Smart Foods for Exam Time

For most students, exams mean stress, cramming, and little time to make healthy choices. On this study break, try these quick and healthy snack ideas that have some awesome benefits to help you ace your exams!

Frozen berries

Frozen berries are a healthy treat

Tortilla Chips and Guacamole: Avocados are high in mono-unsaturated fat which helps increase blood-flow your brain, increasing cognitive abilities. Regular tortilla chips are fine, but for an even healthier choice, reach for the multigrain option. For an easy home-made guacamole, mash one ripe avocado and mix with half a chopped onion, about a teaspoon of olive oil, half a diced tomato (optional) and salt and pepper to taste (Hint: Leave the avocado pit in the guacamole to keep it from browning).
Edamame: This quick, easy, and super-healthy snack is just boiled soybeans. This makes a great study snack because it not only satisfies the craving to munch, but soybeans are packed full of choline which helps to improve memory. Keep a bag of edamame in your freezer and when you need something to nibble on, toss some in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain, then salt to taste.
Home-made Trail Mix: Create your own mixture of unsweetened dried fruit and nuts. Nuts boost brain power, and flax and sunflower seeds also boost memory. You can even add chocolate chips: milk chocolate is good for verbal and visual memory, while dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids to boost blood supply to the brain.
Veggies and Dip Some veggies like cauliflower and dark greens like broccoli and green pepper work to retain memory. Enhance brain activity and help focus your attention with red pepper, carrots and mushrooms. Regular veggie dips are fine, but for a healthier option try hummus.
Frozen Fruit: Need something sweet? Something you can mindlessly snack on? Frozen fruit is a great option because natural sugars are a great fuel source for clean energy, and come without the crash. Fruit also offers a short-term boost to thinking processes, mental abilities and memory. Plus, it’s surprisingly satisfying and stores offer lots of different options: berries, tropical, strawberry-banana…or make your own, just make sure it’s unsweetened.

This semester, steer clear of foods that are greasy, salty, and full of refined sugars. These snacks will just slow down your body and mind, and will definitely not help your study technique. Here are the top foods to avoid during your study sessions.

Buttery “Movie Theatre” Popcorn: This stuff is covered in butter, oil, and salt which will dehydrate you and slow down your cognitive processes. If you’ve absolutely got to have popcorn, try light microwave popcorn or even better, go for the air-popped type and add a little olive oil for flavour.
Packaged Frozen Snacks: Hot pockets, pizza pops, and most things that you get from a microwavable package are high in sodium and saturated-fats. Yet, sometimes we need something a little cheesy and gooey as a reward for a productive study session. Try microwaving low-fat cheese on sodium-reduced crackers for about 30 seconds.
Chips: These are the worst with their salty, unhealthy fats and without paying attention you’ll inhale that whole bag. JUST STAY AWAY.