10 Meals to Help You Study Smarter

Food isn't just for your body's health, it fuels your mind as well. Eat smarter with this list of healthy foods that boost your focus and memory, so that you can get the most out of your study sessions. Schools offering Art of Cooking degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

food

Feed Your Brain

Dining hall food, fast food menus and anything you can heat in the microwave tend to be the major food groups of a student's life. But you need to be on top of your game in college. Study sessions, long cramming nights, work study and campus events require you to stay positive, active and awake. No matter how much sleep you got last night, these recipes will boost your memory and productivity.

Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It wakes up your body from a night of hibernation and prepares you for a day of mental onslaught. Try some of these delicious and easy breakfast foods to pump up your productivity and memory.

1. Oatmeal is a whole-grain food that provides an excellent source of vitamin B and folic acid. Best yet, instant oatmeal is the same as the slow-cooked variety (just cut thinner), so it can be made in your microwave! Boost up your brain power by mixing in almonds and blueberries.

2. Eggs are a fantastic protein-packed food, and nothing is easier than cooking one. Even novice chefs can scramble one in minutes. Adding any veggies just increases the nutrient-rich food. If you want something unique, cut a piece of whole-grain bread to fit the bottom of a ramekin. Add a raw egg scrambled and top with fresh spinach, a slice of tomato and a sprinkle of cheese, then bake until firm. Drink a cup of coffee to add alertness.

Lunch

Many students skip lunch because they're between classes. You may even want to sneak in an hour of work-study before your next class and figure an apple or banana is better than nothing. To keep your mind going through afternoon classes you really need the pick-me-up that these foods can give your brain.

3. Avocados are a student's dream food. Tasty as a sweet or salty snack, the monosaturated fat that they contain improves blood and oxygen circulation throughout your body and brain. They also lower blood pressure, which will benefit you during exam week. Turkey and avocados pair beautifully, making a sweet, salty and creamy mix. You can put avocados on bread or combine them in a wrap. If you add swiss cheese and mustard, you'll never miss fattening mayo (grill it in a panini for completely different flavors).

4. Salads provide much-needed crunching to wake you up and add essential water that your brain craves. If your dining hall has a salad bar, add in some sunflower or flax seeds and strawberries. Top it off with a balsamic dressing to give it a sweet and tart finish.

5. Good for lunch or dinner, a stir-fry allows you to pump yourself full of memory-improving veggies such as broccoli, carrots and onions. Make this stir-fry quickly in an ultra-hot skillet and load it with fresh ginger and liquid aminos to make a brain cell-producing factory.

Dinner

After a long day of classes and work, you'll want to relax your mind while preparing it for a night of studying. Increase your productivity by revving up your mind with these dinners:

6. If you have a slow-cooker in your room, let it welcome you home from classes with a saucy dish. Throw in pork medallions, caramelized onions, apple slices, apple juice, chicken broth and a squeeze of Dijon mustard to your crock pot and forget it for the day. Serve it over brown rice. Pork medallions too expensive for a broke student? Buy one pork chop and cut it up yourself!

7. If you want to splurge on a meal, salmon is the food to do it with. It's chock full of essential fatty acids and protein but is low in fat. It's also been linked to preventing stroke, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease. After pan-searing or baking this fish, top it with a red wine and raspberry reduction (add a bit of sugar to your liking) and pair it with a glass of the same red wine. Serve it alongside a roasted eggplant and walnut pilaf.

8. If you want your stretched budget to last, make a large meal that can serve you for a few days. Beef stew meat is typically cheap and a great base for - wait for it - beef stew! Sweeten it up with delicious red beets and fill it out with barley, lentils, carrots, onions and shredded cabbage. This meal will be comforting, but it'll prep you for a long night of studying.

Snacks

Studying all night can give you wicked cravings, especially if you forget to hydrate yourself. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your mind going through the night. But if your body isn't telling you it's thirsty, it may be snack time (and you'll definitely want to try these):

9. Peppermint green tea will invigorate you, open your nasal passages and get more oxygen to your brain. Along with the tea, take some plain, low-fat yogurt and mix in honey and chopped figs to naturally sweeten.

10. Broccoli salad is a summertime staple, but during cold months broccoli and cauliflower are affordable. While bacon can be expensive, crisping up ham in a pan can give a similar flavor. Along with lemon and mayonnaise, throw in some onions, carrots, dried cherries and raisins to top off this mind-boosting snack.

Afraid the above dishes will be too pricey? Check out these cheap and easy recipes.

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