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Food for Thought

No really, these foods are known for boosting focus and energy. Finals are slowly approaching and we all know that means all-nighters and very little sleep. The week of finals can seem infinite, but these foods are ones to remember come time when you can barely keep your eyes open and feel hopeless.
 
Caffeine

Caffeine is a substance that is known for energizing and for concentration. It is a good short-term solution to your sleepiness, but when overdone can cause jitters which is not something you need during the week of finals for sure. Caffeine is found in coffee, chocolate, and energy drinks and each one will give you that boost you may be looking for. There’s a reason that bookstores and libraries have coffee shops!

Sugar
Sugar actually is known to enhance alertness. Glucose is the body’s preferred fuel, which the body metabolizes from sugar and carbohydrates. A glass of something sweet can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking processes and mental ability. An intake of too much sugar can actually cause memory loss and impairment so take in moderation.

Breakfast
Most of us in college know that breakfast is a rare occasion, but actually breakfast is found to improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat breakfast are known to perform better in school than those who do not. Researchers found that high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits are the best for your body and again, when eaten in high-caloric concentration can hinder concentration.

Fish

Fish is an excellent source of protein that is associated with brain boost. It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function and development. Higher dietary omega 3 fatty acids are linked to lower dementia and stroke risks, slower mental decline, and play a vital role in enhancing memory as you get older.

Nuts and Seeds
These are good sources of vitamin E, which is associated with less cognitive decline as you age. An ounce a day of nuts will provide benefits that you are looking for without excess calories, fat, or sugar.
 
Blueberries

Research has shown that blueberries may protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals and may reduce effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Diets rich in blueberries significantly improved learning and muscle function.
 
Avocados
They contain mono-unsaturated fats, which contribute to healthy blood flow, the main requirement for a healthy brain.
 
Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps with brain function and memory improvement and can be found in milk and cereals but also can be taken in by exposure to sunlight. Here’s your chance to take a small break from studying and hit the pool. Getting a little sun can increase vitamin D and therefore improve memory and brain function. Helping you study while taking a break from studying!
 
So while thinking about eating these foods during the week, I also have a day’s menu planned out that includes some of these foods and is a sure-fire way to make sure that your finals week experience is productive and effective.
 
For breakfast:
One scrambled egg and a piece of wheat toast with orange juice or milk to drink.
 
For Lunch:
Sandwich with a side of blueberries and a handful of sunflower seeds
Farmer’s Lunch Sandwich

Makes 4 sandwiches
Ingredients:
1 loaf crusty baguette or ciabatta?
whole grain mustard?
sharp cheddar cheese
butter
lettuce?
2 hard, tart apples like granny smith very thinly sliced?
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice (from one lemon)
Onion-Thyme Jam (or try one of these recipes!)
Directions:
1. Slice the baguette into four sections and slice the sections in half length-wise.
2. Spread a little whole grain mustard on both halves.
3. Smear a layer of onion jam on the bottom half.
4. Toss the apple slices in a little lemon juice, and then add them to the sandwich.
5. Add a few leaves of lettuce and then top with a layer of cheese.
6. Press the sandwich closed.
 
For Dinner:
Lemon drop sushi rolls

Ingredients:
        6 sheets nori
        3 cups sumeshi
        1 cup imitation crab
        1 small cucumber
        1 small avocado
        6 oz smoked salmon
        juice of 1 lemon
        Directions:
1. Cook sushi rice.
2. Slice the cucumber into long, thin sticks.
3. Cut the avocado in half, discarding the pit.
4. Use a large spoon to scoop the avocado out of the hard skin, being careful to
     keep the avocado half as whole as possible.
5. Slice the avocado into slices.
6. Roll the sushi inside-out, using imitation crab, cucumber, and avocado as your
     fillings
7. Wrap with smoked salmon, squeeze the lemon juice over the roll.
 

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