Prescription Medications like Ritalin and Adderall are common across college campuses nationwide. These drugs are often used to increase motivation and focus by altering substances in the brain. ADHD medications are commonly used to help students focus on their schoolwork.
Science has shown that brain function can be increased by means of a nutritious diet and certain foods. Here are 8 of the best foods for your brain. Start incorporating these into your diet and see how much your focus and memory improve.
A favorite among early risers, coffee can help you to feel more alert and focused. Caffeine, a substance found in coffee, is responsible for these feelings of focus and alertness. Try a cup next time you have some homework to get done, and see if you concentrate better. (If you can’t stand coffee, try drinking black or green tea instead. Although not quite as caffeine-heavy as coffee, tea is a great substitute for a cup of joe).
Fish like Salmon is loaded with brain boosting omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats have been linked to increase memory. When buying fish, opt for wild caught salmon, opposed to farmed. Wild Salmon have higher levels of omega-3′s and aren’t fattened on an unhealthy diet of grain-feed.
Replace all of the “white-grains” in your diet with Vitamin E rich whole-grain breads, pastas, and crackers. Vitamin E is thought to aid cognitive function as you age. The fiber in whole-grains also works to increase blood flow through the body and to the brain,which allows nutrients to more easily reach the brain. Another beneficial nutrient in whole-grains is vitamin B12, which increases your ability to focus.
Long hailed as an antioxidant “king”, blueberries are the perfect snack to carry along to the library. The antioxidants found in blueberries are thought to increase mental capacity. Blueberries have also been linked to a reduce in age-related illness.
All kinds of nuts are filled with brain-enhancing chemicals that contribute to a crisp mind. For example, almonds contain phenylalanine, which improves cognitive performance.
Start your day off by scrambling a couple of eggs, and you’re setting yourself up for a good day of learning. Choline, an essential nutrient found in eggs, has shown to be essential for brain development.
There are many types of seeds on the market. Ty flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds to reap the benefits of a clearer mind. From the omega-3′s in flax, to the Vitamin B in pumpkin seeds, both work to improve the function of your mind.
To keep your mind from wandering, add some slippery shellfish into your diet. Oysters are rich in zinc and iron, which have both been linked to better mental performance.
Food, a Powerful Medicine
It’s amazing how a few simple changes in your eating habits can completely change the way you feel and function. The power of foods is greatly underestimated in a society that so heavily depends on prescriptions for every ailment. So, next time you think about taking a drug to help you study, just remember the age old advice from Hippocrates and, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food“.