Food for thought – 5 brain boosting snacks for students

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Oily fish - like salmon - can help those little grey cells
Oily fish - like salmon - can help those little grey cells

With exam season approaching, students have been urged to swap a diet of quick, cheap eats for nutritious meals to boost brain power when hitting the books.

Health and fitness experts at have compiled a guide to support learners in maximising revision potential this summer.

Little sleep, stress and missing meals will create chaos when it comes to the ability to concentrate and absorb information.

Low supply of both money and time has resulted in many opting for short-term fixes such as takeaways and sugary snacks in replacement of healthy and fulfilling meals.

However, junk food in place of normal meals can be damaging to long-term health, so relying on these foods to retain high energy levels could be doing more harm than good.

A spokesperson for explained: “A healthy diet is always important, however in times which require higher levels of concentration and a lot of brain power a nutritious diet is vital.

“Endurance is critical, so going for foods which provide a short burst of energy will often leave you feeling unfulfilled and sluggish later on in the day.

“Students can improve their learning by simply swapping out crisps for dried fruits which can make all the difference in the world – after all, one mark could be the difference of a whole grade.”

Here is’s guide to successful exam-time snacking:

1. Oily fish

One of the most effective essential fatty acids (EFA) is omega 3 which occurs naturally in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines which are all relatively cheap. EFA cannot be made in the body so it is imperative that this is included in our diet instead. Omega 3 is essential in promotion high brain function and can improve memory.

2. Blackcurrants and oranges

Both packed to the brim with vitamin C which is known for its ability to increase mental agility, alongside reducing anxiety and stress. The natural sugars that are present in fruit are much healthier and effective than chocolate bars or nasty additives and are often much tastier.

3. Nuts

A great source of vitamin E, which can help protect healthy brain function and prevent cognitive decline. Vitamin E also can boost the appearance of skin, giving a much-needed glow during the stressful time. For those who prefer to avoid dairy, almond milk is also calcium-rich.

4. Broccoli

Many people’s least favourite vegetable has a high source of vitamin K, which is well known to improve cognitive function and therefore improve brain power and memory. Skipping greens is a rookie error when it comes to maximising the nutrition in a meal.

5. Hydration

Energy drinks may offer a quick fix and a huge burst of short-term energy, however many chemical reactions in our body require water, so the rate which our brain processes information is determined by the level of hydration. It is recommended to drink 8 glasses of water a day, this may be a large ask however without could result in serious dehydration.

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