Top 15 Best Foods to Eat While Studying (Ranked!) | Iris Reading
Top 15 Best Foods to Eat While Studying

Top 15 Best Foods to Eat While Studying (Ranked!)


Top 15 Best Foods to Eat While Studying

Eating the right foods plays a massive role in churning your mind and helping you study properly. Indulging in a bucket of ice cream or eating your favorite chips may sound tempting, but did you know these foods can contribute to reduced memory retention and lead to other problems too? 

A healthy diet with the proper nutrients helps you stay focused and alert while studying. Foods like dark chocolate, avocados, blueberries, nut, whole grains, etc., are filled with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants that boost cognitive function and improve concentration. 

Knowing what to eat and when to eat helps improve your academic performance while keeping your brain nourished to take on mentally-challenging tasks. 

So, whether you’re pulling an all-nighter for your exam tomorrow or preparing well in advance for an exam, getting the proper nutrition is very important. 

Thus, in this article, we’ll discuss some of the best foods to eat while studying that enhance brain function, boost energy levels, and improve brain memory. 

1.  Avocados feed your brain

Even though avocado is a fatty fruit, it’s a monounsaturated fat that contributes to healthy blood flow to the brain. It also helps lower blood pressure, which could otherwise cause cognitive decline due to hypertension. 

Your brain is made of 60% fat, so healthy fats like avocados improve brain function. It’s also a great source of fiber and helps prevent energy crashes.

They’re also packed with a carotenoid, lutein, which accumulates in your brain to help you focus throughout the day. 

And that’s not all. This delicious fruit is an excellent source of vitamin K, an essential element for maintaining healthy brain cells. 

The best part is you wouldn’t have to prep an entire meal and put your chef skills to use when using avocados. You can add them to salads or smoothies or even eat them alone. 

2. Leafy greens for energy and clarity

Vegetable intake is an important factor related to improved brain function. 

Veggies are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids that accumulate in your retinas. The accumulation, known as macular pigment optical density (MPOD), is linked to improved mental performance. 

Thus, brain foods like parsley, broccoli, spinach, basil, pea, lettuce, etc., are excellent sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Before starting your study session, you can prepare a leafy bowl and add a dash of olive oil to enhance the taste.

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3. Bananas for boosting your memory

Bananas are a tremendous study-time snack. They’re one of the most tempting brain foods, packed with nutrition. 

Bananas are loaded with potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, and vitamin C. Moreover, the high levels of tryptophan in bananas convert to serotonin, automatically improving your mood and helping you study in a good mood. 

Potassium also promotes good sleep and relaxes your muscle so you can gain the energy to power through a productive study session

It’s also a great way to maintain weight due to the dietary fiber and resistant starch. It helps you keep full, burns fat for energy levels, and keeps blood sugar levels balanced, so you wouldn’t have to worry about gaining weight while doing all that studying. 

4. Brown rice for better focus 

If you’re preparing for an entire night of study, then brown rice is one of the best foods to consume before starting. 

Not only is brown rice rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but it’s also a complex carbohydrate that breaks down slowly in your body and provides a steady energy supply. 

The high fiber helps your digestive system and regulates blood sugar levels. Maintaining your sugar levels is important, as high sugar levels can cause you to lose focus and lower your energy. 

Moreover, brown rice contains an amino acid called tryptophan – an essential component that increases serotonin production and helps regulate mood. 

5. Cocoa and dark chocolate for improving blood flow

When you think of chocolate, dark chocolate won’t probably come to your mind. However, that hazelnut-flavored chocolate won’t do you any good if you’re craving one. 

Substituting milk chocolate with cocoa or dark chocolate is a brilliant move. That’s because cocoa has the highest flavonoid content compared to other foods, which makes it one of the best foods to eat while studying. 

High and intermediate flavonoid groups found in cocoa have a direct correlation to insulin sensitivity, which is linked to improving brain function. Insulin helps to keep unwanted sugar from your blood and use it for boosting energy. 

So, the next time you think of chocolate when studying, grab a bar of dark chocolate to improve your brain health. 

6. Fatty fish for a better mood 

Sardines, salmon, tuna, and other fish might not be your top food choice, but they’re a great source of omega-3s. These brain foods are also excellent sources of nutrients like selenium and vitamin B12, which improve brain function to a great extent. 

Omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are essential for brain health. Polyunsaturated fats in fish promote cell membrane health and also have potent anti-inflammatory functions within the body. 

7. Green tea protects your brain from stress 

Green tea is a great beverage to consume at the end of a long, hectic day, but it also contains some essential components that boost brain power significantly. Besides caffeine, it also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that enhances brain performance and helps manage stress. 

There are so many green tea alternatives you can go with. Matcha tea is one of them. It contains twice as much L-theanine compared to regular green tea and is great for alerting your mind and lowering your stress levels so you can concentrate properly. 

L-theanine is also responsible for increasing the frequency of alpha waves in your brain, helping you to relax and enjoy your study session. 

8. Citrus fruits for improved cognitive function 

Citrus fruits are the ideal summertime fruit but are also highly nutritious. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and contain flavonoids like hesperidin. They help protect your nerve cells from injury and improve cognitive function. 

So, keeping a bowl of oranges or grapefruit next to your study table will help you intake flavonoids like naringin, quercetin, rutin, and hesperidin, among others. These compounds boost memory and also ward off mental decline. 

Pair your favorite citrus fruit with nuts or a healthy snack to make your study time more enjoyable. 

9. Coffee (Caffeine) for clearing your mind 

Coffee is a beverage most of us cannot function without. It’s a soothing beverage that energizes you instantly and gives you the energy to be productive. 

Caffeine is the primary ingredient for making you active, a natural stimulant that pumps your nervous system and makes you feel more focused. 

But how does one cup of coffee do that? Let’s find out.

When you take the first sip of your coffee, it enters your bloodstream and regulates the blood flow toward your brain. Here, it blocks the neurotransmitter called adenosine. This neurotransmitter is a chemical in the brain responsible for promoting sleep. 

So, by blocking adenosine, the activity of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, increases and leads to a better, more relaxed mood. 

Too much caffeine isn’t the best for you, especially when studying. Drinking 2-3 cups may help improve your cognitive function, but it also paves the path for jitters and disrupted sleep, which you wouldn’t want during the exam season. 

Thus, it’s important to consume coffee in moderation while staying aware of the potential side effects that can affect you in the long term. 

10. Pumpkin seeds for reducing stress 

Pumpkin seeds are not just delicious snacks but also little powerhouses with everything you need to feel relaxed and stay calm when studying.

Let’s see why they’re such an excellent source for reducing stress and helping you study better. 

They’re packed with magnesium, a mineral that helps stimulate mood and reduce anxiety. So the next time you feel you won’t be able to complete your studying on time, grab a handful of pumpkin seeds, breathe in, and let the seeds do their magic. 

Moreover, they contain tryptophan, an amino acid precursor to serotonin. We’ve discussed how serotonin is a crucial indicator of good mood and sleep. 

So, by increasing your intake of pumpkin seeds, you’re giving your body ample building blocks to produce the feel-good neurotransmitter. 

The little green gems are a treat to munch on and a great way to pack all that stress away and focus on your learning. 

11. Beans for sustained energy 

Beans are a fantastic source of sustained energy. They help keep you focused throughout the day, so you wouldn’t feel low on energy during your study sessions. Beans contain complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, all of which prevent spikes and crashes in energy. 

Complex carbohydrates also mean the food will be broken down slowly, so you’ll constantly get enough energy to last a long study session while staying satisfied. 

Moreover, the fibers in beans also slow down carbohydrate absorption in the bloodstream, simulating blood sugar so you don’t feel tired, irritable, and unable to concentrate.

You might think preparing beans would take up a lot of time, but it doesn’t. It’s a versatile food you can combine with anything, from salads to soups. 

12. Sunflower seeds for better brain function 

Sunflower seeds are small greyish-white seeds that are rich in vitamins E, C, and B6. They’re also a great resource for other vitamins like choline, folate, niacin, and pantothenic acid, making them one of the best brain foods.

These tiny powerhouses are extremely rich in calories, just 100 grams gives around 585 calories. They also contain minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, zinc, etc. 

All these vitamins and minerals packed in these little seeds sound too good to be true. The vitamin B6 in these seeds helps improve brain function by enhancing memory and concentration. 

It also helps release happy hormones like serotonin and norepinephrine in your body, making you feel good while studying. 

However, taking these seeds in moderation is vital, as excess consumption can lead to stomach aches and vomiting. You wouldn’t want to feel sick, especially when preparing for an exam.

13. Berries help enhance concentration 

Berries aren’t just juicy delights to munch on; these little powerhouses have various compounds that help nurture brain health. Blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries are rich in flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins, which are great for mental performance. 

Berries increase blood flow to the brain, improve signaling pathways that promote cellular processes, and protect against inflammation so you can grasp new concepts quickly and improve brain function.

Studies also reflect how berry smoothies help increase attention span, leading to quicker response rates. 

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14. Eggs for protecting brain nerve cells 

The daily generic egg breakfast offers many health benefits, including protecting your brain’s nerve cells.

Egg yolks contain choline, a nutrient that improves brain health and its function. It’s a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter necessary for nerve cells and their relevant function. Low levels of this neurotransmitter can eventually lead to cognitive decline. 

Apart from this, eggs are also a great source of vitamins like B6 and B12, which play a pivotal role in cognitive function. 

Also, eggs are essential for healthy brain tissue as they contain a good amount of protein that helps repair tissues in the brain.

That’s why you need to make sure to include eggs in your daily diet as an essential brain food, especially when your exam season is nearby.

15. Turmeric for better memory performance 

Originating from Asia, this powerful, golden spice is like pixie dust for your brain health. Known mainly for its anti-inflammatory properties, this spice also offers numerous benefits for boosting brain health. 

Turmeric contains a secret active ingredient: curcumin, responsible for all of turmeric’s beneficial properties. Its antioxidant properties also save your brain from cognitive decline caused by free radicals and inflammation. 

The ingredient is primarily consumed in various dishes, but you can always add it to a smoothie or a cup of tea so you can enjoy its benefits without putting in a lot of effort. 

Why your study snacks matter

A mentally demanding task like studying requires you to be active and have constant energy to ace your study session. That’s why it is important to choose your snacks wisely to help improve your focus.

Here is why you need to eat healthy snacks while studying:

Sustained energy

You need your energy levels to be up at all times to function properly. And for that, glucose is the primary source to boost those energy levels. Consuming whole grains, fruits, and vegetables helps to give a steady supply of glucose to your brain and stay alert. 

Feeding your brain the right nutrients

Consuming nutrients is necessary, but the proper nutrients can make or break your study session. Nutrients like B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals like zinc help boost brain health, which helps with better cognitive performance and ripe more health benefits.

Improved mood

If you’re not in the mood to study, you won’t be able to make your study time effective. Your snack choices can affect your mood. For instance, consuming refined carbohydrates leads to a spike in sugar levels, followed by a crash, leaving you tired and unfocused. 

Maintaining hydration levels

Dehydration is a big no for your physical health but it also impacts your mental health immensely. Thus, choosing snacks with more water, like fruits and veggies, helps you feel hydrated and have an effective study session. 

Takeaway: Boost your brain power with the best foods while studying 

Choosing the right brain food is very important. It helps you set the right mood for studying, improves your effectiveness, aids brain development, and improves cognitive health. 

Incorporating foods high in antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals is a great way to provide nutrition to your mind. When coupled with adequate sleep, these brain foods for studying are a great way to make your brain cells active while studying. 

Improving your diet is a slow process, but shifting from unhealthy snacks, junk food, and energy drinks pays off. These shortcut foods bring more harm in the long run and also lead to cognitive decline over time.

Our Iris Reading’s Personal Productivity course is also a great resource that helps you study productively and keeps you aware of your final goals. The course helps you track your progress during the exam season and stay ahead in the game.

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