Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brain Food: Study Smarter Snacks

The alarm goes off, you stumble out of bed, get ready in a panic, and run to class, barely giving yourself enough time to brush your teeth, let alone eat a full breakfast. Getting to class is the most important part of doing well in school so you figure not taking the time to grab some cereal won’t be a big deal.  However, research completed by Dr. William Sears found that eating habits can greatly influence not only your academic performance, but your overall brain activity as well.

For example, let’s look at the breakfast skipping. If you skip this important meal, you are more likely to eat poorly all day long, consume more calories, more junk food, and fewer fruits and veggies. Breakfast skippers have also been found to be more emotionally vulnerable and have a higher tendency for nutrition deficiency disorders.  Research shows that students, who don’t skip meals, but get plenty of fruit, vegetables, grains, and dairy products, have higher grades, better attention spans, and can understand more complex academic problems. So, the next time you set your alarm, factor in a few more minutes to chow down on some breakfast.

Not only is it important not to skip meals, it is also crucial that you think about what foods you are eating and what effect they are having on your body. Certain foods with specific nutrients can actually improve your brain activity, while others may leave you feeling more sluggish and less studious.
Asparagus, romaine lettuce, and spinach are all high in magnesium and folic acid, nutrients that prevent brain degeneration and facilitate a healthy nervous system. If you’re interested in foods that can improve your memory and reasoning skills, look for foods high in beta-carotene and vitamin C, like oranges, carrots, broccoli, and tomatoes.

Perhaps the most remarkable nutritional benefit comes from foods that are high in vitamin e, omega and fatty acids. These foods promote circulation in your brain, which also has the effect of lifting your mood. So the next time you’re studying and feeling a little down, grab some avocados, nuts, or seeds.
Here at the Study we like to promote studying smarter, not harder. Get off to the right start by eating healthy and snacking smartly as you study, so your brain can function better, not harder.

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