done!