We are constantly told how important it is to eat healthy and keep a balanced diet. At the same time, we are also urged and almost expected to see food as a guilty pleasure that we need to monitor and obsess over. Magazines rave about the most recent fad diets and gush over how great celebrities look now that they have traded in their muffin tops for a visible rib cage. Sure you may not feel comfortable with your body and may want to lose a couple pounds, but would you trade your nice, plump and nourished brain for that “perfect” body if it came with a side of decreased brain function?
The fact is nutrition really does have a huge impact on brain function, mood, sleeping patterns and behavior. If you don’t consume an adequate amount of calories, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, not only will you have no energy, but it will also become that much harder to push through those last few hell weeks of school.
Because you are all smart Duke girls, I assume you may do better with some cold hard facts. Even though your brain is small in relation to the rest of your body, it uses about 20-30% of your total calorie intake. Without enough calories, your brain function slows down and your memory drops off. No amount of time in Perkins can reverse the effects of inadequate brain fuel. Study snacks are called study snacks for a reason after all, and it’s practically a sin to let the abnormally delicious pumpkin bread in Von der Heyden just sit there and get stale.
So, if you were thinking about going on that crash diet to look great in the sexy Santa’s little helper outfit the week before finals, you might want to think again. Your brain (and grades) will thank you.