7 types of food for students that can improve brain activity

As a student, it is necessary that you try to understand and memorize tons of new information. But how is that achievable? Having mental health is very important. It boosts academic performance and helps you achieve your academic goals.

Overall healthy diets are important for proper brain functioning but there are certain foods that may be especially vital for this role. In this article, Peachy essay has listed these foods for you. Let’s have a look!

1. Fish

When it comes to brain health, omega-3s play a very important role. They are essential fats concentrated in fatty fish. They are also good sources of nutrients like selenium and B12 which promote brain health.

Several studies have linked intake fish to excellent brain functioning. For instance, there is one study that found out that 76 Japanese adults linked higher fish intake with better memory performance and improved brain health. Another study was carried out on 17000 schoolchildren and it was discovered that consuming 8 grams of fish daily boosts their grades in school.

However, the study on about schoolchildren showed that high consumption of fish reduces the association and was said to be high intake of harmful pollutants like mercury present in seafood.

Additionally, several studies associated better mental health with fish intake. It is attributed to the concentration of essential nutrients, which include omega 3 fats in fish.

2. Vegetables

Vegetable consumption does relatively well for excellent brain functioning and overall health promotion.

Green, orange and red vegetables such as pepper, broccoli, and carrots have many important plant compounds such as carotenoid pigments that are known to improve mental health. Carotenoids such as zeaxanthin and lutein always accumulate in the retina, usually called macular pigment optical density (MPOD).

Vegetables rich in lutein and zeaxanthin include spinach, parsley, kales, leek, peas, basil, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, and red and green peppers. Also on the list are eggs.

Meals rich in carotenoids include topping large spinach and herb salad with sliced carrots, chopped red pepper, and boiled eggs. Add vinegar and olive oil for healthy fats and extra proteins.

A study was conducted on 15 children aged between 7 and 13 years and the study showed that MPOD was related to intellectual ability and brain functioning.

A separate study of 56 children aged between 8 and 9 years showed that MPOD was associated with great academic performance. Low MPOD is associated with low mental performance. A study about 4453 adults selected showed that lower MPOD was linked to poor mental health tests performance, slower reaction time, and poorer memory.

3. Eggs

Eggs are a natural multivitamin because they contain several nutrients. They are rich in nutrients that are good for the functioning of the brain i.e. selenium, choline, and vitamin B12. Selenium is important for motor performance, cognition, memory, and coordination. Choline is best for the growth of the brain and production of neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is needed for proper functioning of muscles and memory storage. Vitamin B12 is vital in neurological health hence low levels of vitamin B12 impairs proper functioning of the brain.

Eggs also contain lutein, which is a carotenoid pigment which improves both mental and visual functioning. However, you need to eat the whole egg, both the white parts and the yolks so as to get all the possible brain-function promoting benefits.

A study carried out in 19 kids and adults indicated that eating yolks was linked with higher short-term learning, attention, and memory scores compared to egg whites. However, the study was funded by Egg Nutrition Centre hence might have influenced this study.

4. Nuts

Nuts are full of nutrients that are excellent for brain health including zinc and vitamin E. Due to their portability nature, they make good snacks for students.

They contain fiber, proteins, and fats hence they keep you on toes and alert during lessons. For instance, adding walnuts to a diet leads to a significant improvement in understanding verbal information compared to a placebo.

5. Cocoa products and dark chocolate

Cocoa has high contents of flavonoid compared to any other foods. Cocoa products like chocolate therefore contribute significantly to intake of diets rich in flavonoids. Consuming these cocoa products that are rich in flavonoids favors brain health.

Research shows that drinking beverages high in flavonoids per serving daily increases and betters ones mental health compared to those who take beverages low in flavonoids. Those who take drinks rich in flavonoids have high insulin sensitivity, which goes hand in hand with brain functioning. Insulin is a hormone that helps in transportation of sugar from blood to cells, where it is used for energy.

Consuming cocoa products reduces mental fatigue, increases memory and reaction time to tasks, and surges the flow of blood to the brain.

An interesting fact is that flavonoids are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, a membrane that is semi-permeable and whose function is to protect the brain, hence acts directly on parts of the brain that control attention and memory.

6. Coffee

Coffee is widely known as a concentration aid. In order to stay awake and focused, many students love taking coffee. Coffee contains caffeine which blocks adenosine that is known to make people feel sleepy.

Apart from alertness, coffee also increases brain functioning capacity in order to process information. This is because caffeine increases brain entropy, which is a difficult and variable brain activity. The higher the levels of entropy, the more the brain can process information.

Coffee is also a source of antioxidants that support the health of the brain as one grows older.

Coffee consumption is linked with reduced risks of stroke, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

However, you should note that high consumption of caffeine can terribly affect your sleep and sleep patterns hence it is not recommended.

Soy products

Soy products are rich in polyphenols, which are linked with a reduced risk of dementia and high cognitive abilities in normal aging processes. These polyphenols include isoflavones (genistein and daidzein) which act as antioxidants, offering many health benefits.


For students, having a healthy diet frequently is necessary when studying and doing exams. Although an overall healthy lifestyle and diet are important, several studies show that there are certain foods that boost mental health hence highly recommended for students. The above-listed foods will be of great help if you are looking to boost your mental health and overall health.

Speak Your Mind