What Foods Should We Be Eating To Help With Study?

 by Isabella Coote

We are all told that we must eat a balanced diet to improve our physical health, but our mental health is also very important. This isn’t just to help protect against depression, but with memory retention, focus and problem solving, which can help with studying.

Fish, nuts, whole grains, apples, cruciferous vegetables, dark chocolate, spinach, berries, and legumes are all said to help fuel your brain, helping you to get better grades. But why and how can they help?

Our brain is mostly fatty tissue so eating foods with high concentrations of fatty acids seems logical in helping to keep it healthy and high functioning, increasing the likelihood of retaining information, and being able to problem solve. And as many fish, such as salmon and mackerel, have high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, eating them once or twice a week can help with focus. Other foods that contain high concentration of fatty acids are nuts, for example almonds or walnuts. They also contain high amounts of iron, which is a necessary component of haemoglobin, which transports oxygen around the body in the blood, including to the brain. So, increasing the number of nuts you eat increases your ability to retain information, as it optimises the transport of oxygen to the brain.

Whole grain food can help increase memory function and therefore increase the amount of information you can retain as it can decrease sleepiness and mental dullness, as they help improve the health of blood vessels, whilst also giving you an energy boost.

Apple skin contains quercetin, which is an antioxidant which enhances memory function, helping to better your grades. Berries, especially black currents, raspberries, and cranberries, reduce the level of toxins in your bloodstream and, as they contain phytonutrients and antioxidants, they help improve blood flow to the brain, enhancing neural activity. So, if some fruits help with learning, which vegetables could help? Cruciferous vegetables are a family made up of broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and bok-choy. They are rich in vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamin K, and some are a source of A and C vitamins. These help with memory retention. Spinach has lots of folic acid, which helps to reverse memory loss, and legumes, (beans such as chickpeas), contain lots of protein which help to power the brain. They also contain folic acid, again helping with memory loss and information retention.

So, eating a well-balanced diet, not only improves your physical health but can help improve your grades.