Our concentration levels dwindle after countless hours of listening to our lecturers discuss multiple subjects and late night studying in college libraries. We’re under a lot of pressure knowing that these years are some of the most important we will face. All-nighters sponsored by energy drinks, excessive cups of coffee and candy overdose's do nothing good for the health of our brain, though, and not consuming the right foods could impede your memory over the years.
Our brain’s health and functioning relies on that which we put into our bodies; as a car can’t run without fuel, our brains can’t function without food. College News compiles a list of foods proven to improve brain functioning, memory and concentration—without a hefty price tag.
A must-have (and easy to get, particularly in the fall season) for your cupboard are pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are rich in the mineral Zinc, a vital component to healthy brain functioning. Zinc is a proven necessity to not only maintain, but enhance cognitive thinking skills and memory—exactly what we need while studying for a degree, right? Besides Zinc, pumpkin seeds are also rich in Magnesium, the mineral related to alleviate stress by triggering tryptophan, the precursor to the feel good neurotransmitter, serotonin.
Sprinkle these on salads and in soup, or simply bring along to school to snack on.
The sweet and moreish blueberry is high up on a nutritionists list of superfoods for good brain functioning. A study carried out by Tufts University in Massachusetts gathered evidence that suggests eating blueberries may well be effective in improving memory loss. If blueberries don’t satisfy your palate, then it’s good to know that other berries, like raspberries and strawberries, also have the profound affect that blueberries have on the brain. Throw these fruits into a blender for your morning smoothie.
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There are always eggs in my cupboard; I’m sure there are always eggs in your cupboard, too. Cheap and delicious, eggs are not only a fab source of protein, they are high in Choline, the precursor for the acetylcholine neurotransmitter in the brain responsible in helping enhance memory.
Who would’ve thought these tiny, cheap legumes would be so vital for healthy brain functioning? Full of folate, part of the vitamin B family, lentils are shown to further boost brain power. Lentils play a role in decreasing levels of amino acids in the body—associated with restlessness, anxiety and the brain impairment this brings. Lentils act as a great meat substitute for cheaper meal options, too.
*Bonus: Lentils make a great Indian Daal dish for those with a spicier palate!
Salmon and Mackerel, in particular, are jam-packed with Omega-3 oils so essential to healthy brain functioning. The benefits have been documented extensively, stating that fish rich with Omega-3 improve cognitive memory and supports healthy brain structure. The outer membrane of our brain is made up of lipids (or fats), so healthy fat consumption is key to our brain’s health. Treat yourself to that sushi lunch or cook a salmon dish for your roommates one evening.