The semester is almost over — you just have a few more weeks left of tedious online classes before you’re done! But sometimes, you just can’t motivate yourself to study. Maybe you’re tired and don’t feel like getting out of your soft, warm bed. Or you can’t focus.
Sometimes, you’re brain just needs an extra boost. That’s why nutritious, filling snacks are important for staying both physically and mentally healthy. Did you know that the right snacks can actually help you stay focused and increase productivity? Check out these delicious brain-boosting snacks to stock up on the next time you are at the grocery store.
Delicious Snacks and Recipes You Need to Try
These snacks are sure to fill you up and help you stay focused
Not all snacks are created equally. Some are packed with nutrients that can improve your memory skills while others will leave you feeling bloated for the rest of the day. These are the snacks that will keep your brain in tip-top shape.
1. Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is one of the easiest — and sweetest — snacks to arrange on the list! Here are some of our favorite fruits to toss into a quick salad!
Yogurt, acai, and granola are also great additions for a fruit salad if you have extra time to assemble a bowl or are just a little hungrier than usual. These ingredients also offer their own dose of nutrients and health benefits. Avoid adding large amounts of whipped cream or sugar to your fruit bowl, as this adds empty calories.
Fruit Salad Health Benefits
It is also jam-packed with nutrients. Strawberries and raspberries, for instance, are filled with important antioxidants and fiber. Bananas are great sources of potassium and are low in sodium. The health benefits that fruit salads bring are plentiful. A regular serving of fruit can reduce the risk of heart disease, lower your cholesterol, and reduce body inflammation.
2. Almonds, Peanuts, Pistachios
Almonds are also a quick and easy snack to grab for your next study break. They also stay fresh for a long period of time, making them great to stock up on! If almonds aren’t your thing, peanuts and pistachios are also great snack options that will keep you full.
Almond, Peanut, and Pistachio Health Benefits
Almonds are known to improve memory skills and overall brain function. These fruits are filled with vitamin E, folate, fiber, and nutrients that combat inflammation and age-related brain decline. Almonds also raise ACh or acetylcholine levels. Ach is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that enhances memory and fights deteriorating conditions including Alzheimer’s disease. Nutrients including vitamin B6, zinc, protein, and vitamin B are the main ingredients in almonds that aid in memory and brain function improvement.
Peanuts and Pistachios also offer their own health benefits. Peanuts contain a healthy dose of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B. Pistachios are a wonderful source of healthy fats, antioxidants, fiber, and protein.
3. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate lovers, rejoice — eating dark chocolate is actually good for you! Make note that we said dark chocolate, not white or milk chocolate. Dark chocolate can actually improve your cardiovascular health and lower your blood pressure.
There are so many fun ways to enjoy chocolate. Here are some fun dark chocolate snacks to munch on the next time you’re hungry.
- Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds
- Hot Cocoa
- Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you’ve decided to take up baking during your quarantine, then it’s time to try your hand at making dark chocolate chip cookies from scratch. There are plenty of recipes available online for cooking healthy dark chocolate chip cookies. Make sure you pick a recipe that avoids butter, white flour, or refined sugar.
Dark Chocolate Health Benefits
Dark chocolate contains less sugar than white and milk chocolate and is also filled with important minerals and fiber. For instance, a single 100-gram dark chocolate bar with 70-85% cocoa contains 11 grams of fiber, 67% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for iron, and 58% of the RDI for magnesium. Dark chocolate also contains a wide variety of anti-oxidants. It even beats some foods in terms of the number of antioxidants it contains.
Veggies are also a healthy and low-maintenance snack for students like you. Whether you want to throw together a quick veggie bowl with hummus or cook some buffalo cauliflower for the rest of your family to enjoy, you will be feeling full and focused after you finish this snack.
Here are some healthy and delicious vegetables to throw together for your next snack.
Veggies Health Benefits
Vegetables are a rich source of nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, and folic acid. Potassium can help individuals maintain regular blood pressure while dietary fiber reduces blood cholesterol levels. Folic acid is important for creating healthy red blood cells. Vegetables can also fight inflammation and reduce the chance of certain illnesses, such as heart disease.
5. Homemade Trail Mix
Homemade trail mix is another healthy snack that stays fresh for up to a month. Add these delicious foods to your next trail mix concoction.
- Dark chocolate chips
- Dried cranberries
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
Make sure you make your own trail mix at home. Storebought trail mixes tend to be overpriced and are high in unhealthy fats and sure. Keep your snack portions small to avoid consuming too many trans fats.
Trail Mix Health Benefits
Trail mix contains antioxidants, protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that are critical for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Thanks to its high protein content and healthy fats, trail mix also makes for a great post-workout snack.
Many people consider avocados to be a gift of nature. Not only are they delicious, but they are also packed with healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins. Avocados are also versatile and they make a great snack and addition to any meal.
- Avocado toast
- Chips and avocado dip
- Crackers with avocado
- Plain avocado with salt and pepper
Avocado Health Benefits
Avocados are packed full of vitamins, nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids. Thanks to their unique nutrients, such as beta-sitosterol and beta-carotene, avocados can help consumers maintain healthy cholesterol levels while also reducing their risk of developing age-related eye diseases.
Try to Avoid Greasy and Unhealthy Foods
While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in a while, you should keep these snacks at a minimum
To prevent chronic illness or health problems, students should avoid consuming certain foods. Certain ingredients, such as high-fructose corn syrup or trans fats, are known to increase cholesterol and can even lead to diabetes. Here are the top foods to avoid — or enjoy in moderation — to stay healthy.
- Potato chips
- Sugary pastries
- Frozen snack foods such as pizza rolls
- Butter popcorn
- Ice cream
- Frozen yogurt with unhealthy toppings
Extra Tip: Plan Out Your Grocery Trip Ahead of Time
Thanks to new social distancing guidelines, your grocery trips are going to be a little different
Back at school, you probably only had to walk two or three minutes to the latest campus convenience store. The shelves were almost always filled and you could walk in and out in under 10 minutes. Most people who are finishing school from home are not within walking distance of grocery stores. And while stores may be catching up on stocking up on supplies, social distancing measures may require you to wait in line for long periods of time before entering the store.
The New Way of Shopping — For Now
Before you go grocery shopping, remember that guidelines on public outings are much stricter at the moment. In order to protect both customers and employees, stores are limiting the number of people that may shop inside at a time. Others are also starting to set 6ft distance marks to make sure people are following social distancing rules. In some states or cities such as Los Angeles, stores may turn you away if you are not wearing a face mask. Make sure you know the latest news on social distancing and health guidelines before going out.
Because of these new, but temporary practices, it is important to formulate a game plan before going grocery shopping. Make sure you block off plenty of time for your trip, including possible wait times. Remember to bring a mask if you have one. Take a grocery list of items you want to stock up on for the next week or two. Make sure you add backups in case the store doesn’t have what you want.
The world looks a lot different than it did just a month ago. Schools are closed and everyone is staying inside. Remember to take care of yourself during these trying times. Sit down and take a snack break every once in a while. What are your favorite snacks for studying? Let us know in the comments!