When studying for that first round of midterms, it’s important to stay hydrated and fueled not only for your sanity, but for your brain health too.

Place your fists together so your wrists are touching. This is about the same shape and size of your brain. It’s not that big, but as we know, it’s incredibly important, and demanding. Our brain needs pretty much everything: healthy fats, complex carbs, protein, minerals, water and more. A lot of the foods we eat on a daily basis contribute to a healthy brain, but there are some snacks that can give us the extra boost we need when studying late into the night.

Dark Chocolate

Photo by Sean Koetting

A healthy brain is influenced by a healthy blood flow and you pretty much need one to have the other. Consuming good fats are essential to blood flow because they serve as perfect brain foods. Try having some pumpkin or sunflower seeds with a variety of nuts. If you’re making a DIY trail mix, throw in some dark chocolate; a perfect fix for that sweet tooth inside us all. Plus, the chocolate contains caffeine to prevent you from snoring in the library (no one wants to be that guy). Be cautious and consume these foods in moderation, but they should fill you up and keep you going.


Photo by Sean Koetting

Blueberries are the ultimate brain food. They have antioxidants, protecting the brain from potential damage and preventing cognitive decline. Make a quick bowl of blueberries, raspberries and cherries to vary your nutrient intake and strengthen your brain while keeping the calorie count low.

Peanut Butter

Photo by Sean Koetting

You probably know that when you’re really hungry, you need protein to help you feel satisfied. There are plenty of delicious ways to get that protein fix through a quick study snack. Remember ants on a log from your childhood? Put peanut butter in the dip of your celery stick and top it with a few raisins or dark chocolate chips to pack some energy. Don’t like celery? Edamame is stocked with protein, fiber and vitamin C, and also satisfies your hunger pretty quickly. Eggs are also a great idea. The whites are loaded with protein and the yolk contains a variety of nutrients that can help you to memorize information and focus; just what we need when studying for an exam.

Pretty much every healthy food is also a brain-healthy food. So during your next study break, avoid those sugary empty calories and pick something that will keep you full, focused and brain healthy.