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Brain Foods that Elevate Efficient Studying

By Cicilyn Lihealthyeating

As you open that AP textbook of yours, keep in mind that while you are feeding your brain with facts, you will also need to feed it fuel as well. You will see a significant impact on your academic performance when you simply choose good foods. Your goal should be to study efficiently and improve mental alertness, focus, and ability to retain information in order to achieve higher grades, and not just, “I need to do better.” Here are 10 hearty foods that will not satisfy only your stomach, but also your brain.



Most fish are highly concentrated in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to proper neural function. Because most of our brain is made up of fatty tissue, eating foods high in fatty acids will aid in the ability to focus and study efficiently. Generally, seafoods are filled with amazing fatty acids, but eating them will not make you gain weight. Why wouldn’t you want to eat this?


Like fish, many types of nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, and almonds contain high levels of essential fatty acids that help your brain to perform capably. Not only that, nuts come with a good amount of iron that increases your mental alertness and ability to retain information. A recommended amount of one ounce of nuts per day is optimal. Keep in mind that there are different kinds of fat. Eating a handful of nuts has the same amount of fat as eating a mini cupcake, but the type of fat is different. Choose the smart foods.


There is a reason why “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, as consuming apples can help improve study habits and academic performance. In fact, apple peel contains a dynamic antioxidant called quercetin that augments memory function. Yum!

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables consist of vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower. This family of vegetables are known to enhance memory retention, which means they will most likely improve your grades. In order to draw out the best in these vegetables, it is best to eat them raw, as cooking them will remove much of the nutrients they contain.


Legumes are comprised of beans like kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas. These nutty grubs hold substantial amounts of protein to power up the brain. They also contain high concentrations of folic acid, which has been shown to improve the ability to recall information.


Colorful berries such as blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, cherries, gooseberries, black currants, and even grapes have optimal effects on brain function. These fruits may be small in size, but they have a great reputation of being able to reduce the level of toxins in your bloodstream, as they contain phytonutrients and antioxidants that improve blood flow to the brain and enhance neural activity, too. If these berries are too sour for your taste, just put them in a smoothie or homemade juice!

Dark Chocolate

Feed your brain while you feed your sweet tooth, as dark chocolate can enhance your memory and increase alertness, clarity, and blood flow to the brain. The darker the chocolate, the more the benefits. It is recommended that you eat a tiny piece of dark chocolate everyday.


Spinach is a green that has been proven to boost brain power, and that could mean better grades for you. Spinach is filled to the brim with folic acid, a type of B vitamin that can prevent memory loss. No wonder Popeye ate spinach all the time!

Whole Grains

Consuming loads of refined carbohydrates like those in white bread and pasta is not only bad for your physical health, but it also leads to sleepiness and mental dullness. On the other hand, whole grains can lead to enhanced memory function, a skill necessary for understanding and analysis. Whole grains are extremely easy to incorporate into your diet. Just buy whole wheat bread instead of white bread, and eat brown rice instead of white rice!


In Eastern culture, onions, especially red onions, have always been exalted for their ability to advance crucial brain functions such as memory retention and focus. The compounds anthocyanin and quercetin, which are found in onions, have even been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Add them to your salads or cook them — delicious!


A healthy lifestyle will always complement your study habits. By eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and paying attention to your overall health, remaining alert, focused, and energized will come easy to you while you study.


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