Brooke Bond-

The snow is melting, the sun is shining, birds are singing, and everyone’s mood is a little brighter. Springtime comes with many positive changes; but there is one daunting downfall for college students, finals. Finals are a stressful time of year for all students, and many long hours are spent studying for a class you’ve only just started to understand.

Do you often find yourself eating a whole bag of chips while you study, or slamming a few energy drinks to give you that extra boost to finish cramming at 2am? What if I told you there was a better way to handle this stress response? I know, we’ve all had that moment when a pizza sounds like the best thing in the world after a long studying session but hear me out. As delicious as that pizza is, it probably doesn’t increase your mental capabilities. However, eating the right foods (that are also as delicious) can boost your memory, increase focus, and help your energy levels. All of which are needed to help you pass your finals!

Foods that help improve focus and memory are blueberries, green leafy vegetables, avocados, walnuts, eggs, and even dark chocolate! The commons will have the fruit and vegetables easily accessible for you to make that choice such as the salad bar and fresh fruit that is often available. If you have a sweet tooth like me, having some dark chocolate or fruit while studying would be perfect, and they’re excellent snacks to have while looking over your notes. Other foods that can help give you much needed energy would be fresh fruit, nuts, whole grains, asparagus, spinach, and again dark chocolate!

A wonderful studying snack could be a smoothie with strawberries, blueberries, spinach (if you don’t like spinach don’t worry, you can hardly taste it in a smoothie), dark chocolate, orange juice and yogurt. This would incorporate food items to help you focus and stay energized! Don’t want to make a smoothie? No problem, Brew Devils will make a similar one for you!

Fruit helps give you energy by providing natural sugars, vitamins and minerals that provide the pick-me-up we all need this time of year. Dark chocolate contains a natural stimulant called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine, so it will boost your energy and mood! These foods are also packed with fiber which will keep you fuller longer so you can stay focused on studying instead of a grumbling stomach. Always remember to watch your serving sizes though; a half cup of fruit or ¼ cup of nuts is all you need.

Another great way to improve energy and brain function would be to take a break every hour or two while studying by going for a walk or heading to the gym, even for just 30 minutes, which gives your brain a chance to recap all the information it has studied and has the benefit of boosting energy and brain function (if you’ve ever had a “runner’s high,” you know what I mean). Productivity will sky rocket if you take these simple steps to helping your brain operate at its highest potential. If you find yourself stressing out this finals season, just remember to breathe, have a healthy snack, and go for a walk. You will be more than ready to ace those finals!

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