Struggling to concentrate through college? You may be overhauling your brain with excess caffeine and sugars, or maybe not enough food at all. Consider giving your mind and body the fuel it deserves to get through college with the degree you came for. Carefully selecting what foods you consume is key to harnessing a balanced diet for optimal brain power. Here are a few food suggestions to prep your brain for those long lectures and study hours.

  1. Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the top super foods on many people's lists. Not only are they delicious, they’re stuffed full of helpful antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the brain. Studies have shown they can reduce short-term memory loss as well, so consider picking up a carton the next time you're at the store.

  1. Eggs

Move over Rocky, college students are jumping on board the egg-train. Egg yolks are packed full of choline, which studies have shown help in both visual and verbal test increases. It has also been proven to stimulate the production of memory transmitters, including a major boost to your healthy cholesterol levels. 

  1. Dark Chocolate

Not to be confused with just any chocolate, dark chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa can provide many health benefits to an active college student. Their organic makeup contains high amounts of iron, magnesium, and polyphenols, all which add a balanced source of nutrients for your mind and body. Higher cocoa concentrations also mean more antioxidants that help against heart disease, melanoma, and diabetes.

  1. Avocados

A staple super food across the board, avocados are widely considered one of the most nutritious and delicious daily foods for their rich source of vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, omega3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Those fatty acids can increase blood flow to the brain to help think clearer and faster. Don’t forget a fast and easy slice of avocado toast before your big exam.

  1. Walnuts

As a general rule, nuts are great for your brain function. Walnuts, in particular, contain lots of omega3 fatty acids and vitamin E. If you’re needing something to snack on while you work on your chemistry homework, keep some mixed nuts handy.

  1. Chicken and Turkey

Need a quick protein boost for something on the go? Chicken and turkey jerky are an excellent snack or meal option for their source of L-tyrosine, an amino acid that aids the brain with dopamine endorphins. You’ll feel happier, more energetic, and healthier with regular consumption.

  1. Beans

Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you — remember! Beans can provide healthy glucose for your brain, but unlike most foods packed with glucose, it won’t give you the familiar sugar crash of candies and salty snacks. They are also filled with omega fatty and folate acids to help with brain function.

  1. Seaweed

Sushi lovers rejoice! Seaweed is full of omega 3 fatty acids and useful fiber to increase brain function. Also packed full of folic acid, its proven ability to enhance both verbal and memory performance in the brain is a sure way of stimulating yourself with necessary nutrients.

However tempting and convenient our fast foods and pre-packaged snack options may be, never underestimate the power of a healthy brain. College will test your ability to accomplish tasks big and small, so test yourself with balancing your eating habits with healthy food options to keep you, your brain, and your degree on track.

Bonus: Share some of your newfound health recipes with friends in the common area of your student housing complex!