“Super Foods” for the Super Student: How to supercharge your brain for learning (…on a budget)

So you’ve made the big decision to go back to school and make a positive life change. Congrats! Just remember, though, that keeping yourself energetic and focused on learning takes more than just coffee. Although it can be hard to make the right food choices when you’re busy studying and on a budget, Trillium College is here to help. Here are 5 foods that can enhance your ability to stay focused and energized throughout the busy term:

Fish Fish is full of Omega-3s, which have been shown to positively impact memory, brain function and mood. As WebMD’s Brunilda Nazario, MD, confirms, a diet higher in Omega-3s has been linked to lower levels of mental decline, stroke and dementia later in life. If you’re a vegetarian or you cringe at the thought of eating seafood, never fear: Omega-3s can also be found in eggs (especially the Omega-3-enhanced kind), nuts and other sources too.

Nuts Nutritional Therapist Claire Ward suggests nuts are an important brainpower food. In “Six Foods that Help to Improve Concentration,” she comments that flax seeds and walnuts – high in vitamin E and Omega-3s – not only help you stay focused, but feel more motivated as well. If these things aren’t important for success, we don’t know what is!

Whole Grains Have you been hooked on white bread since childhood? Well, it’s time to make room for whole grain toast and cereals. Ward again points out that, high in vitamin B6, whole grains help your brain withstand the ravages of aging, specifically in the area of memory. They also help balance out blood sugar, which can help us focus on the tasks we have at hand.

Avocadoes This delicious green fruit (yes, an avocado is technically a fruit!) tastes great on salads, in guacamole, or simply on its own with a little olive oil, pepper and salt. But did you know avocadoes can help build your body’s serotonin levels, and that this neurotransmitter is essential in helping you feel positive, motivated and focused? The National University System for Integrative Health notes that anger, loss of memory, blurred vision, depression and concentration difficulties can all be signs of serotonin deficiency. So make sure you pick up avocadoes (or cottage cheese, chicken, oats and eggs, for that matter) next time you’re at the supermarket, as they may enhance your mood and mind.

Bon appétit – and happy concentrating!