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5 Foods to Support a Healthy Brain (That You Can Find in a Cafeteria)

5 Foods to Support a Healthy Brain (That You Can Find in a Cafeteria)

 

Many college students are moving away from home and adjusting to new routines & responsibilities. With newfound freedom and added stress, it’s no surprise that many students start to feel overwhelmed and anxious. However, this anxiety comes with a cost. A 2011 report released by the American College Health Association cited depression and anxiety as among the top impediments to academic performance.

Fortunately what we eat has a big impact on how we feel. This means that making simple changes to one’s diet and lifestyle can help boost mood, improve concentration, and reduce anxiety. Furthermore, many of the most nutritious “brain foods” can be inside the average school cafeteria.

5 Foods to Support a Healthy Brain

Bananas


Bananas contain the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine. Your body uses these to create the mood-regulating neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Additionally, bananas provide fructose and fiber. Together these create a long-lasting source of brain fuel.

Slice a banana into your morning oatmeal or eat one as a snack between class. A banana a day will help you remain positive no matter how stressful finals get.

Broccoli

Broccoli contains Vitamin K and the essential nutrient choline. Studies show that increased blood levels of Vitamin K help to improve episodic memory. Meanwhile a deficiency in choline can lead to poor memory and concentration.

Broccoli can likely be found in the salad bar section bar section of your cafeteria. Eat broccoli several times a week to ensure you’ll remember what you learned in yesterday’s lecture.

Green Tea

Green Tea contains catechin compounds which provide protective effects on the brain. Studies show that catechin compounds help prevent diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Green Tea also provides a low dose of caffeine and the amino acid  L-Theanine. These have a synergistic effect which improve brain function.

Green Tea Packets are typically near the coffee bar station in most dining halls. Drink a cup a day to help improve your GPA.   

Egg Yolks

Similar to bananas, egg yolks contain the amino acid tryptophan which helps boost serotonin. In addition, egg yolks provide a food source of Vitamin D which helps prevent cognitive decline.

Scrambled eggs are a staple on most cafeteria breakfast menus. Hard-boiled eggs are also found in most salads bars. Eat an egg, with the yolk, several times a week to help manage stress and anxiety.

Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, which helps protect the brain from inflammation. Cherry tomatoes in particular, contain the highest amount of nutrients for their size.

Like broccoli and hard-boiled eggs, cherry Tomatoes can be found in the salad bar. Add a handful to salads or eat them alone as a snack to help manage your mood.  

If you have trouble implementing healthy diet & lifestyle changes, consider working with a Naturopath. A Naturopath can help determine what foods, herbs, and supplements will be most beneficial for you as a unique individual. This saves you time and money in the long-run, while increasing the speed of your results.

Food is fuel and we are what we eat! Improve your mental health naturally by incorporating foods that support a healthy brain into your diet today.

 

About the Author

Rebecca Hale, Naturopath

 Rebecca Hale

Rebecca used to rely on daily medication to treat her chronic IBS, sinus infections, allergies, acne, and more. Using diet & lifestyle changes she’s been able to overcome her health problems naturally. It has now been over 5 years since she has taken any prescription or OTC medication. She currently owns & operates Natural Health Strategies where she works as the lead Naturopath.