As college students, we heavily rely on our brains. Our brains absolutely hate us for it, and rightfully so. During the week, we torment them with our sky-high stress levels and chronic sleep deprivation. On weekends, they are bombarded with our caffeinated, alcoholic Jägerbombs. Yet we still expect our brains to ace that statistics exam the next morning. But they need a break, and more importantly, some fuel and protection. Proper nutrition is, therefore, a no-brainer. Pun intended. Some of the most important food groups that benefit our brain are those with high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants--for example certain nuts and seeds--, flavanoids, and fiber. Here is a list of some of the top brain foods to help get your brain to stop hating you (and maybe pass stat). 

Wild Salmon

Our brains release dopamine, a neurotransmitter, to motivate us to do things. Salmon contains Phenylalanine, which is an amino acid needed to make dopamine. Moral of the story: eat salmon so you can doing more things.  

salmon, seafood, fish, salmon fillet, Protein
Jocelyn Hsu

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

If “antioxidant oil” wasn't such a mouthful, I would coin the term in a heartbeat. Antioxidants like its phenolic compounds and vitamin E allow olive oil to protect the brain over time. This combination makes olive oil a blessing as polyphenols also protect the otherwise fragile vitamin E. 

olive oil, herb, tea, oil, rosemary
Jessica Kelly


Have you ever been told that you eat too many greens? I am not going to be the first. When it comes to feeding your brain what it needs, leaf vegetables go a long way. 

spinach, cabbage, salad, pasture, lettuce, vegetable
Caroline Ingalls


Dr Steven Pratt author of Superfoods Rx, refers to them as “brain-berries”. But most of us call them blueberries because they are, This vibrant color actually contributes to the berry’s nutritional benefits. Anthocyanins, the pigments in blueberries, have been found to improve our memory and attention.

sweet, berry, blueberry, blueberries, Healthy, Fruit
Tess Tarantino

Nuts and seeds

Nuts such as almonds and walnuts, are a crucial source of healthy fats that contribute to proper blood flow to the brain as well as vitamin E. A good way to sneak some Omega-3 fatty acids into your system is by incorporating more Flaxseeds and Chia seeds in your diet. 

nut, meat, almond, walnut, apricot pits
Christin Urso

Fermented foods

The little organisms in our gut affect more than we previously gave them credit for, including our brains. Its estimated that more than 90% of our serotonin comes from our gut! Fermented foods, like yogurt and sauerkraut, help to diversify our gut microbiome for the better. 

sweet, milk, cream, chocolate
Taylor Treadway

 It is easy for us to neglect our health when we have a million other things to think about. However, we must remember that by doing so, we are also neglecting the very organ that makes thinking of those million things possible.