The fear of failure never really leaves a person. For instance, just last night I had a terrible nightmare about bombing a statistics final and rushing from the classroom in a fit of embarrassment. By the time I awoke, it took a few minutes to remember that I already have my degree and that I finished college years ago. Test anxiety is real, yo. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy and productive ways to counteract it, such as snacking on foods that keep you awake for studying. Because if you're going to stress eat anyway, it might as well be on something healthy.
Sure, candy bars and Red Bull can be the go-to fuel for those late-night study sessions, but different options may actually help you out more. For instance, foods rich in B vitamins may perk you up without the inevitable crash that follows from junk food. And munching on healthy foods such as carrots or walnuts is a great way to burn off some nervous energy and keep your blood sugar from plummeting at the same time. Basically, eating these types of foods can keep your brain and body fueled, even when sleep has to take a back seat to your studies. Hopefully, you can snack smart and blast through your finals with ease.
Sometimes it helps to go a little nuts when you're studying. According to Mercola, walnuts are a great brain food because they contain antioxidants and omega-3 fats. Plus, they're easy to eat by the handful when you're up late cramming info into your noggin.
2. Dark Chocolate
Candy for study? Yes, please. Dark chocolate that's rich in flavanol may improve blood flow in the brain, as a 2006 study in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology found. And study time is when your brain needs all the blood flow it can manage.
If you're a fan of breakfast for dinner, then this will come as welcome news. According to Shape, enjoying protein-rich food like eggs may help boost your overall thinking ability. If nothing else, it's a good excuse to add more omelettes to your life.
For a quick sugar burst that won't make you crash 20 minutes later, go for fruit. In particular, oranges are a good choice because the vitamin C content may help your body make more energy from fat, as noted by the National Sleep Foundation. Plus, the citrus flavor can serve as a nice little pick-me-up.
When you're planning meals around study time, beans are a superfood. As noted in the Huffington Post, beans offer B-vitamins, protein, and complex carbohydrates, which can give you energy for the long haul. Plus, they're beyond versatile: there are about a bajillion ways to eat black beans alone.
Creamy, buttery avocados are worth enjoying for their flavor alone. And according to Draxe, avocados are also rich in folate, which may help you with memory and concentration — both key players for study time. Chowing down on an avo roll could make study time more productive.
Blueberries are yet another delicious superfood. As noted in Marie Claire, eating blueberries may help improve your concentration, possibly thanks to their concentration of flavonoids. Plus, their tart tastiness is a good antidote to study-induced stress.
8. Dark Leafy Greens
Basically, a list of beneficial foods is never complete without a mention of dark leafy greens. According to Natural Society, the vitamin E in greens may help boost your cognitive functions. If you don't feel like a salad at the moment, then mix up a green smoothie and drink to your health.
9. Fatty Fish
Fish is a pretty famous brain food. According to WebMD, fatty fish like salmon may improve your brain function, thanks to the omega-3 essential fatty acids. Teriyaki takeout, anyone?
10. Pumpin Seeds
You can show your love for pumpkins all year long. What's more, the zinc in pumpkin seeds may help boost your thinking and memory skills, as noted in BBC Good Food. Plus, they're just fun to eat.
If you crave crunchiness, then carrots are your snack of choice. The luteolin content in carrots may help your memory, as noted in Eating Well. If nothing else, they're perfect if you need a healthy snack to help you power through the night's assignments.