Food for Thought

Finals week is headed our way in full force, but this semester, don’t let it get the best of you.  As you begin organizing your schedule for studying, plan your diet as well.  With high levels of stress and anxiety, eating healthy during is essential, especially when you can eat your way to success.  Get grocery shopping done early and efficiently with Valley’s grocery list of finals food.

Blueberries– Blueberries are more than a tiny treat – they have the strength to power your brain.  Preventing from oxidative stress, blueberries help increase memory, learning capacity, and cognitive skills.

Whole Grains– Whole grains are an amazing brain booster.  With a high quantity of folate, whole grains increase the blood flow to your brain.  The better the blood flow, the better the quality and quantity of information absorbed.  Whole grains are also rich in Vitamin B6, a vitamin that greatly improves overall brain function, including memory.

Blackberries– Containing anthocyanins, blackberries protect against brain damage by fighting oxidative stress, similar to blueberries.  Not only is this important while studying, but also for decreasing your risk of brain disease in the future.

Green Tea– Who knew such a relaxing beverage was so powerful?  Fighting against mental tiredness, green tea contains catechines that function to increase focus.  Catechins also contain antioxidants called polyphenols that increase dopamine levels.  Dopamine is a vital brain hormone that controls one’s positive mood.  So, if you’re feeling sleepy, or are miserable about studying, green tea is the best for your brain.

Nuts and Seeds– Ranging from walnuts and cashews, to sunflower and pumpkin seeds, nuts and seeds contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and zinc.  Nuts and seeds are a diverse and rich source of nourishment for your brain.  They enable you to think clearly and positively, while increasing memory-skills.

Chocolate– Yes, a little bit of chocolate is a dietary staple for geniuses!  Containing high levels of antioxidants and natural stimulants, dark chocolate enhances one’s focus and concentration, while improving mood state.  The flavanols in dark chocolate also facilitate blood supply to the brain.  For those who prefer the sweeter taste of milk chocolate, there is still a benefit as it improves reaction time, and both verbal and visual skills.

Photos by Orhan Yilmaz