How to Increase Brain Power with Healthy Snacks and Meals

by frank-stuart
16JUL

When you are studying hard, doing assignments, and taking exams, it’s important to eat foods that will help to boost your brain power. Of course it’s always important to eat well, but at stressful times it pays to know which ‘brain foods’ can play a particular part in helping you ace that assessment task!

Brain power food and drink

  • Berries, especially blueberries – these foods contain antioxidants that appear to protect the brain from neuronal damage.
  • Omega-3-rich foods – omega-3 fats have been shown to reduce the risk of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Sources include seafood, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, as well as walnuts, linseeds, and soybeans.
  • Dark chocolate – yes it’s true! Rich in antioxidants, dark chocolate can help protect against cell damage. Choose chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa.
  • ‘Red’ foods – these are also high in antioxidants. Red foods include apples, red or black grapes, cherries, berries, tomatoes, and even red wine in moderation.
  • Nuts, seeds and avocado – these foods contain vitamin E, which helps prevent cognitive decline. Nut and seed pastes are also good – such as peanut or almond butter, and tahini spread, which is made from sesame seeds.
  • Leafy greens – especially the cruciferous varieties, such as cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli, which appear to have a protective effect on the brain.
  • Curry spice – curcumin, found in the curry spice turmeric, has been shown to fight inflammation and reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Iron-rich foods – including red meat, chicken, fish, soy foods and green vegetables. Iron helps improve memory and attention span.
  • Low-GI carbs – these help sustain your glucose levels, which your brain relies upon to function effectively. Sources include whole grains, oats, dairy, and fruits and vegetables.
  • Tea and coffee – can be beneficial in small doses in assisting brain function and concentration.
  • Water – keeping adequately hydrated helps boost brain power. Watery foods are also beneficial – watermelon and cucumber for example.

Ideas for healthy snacks

If you find your energy flagging, and you want a quick snack, try the following:

  • Trail mix made from dried fruits, nuts and some dark chocolate.
  • Wholegrain toast with tahini. As well as containing vitamin E, tahini is high in B-complex vitamins and calcium.
  • Wholemeal crackers with light cheese, hummus or avocado dip, or even just plain mashed avocado.
  • Small tin of tuna or salmon.
  • Fruit salad with low-fat yogurt.

Meal ideas

  • Salmon fillet marinated in lime juice and soy sauce with a pinch of sugar then lightly cooked makes a delicious easy meal. Add a mixed salad, and you have a great brain power lunch or dinner!
  • Tuna and salad made from mixed leaves, tomato, cucumber, avocado served with a lemon and olive oil dressing.
  • Stir-fry of sliced beef and Asian greens, cashews and / or toasted sesame seeds, served with steamed basmati rice.
  • Curried chicken served with rice and steamed vegetables.
  • Homemade soups such as minestrone, spiced pumpkin, or split pea and ham, served with a crusty bread roll.

Try coming up with your own snack and meal ideas and combinations. With the abundance of fresh food we have in Australia, there is really no need to always opt for takeaway, or for salty or sugary snacks. Supercharge your brain with the above foods, and you might just find your results going up along with your energy levels!

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