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Studying for Success: Food for Success

This guide provides tips for studying effectively and managing your time wisely.


  • Chocolate. Eating chocolate with at least 75% cocoa raises your endorphin levels and helps mental productivity. If you don’t like the taste of dark chocolate try getting some made with sea salt! The salt actually makes the chocolate taste sweeter – one brand that makes such chocolate is Lindt. I have definitely used this as the self-reasoning for why I ate three chocolate bars in one day while studying for a midterm. (Read the science here: Nehlig 2013Jackson, et al. 2019)


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Oily Fish!

Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of any healthy diet. Found in oily fish like salmon and sardines, these acids improve concentration and may  benefit information retention and other cognitive skills. Your body needs omega-3s and protein for long-lasting energy and the focus you need to avoid distractions.

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  • Kiwis. If you are dealing with insomnia or issues sleeping around midterm and final exam seasons try eating a kiwi! Research has suggested that eating two kiwis can help raise serotonin levels which can lead to better sleep. A full eight hours of sleep has been proven to improve memory retention and recall, and also makes sure that your problem solving skills are in tip-top shape. I have also included a link down below in case you have never seen, touched, smelled, or eaten a kiwi before and you have no idea what to even do with one. I recommend the cut and scoop method, though I am aware that some psychopaths out there bite them like apples, peel and all – if you’re unsure what your preferred method is, learn how to prepare kiwis, here. (Read the science: Lin et al. 2011Suni 2020)

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  • Apples. If coffee or other forms of caffeine give you stress, try eating an apple! Studies have found that a single apple has enough natural sugars you can feel the same effect as having caffeine. (Read the science: Reichardt 2015Harvard School of Public Health)

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  • Almonds. Not particularly feeling the idea of eating a kiwi? Try almonds instead. Almonds not only have magnesium but are also a natural source of melatonin, which some find help their ability to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. Almonds are also a source of magnesium and calcium, which can help the body relax. Some studies have linked magnesium deficiencies and low blood sugar, so if you have a hard time staying asleep due to your blood sugars dropping, try having some almonds. Try setting a small bowl of almonds by your bedside to munch on if you find yourself waking up at two a.m. and are just not feeling it. It will not only help your glucose levels but also help your body recognize that it needs to go back to bed. (Read the science: Suni 2020Ghafarzadeh et al. 2019Meng et al. 2017Barbagallo & Dominguez 2015)

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Coffee and Water!

Believe it or not, coffee and water can provide your body with important benefits. Coffee can help you feel more awake and mentally focused. However, drinking plenty of water helps to prevent dehydration, which can cause lethargy, difficulty concentrating, and soreness or aches that can distract you from your studying.

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Putting it All Together!

Want the quadruple effect just to see what your body will do? Cut everything (except the fish and coffee) up into small pieces and throw it all together in a bowl with some coconut water, chuck in some ice cubes, and call it ‘nature’s cereal’.