Believe it or not, succeeding in your studies isn’t all about the hours you put in, your study setup or your determination – there are actually foods that boost brain power! Your diet has a huge impact on your overall health, including your mental wellbeing. There are even specific foods that help memory function, foster information retention and improve focus.
So, what are these brain power foods you should be snacking on? We’ve compiled a list to help you narrow them down! Here are the 10 best power foods for the brain.
Admittedly, water is not technically food. But it’s still at the top of this list because it’s the most important thing you can consume for your overall health, including brain health!
Water is essential for your brain to work properly and optimally – no matter how mild, dehydration can impair cognitive function. Dehydration can also negatively affect your mood, which will hinder your ability to study, as well as your motivation and focus.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate isn’t just a delicious snack – it’s also one of the best foods to increase brain power. In addition to valuable minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc, dark chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine. Both of these are mild stimulants that can make you more alert, thereby boosting your concentration and productivity.
3. Leafy green vegetables
We all know we should eat more green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, silverbeet and rocket. But did you know they’re also power foods for the brain? Some of the compounds found in leafy greens have been shown to slow cognitive decline due to their neuroprotective effects. Vitamin K, in particular, has been shown to sharpen episodic memory. In other words, these veggies can help your memory and information retention, which are both essential for successful study.
Who doesn’t love blueberries, raspberries or strawberries? Whether you blend them up in a smoothie or snack on them throughout the day, these are a tasty addition to any diet. Even more good news: there’s strong evidence that eating berries benefits the brain. Berries contain high levels of antioxidants, which stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen in the brain, resulting in boosted concentration. Berries also contain various compounds that reduce inflammation and protect the brain from cognitive decline.
Tuna is rich in vital fats that help feed the brain including Omega-3 fatty acids. Found in tuna and other oily fish such as salmon, Omega-3s have been shown to aid in information processing and mood stabilisation. Low levels of Omega-3s have even been linked to poor memory and mental health issues, such as depression, which can hinder your focus on your studies.
6. Nuts and seeds
Many nuts and seeds also contain Omega-3 fatty acids, making them a great alternative to fish for vegetarians and vegans. One of the most beneficial types of Omega-3s is Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), large amounts of which are found in chia seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds and pecans. Nuts and seeds also boost the brain in other ways, such as reducing inflammation, improving memory, boosting your mood and improving sleep.
Curcumin, a key compound found in turmeric, has been shown to improve both mood and memory in older adults. Not only does it protect against the effects of diseases like Alzheimer’s, but it’s also been found to improve the memory of people without dementia or Alzheimer’s. Curcumin is also an antioxidant and has strong anti-inflammatory properties, which help protect your brain.
Oranges are known for containing vitamin C, which can help protect against colds and other illnesses. However, vitamin C also holds many cognitive benefits, making oranges one of the best foods to increase brain power.
High levels of vitamin C have been linked to lower levels of cognitive impairment. On the other hand, insufficient levels of vitamin C can sometimes lead to mental health challenges, including depression. In short, oranges are just power foods for the brain – they can also play a key role in maintaining your mental wellness!
Eggs are one of the best foods to increase brain power. They contain Omega-3s, which as you now know, assist cognition and brain activation. Egg yolks are also a great source of choline, a nutrient that has been found by some research studies to improve cognitive function and memory. Eggs are also high in tryptophan, which is associated with feelings of happiness and relaxation, so you’ll have no trouble staying calm as you study for exams or work to meet tight deadlines.
10. Green tea
Green tea contains caffeine, which increases alertness, performance, memory and focus. However, it contains less caffeine than coffee, making it a good alternative that’s less likely to make you anxious.
Green tea is also full of other nutrients, including L-theanine, which has been found to help in reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality. L-theanine has also been found to enhance attention, memory, focus and learning capacity, all of which can help you succeed in your studies.
Scape Student Living is committed to providing everything students need to feel safe, calm and at home throughout their studies – and that includes the comforts of nutritious and tasty food. Learn more about Scape’s all-inclusive meal plan options, which include many of the brain power foods every international student needs. Visit the Scape Student Living website to explore these offerings.
Scape Redfern is also hosting a pop-up TikTok restaurant on 23 June 2022 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm AEST. This exclusive event will feature TikTok’s most talented foodie superstars – including Vincent Lim, Morgan Hipworth and Priya Sharma – and an incredible selection of mouthwatering treats. Learn more here.