Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Eat your Way through Finals Week!

  Finals "Superfoods"! 

It’s that time again, Finals week is upon us! You can always tell its Finals week, by the amount of students frantically working late in the library, or the number of caffeinated beverages in the hands of people everywhere. There’s no doubt about it, Finals conjure up many dreaded images in the minds of students, from papers, to exams, to all-nighters. The most common of these images being an absolute lack of sleep. This lack of sleep leads to one big problem: drowsiness.

There are a multitude of methods used to combat this overwhelming urge to succumb to sleep. Most people consume mass amounts of caffeine, whether it is through energy drinks, or the classic cup of coffee. While others rely on midday naps in order to keep themselves awake during the wee hours of the morning. One method that is often excluded from this list is food. Unlike spurts of caffeine that will cause an inevitable crash hours later, knowing what foods to eat can not only keep you awake during crunch time, but they can also make you focus better as well.  

       1. Bananas! Go Bananas for vitamin B6 and potassium! One study found that eating bananas while studying helped students learn their material more efficiently and score higher on exams. The secret is their combination of potassium, manganese, vitamin B6 and fiber. Vitamin B6 helps the body to produce more serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, all of which help with concentration! Grab a banana on your way out of the dining hall for a filling and nutrient dense snack!

   2. Spinach! Spinach is chock full of antioxidants! Not only are its minerals shown to increase concentration but magnesium and vitamin B12 help the body create red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the brain, helping you think better! (Or complete that hard math problem you’re working on). In addition, the Folic Acid spinach contains help protect the neurons in your brain! So go to Fresh Food Market in Towers and make a big spinach salad for lunch or dinner. It just may be the meal you need to help you get through your assignments.
  3. Sushi! One nutrient that boosts brain power and concentration is Omega 3-Fatty Acids. This nutrient helps the memory store information to help you with that test you’re cramming for! A diet rich in Omega-3s can reduce your risk of stroke or dementia. A great way to get this super nutrient into your diet is fish. It is loaded with Omega-3s and protein, which helps you feel fuller longer, which in turn helps you concentrate. Grab some sushi to go from the Pub on your way to the library for a quick and nutritious meal while studying!

    4. Popcorn! This is a college staple snack and it can help you focus! Whole grains use complex carbohydrates to stabilize blood sugars so you don’t feel a crash hours after eating them, like the simple carbohydrates found in energy drinks. A great way to incorporate whole grains into a meal is whole grain pasta! Go to the Pasta Station in Terraces and fill a quarter of your plate with some whole grain pasta!

So think twice before grabbing for an energy drink of another cup of coffee when studying. A nice big spinach salad or a banana may be all your need to finish that never ending paper or ace your next exam! 

Best of luck!

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*Source: http://www.thirdage.com/nutrition/foods-that-help-concentration

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