Chips, chocolate and other junk food treats are often considered the cornerstone of any serious study session. But while it may feel like they’re giving you the brainpower you need, they may actually be hindering your ability to concentrate and retain information.
Most colleges, including small, private ones such as Evocca College, will offer some onsite canteen facilities. If you haven’t had time to prepare, you can always rely on these for quick, simple snacks. But, when possible, it is better to prepare your own healthy study snacks. The examples below are not only good for you, but most can also be easily transported so they can keep you going while you’re on campus too.
Fruit and Nut Butter Bites
If you have a sweet tooth, try slathering some peanut or almond butter on sliced apple or banana. The natural sugar boost and carbohydrates from the fruit will fuel your body for much longer than a bag of nutrient-void lollies. Plus, nuts are another good source of the brain-food fatty acids commonly found in fish. If you’re transporting them to eat on the go, leave the fruit whole until you’re ready to eat and decant the butter into a smaller container.
Cheap, healthy and versatile, roasted chickpeas make a great snack if you prefer savoury foods. Legumes are packed with protein and their high folic acid levels are believed to be able to help with recalling information. Fresh or tinned, just make sure the chickpeas are well drained before baking them for about 45 minutes at 180 degrees. Toss them in a seasoning while they’re still hot – some great flavour combinations are garlic parmesan and sesame soy, but you could find some other great recipes to try either on Pinterest or via a quick Google search. They keep well in an airtight container or air-locked bag too, so you can take them as a snack on the go.
Green Veggies and Dip
Broccoli, green beans and snow peas are great choices for students; they’re packed full of antioxidants and vitamin C to help keep you really healthy. While they may be a bit bland or boring on their own, they taste great dipped in a low fat dip like hummus. If you’re taking them to class with you, put the dip in the bottom of a small mason jar and stand the veggie sticks up in the jar to make it easier to eat (and serve) while you’re out and about.
Yes, you can still have some of your favourite treats! In moderation, coffee (or anything else with caffeine) can actually help improve your focus and attention span. The key word here is moderation; if you have too much caffeine, it can have a negative impact on your brain’s functioning, so stick to one or two cups of coffee a day, preferably not in the evenings.
Where possible, you should try to leave the desk to eat your snacks. A short break can be just as good for productivity and motivation as grazing on your favourite foods, so be sure to get up and move around regularly for optimum performance. If you’re too short of time to separate your food from your study though, turn to these healthy snacks rather than the sugary treats.