Optimal brain foods for studying and writing exams


Eggs are one of the healthiest, most versatile foods there are. Fried, boiled or poached eggs are excellent brain food. One egg contains 6g of protein and vitamin B12 which helps convert glucose into energy.

Milk and plain Greek yogurt

Dairy products are packed with protein and B vitamins that help with concentration. Plain Greek yogurt, which is super-high in protein and has no added sugar is recommended. Milk and yogurt contain vitamins which also support brain health. Add some Greek yogurt and honey to oats muesli.


Oatmeal is a whole grain, which digests slowly, giving the brain and body steady energy. It provides B vitamins and fibre as well as potassium, zinc and vitamin E. Add some fruit, nuts and blueberries for extra punch.


One of nature’s perfect foods, blueberries are packed with nutrients that give them their deep-blue colour. One study links blueberries to improved learning and memory. One cup of fresh or frozen blueberries a day are recommended.

Oily fish

Salmon, sardines and mackerel are among the healthiest types of fish as they are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats that are good for the brain. They are also loaded with protein to keep the brain functioning well. Spice salmon with turmeric which also boosts the brain. A simple, easy meal for students is sardines on toast.

Leafy green vegetables

Spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage – all dark leafy greens are recommended. They are a vital source of vitamins and are packed with vitamin K, which helps build pathways in the brain, as well as naturally occurring nitrates and antioxidants. In addition some of them provide a good amount of B6 and B12 which are associated with improvements in alertness and memory.


All nuts provide brain fuel in the form of protein and both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but walnuts are best. A study found that students who regularly ate walnuts were better at deductive reasoning. Stock up on snack packs. Peanut butter, which contains healthy fats and lots of protein, is also an excellent snack option.

Hemp seed

Hemp seed is a real superfood. It provides brain-powering protein, omega-3s and -6s, and a variety of antioxidants and other nutrients. The seeds are versatile – their nutty flavour blends well with lots of breakfast foods and baked goods. Stir a couple of spoonfuls into oatmeal, mix with milk or yogurt, sprinkle on cereal, or bake into muffins.

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