Midterms may be over but finals are coming up soon and I, for one, am stressing. When I do tear myself away from my work due to a loudly growling stomach, I always encounter a bit of trouble trying to find the right snack. Last week I caught myself staring into my fridge for half an hour arguing with myself on why my housemates and I didn't have any healthy food. I'm going to be sluggish and bloated during my tests and fail everything. I am going to have to drop out of school, I moaned to myself as I chucked a plate of cookies back to the fridge. What I needed was healthy foods to boost brain function and help get me through finals.

So what should we be eating right before the most important time of the quarter or semester? I took the liberty of doing some research to help you all stock your fridges with the right snacks in order to give your brain a boost and crush those finals.

1. Blueberries

Natasha Agharkar

Just 1 cup of this low-calorie fruit gives you 1/4 of the daily recommended value for Vitamin C and Manganese, and 1/3 for Vitamin K. They're also one of the richest source of antioxidants, have 4 grams of fiber, and have more health and brain benefits than you can imagine—like preventing aging and increasing cognitive function and learning. 

So sitting by your books with a cup of blueberries every day might just give you that little boost of brain power we all need. They're both delicious and healthy—my #1 choice in snack.

2. Avocados

This is another popular food that can actually help you in your schoolwork. Research claims that the increased amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids in the single-seeded berry increase blood flow. And of course, good blood flow means better brain function. Not to mention the plethora of vitamins they contain.

Get your brain flowing by packing in some avocado before the start of dead week. The beautiful thing about avocados is that they can be eaten in so many different ways so you never get tired of them—make some guacamole, spread it on toast, blend it into a smoothie.. the list goes on. 

3. Nuts

Natasha Agharkar

To be clear, we're not exactly talking about every single popular nut out there. For example, peanuts are not as healthy. Take macadamia or almond nuts on the other hand—they're an abundant source of Vitamin E and have been proven to increase brain function. And even better, they also have a high source of fiber, protein, and magnesium. So while you energize your brain, you're really helping out the rest of your body too.

4. Dark Chocolate/Cocoa

Lucky for us, the chocolate we so badly crave when we're stressed can actually help us get through that last chapter we need to memorize. Cocoa contains flavanols, nutrients that help increase nitric oxide in your blood and relax your blood vessels. A study by Harvard Medical School determined that eating dark chocolate (without the added sugars of milk chocolate) can improve your memory and thinking abilities over time, in addition to various other health benefits.

Of course, don't munch on dark chocolate all day long, but using this dessert ingredient as an incentive for finishing your work will make you happy and help your studies!

5. Eggs

The simple egg can also make a powerful impact on your brain function if eaten in moderation (it is a high source of cholesterol after all). Research proves that the choline, a B-vitamin-like nutrient, leads to better memory and good communication between your brain cells. The large amount of protein also feeds your brain the energy it needs to work efficiently.

Just so you don't go overboard, I'd recommend just having one egg with your breakfast and leaving it at that. You've added the choline you need and you're set for the day.

6. Leafy greens

We all know that our green veggies are essential to our overall health. But the target the brain specifically as well. They are all an excellent source of iron, which helps prevent you from feeling foggy, slow, and tired—and those are definitely not feelings we want to have when preparing for our finals. Greens also have been shown to preserve cognitive function due to the Vitamin K they contain. 

Though eating your veggies might not sound like the most appealing way to boost your brain, blending them up into a smoothie or bowl makes them easy to handle, if you don't really feel like eating a salad once again.

7. Salmon

Not all seafood is healthy or good for your brain. But salmon definitely is. This fish is chock-full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which elevate brain function. The University of Pittsburg conducted a study that actually found that young adults who who got more Omega-3 fatty acids improved their scores for tests of memory. 

Studying is important, but maybe take some time away from your books to cook yourself a nice simple meal of salmon while still benefitting your brain. 

With an arsenal of "smart" foods in your refrigerator, hopefully you'll feel motivated and more confident to do your best and eat right while doing so. Exams are no fun, so try to make them a little less stressful by prepping your brain to work its best. Good luck and happy snacking!