As midterm season approaches for many college students across the country, having the energy and brain power to study for exams should be a priority. If you’re really crunched for time, rest and relaxation may not be an option to restore your energy and brain function. In this circumstance, food is once again the perfect solution to life’s conflicts.

Here are some scientifically-proven brain foods to help with brain function so that you can ace your midterms this semester

1. Avocado

Avocados are perfect for keeping you full and satisfied during a long study session. Loaded with monounsatured fats which help to protect the heart and brain, the healthy fat in avocados allow the body to feel nourished for a long time. Experts recommend half of an avocado (approximately 115 calories) as the optimal serving size. Top your morning toast with avocado, add it to sandwiches and salads, and try out a few dessert recipes that embrace the rich and creamy texture that avocado’s offer to sweet treats. 

2. Salmon

During midterm season, it’s always a smart move to opt for salmon instead of chicken, pork, or beef. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon (particularly the DHA acid's which salmon contain) offer a wide array of health benefits for your entire body, including increased cognitive function.

Elderly people with diets high in omega-3 rich foods such as salmon have larger brain sizes and increased memory compared to individuals with lacking in omega-3 intake. Top salads with grilled or sautéed salmon, or enjoy the flaky fish on its own. 

3. Turmeric

Commonly used in Indian cooking and in tea beverages, turmeric is one of those versatile brain foods, with notable anti-inflammatory benefits. Turmeric promotes neural connections in the brain which can help you to react quicker, increase mental clarity, and solve problems more efficiently and with greater focus. Try the spice in a turmeric latte, or in smoothies for a foolproof way to improve your cognitive function this midterm season.

4. Spinach

Dark, leafy greens like spinach are high in Vitamin K which improves cognitive function. Most other leafy greens such as kale and mustard greens offer similar benefits, and all are generally accessible and affordable. Most dining halls offer these options in their salad bars, so adding some spinach to your next meal may reap great rewards when test time comes.

5. Chamomile Tea

Known as the “sleepy tea”, chamomile helps to rebalance circiadian rhythms that help with sleep regulation. Circadian rhythms (our natural sleep cycle) are typically disrupting during the winter months, as reduced daylight can confuse the body into sleeping less. A cup of chamomile tea at night before an exam will ensure that you're able to have a full night’s sleep, which will leave you refreshed and ready to tackle any exam. 

6. Blueberries

The antioxidative properties of blueberries helps to protect the brain from oxidative stress that increases brain aging. Increasing consumption of blueberries helps to increase mental capacity and memory. Studies have also shown that motor skill function has improved consumption of this nutrient-dense brain food. Add blueberries to your morning cereal or oatmeal, or blend into smoothies for a colorful and nutrient-rich treat that will guide you on your path to straight A’s.

7. Almonds

Containing both L-carnitine and riboflavin, almonds are loaded with nutrients that help to improve cognitive function and prevent memory loss. The healthy fats present in almonds also will help to keep you feeling full and nourished, eliminating the need for meal breaks during study sessions. Snack on almonds in their raw form, or drizzle almond butter over oats, fruit, or spread on toast.

Despite the stress that midterm season can inflict on college students everywhere, use these healthy brain foods as your ally during exam season so that you can achieve both your health and academic goals with ease.