When it comes to healthy eating on campus, it’s hard to get into a routine that isn’t comprised of pizza, fried foods, and convenience snacks. Even when the college dorm food standard of ramen noodles with mixed veggies might seem like a wise decision, it will do very little nutrition-wise, and likely slow you down. ‘Brain food’ isn’t just an old wives tale; eating a diet that’s rich with nutritious foods and key ingredients might just boost your intelligence during those hard weeks of studying. There are some specific college dorm food choices to keep in mind:
Bean burritos make the list for ease and convenience, and it’s good to know that the fiber in beans is good for the heart and mind. Diets high in fiber can help manage blood sugar so you can concentrate for longer periods of time; it’s considered to be a ‘brain-friendly’ carb but will also relax the brain so it’s best to save it for the last meal.
A mixture of almonds and raisins is ideal for an afternoon snack, especially since almonds contain brain-boosting amino acids. Indian cultures consider almonds to be a vital energy source for the brain, and the naturally occurring tyrosine can help with concentration and increasing the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Dark chocolate also makes the list as a snack; mix it up with some granola even for breakfast and you’ll get a nice endorphin kick first thing in the morning (great for those days when you’re avoiding the gym). All-natural granola with soy milk makes an ideal breakfast for a busy day ahead, but pack a double punch by mixing it with oatmeal. Oatmeal supplies the brain with a rich dose of carbohydrates that can improve both physical and mental performance.
Loading up on spinach is a great way to enjoy some antioxidants with little hassle. Spinach and vegetable pizzas made with low-fat cheese, salsa, and pita bread are ideal for a late-night snack or meal, and the high antioxidant levels can improve cognitive function and recall abilities. According to researchers at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, the polyphenols from veggies such as spinach can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s; in the short-term, this means it could help increase your memory skills.
Eggs are loaded with choline, a B-Vitamin that supports a healthy brain and cardiovascular health. Cook up some healthy omelettes or scrambled eggs with wheat toast at least two to three times per week. Add some brain-boosting Omega 3-enriched eggs for even more power.
Be well-prepared for the upcoming college season by stockpiling a few of these brain-boosting foods. You’ll have the steady energy you need to get through the semester, and also find plenty of tasty creations to whip up in the microwave during those late-night study sessions. Passing that exam might just require a tweak of your daily diet!