Nutrition

Eat Better Brain Foods

Classes are in full swing again, and that means it’s time to get back on the study grind. I don’t know about you, but my mind has been a little preoccupied. When I’m not thinking about beating Duke this weekend, I’m wondering when it will finally warm up around here (or at least stop snowing). Needless to say, it has been hard getting focused.

A recent study found a number of foods that boost memory and overall brain function. So the next time studying seems useless, or you just need some brainpower, give these foods a shot.

Berries. Full of flavonoids that boost your memory, dark berries (i.e. cherries, blueberries, and blackberries) are a sweet treat with great payoff. Although most berries are not in season right now, you can still enjoy them! Try throwing some frozen ones in the blender with Greek yogurt and fruit juice for a filling snack. Dried berries are another delicious option: buy or make your own trail mix, bake them into your favorite desserts, or put them on your salad.

Seafood. Fish such as salmon, Bluefin tuna, or sardines, are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. These are the same kinds of fatty acids that are most abundant in the brain, and studies have shown that diets rich in these may improve brain function. If fish just isn’t your thing, I encourage you to experiment with it. Recipes like fish tacos can taste like familiar dishes, but can add some variety to your meals.

Walnuts. Also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts are a great way to add some crunch to your meal or snack. If eating them plain doesn’t do it for you, trying throwing them into your trail mix or onto your salad. They also taste great on top of oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or cereal in the morning.

Vegetables. It’s an overused phrase but it cannot be stressed enough — eat your veggies! It has been shown that getting enough servings of vegetables improves memory, and eating them doesn’t even have to be boring. Throw a couple of carrots and some spinach into your smoothie and you won’t even taste them. Pack some celery with peanut butter or hummus for a crunchy, refreshing afternoon snack. Add them to your favorite dishes like pizza, pasta, and chili for some added taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vegetables — you may surprise yourself with what you like!

So the next time you notice your mind start to wander, get into the kitchen and whip up some brain food!

By Kathryn Davis

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