Staying Energized During Finals

It’s that time of the quarter again! It’s week 10 and with that comes lots of worries, stress, tears, lack of sleep and not so healthy food choices.

food-meme

The kinds of food you choose are vital in keeping you energized and getting through each day. The hard part is knowing which foods to look for.

These are several foods and specific nutrients that have proven to help boost memory and cognitive brain function.

  • Veggies: any dark green leafy vegetable like broccoli, kale, and cabbage. These vegetables are nutritionally dense and contain tons of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin K which is found in dark green vegetables has been shown to have an important role in maintaining optimal brain function.
    • Eating vegetables at times can be very discouraging due to their bland taste, but with the addition of a light dressing they can be really yummy and stay low in Calories. Adding some hummus with your vegetables or a fruit-based vinaigrette can make a dramatic difference.
  • Berries: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries all have the antioxidant anthocyanin that helps boost cognitive function.
    • Some simple ways to incorporate berries into your diet can be by adding them to your cereal or oatmeal in the morning. To eat berries on the go simply freeze them and put them in a container or incorporate the berries into a smoothie.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: specifically “DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain” (Andrea Giancoli RD).  Fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines are rich sources of omega 3’s (DHA, and EPA).
  • Another important Omega fatty acid is (ALA), which can be found in a variety of nuts, seeds, and legumes. For example: walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and chickpeas( so yes hummus would be a great source of ALA !!).
    • Buying small single serving packs of tuna and taking them for lunch with a side of salad can make for a great meal rich in essential fatty acids. Additionally, a small container full of mixed nuts and a bottle of water with chia seeds can be packed as a snack and consumed throughout the day.

Even though it can be difficult to make smart choices during these next two weeks, it is still very possible. I hope you take up on some of these awesome tips given above and fuel yourself with some rich super-foods, instead of the usual junk foods! Eating healthy snacks and staying properly hydrated will be key in keeping you up and alert through the long horrendous hours of studying/test taking.

I believe in you, now let’s finish strong broncos!

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24108469

http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/wellness/healthy-aging/memory-boosting-foods

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids

http://www.dhaomega3.org/Overview/Dietary-Sources-of-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids

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