Top 7 Brain Foods to Help You Focus

As a student, you try to understand and remember pages of new information every day.

By: Rebecca Grissom & Jake Hreha

As a student, you try to understand and remember pages of new information every day. This might mean long nights, early mornings, and long afternoons of hardcore studying. It is essential to provide your body and brain with fuel to keep you going. Hours of studying require good food to keep you and your brain energized.

Finding the right foods for the brain is not only important when studying but just as important when it comes to test day or is time for a presentation. Brain function is influenced by the foods we eat. In order to have optimal cognitive function when we need it, we need to supply our bodies with brain healthy nutrients.

Many of these foods also support long term brain health. Cognitive decline is common in people as they age with alzheimer's disease and dementia affecting millions. Making healthy choices when it comes to what we eat is not only vital for our brain development but also to improve brain function for the long term. Remember to consider how the food you eat can help you have healthy brain function for test day and beyond.

Here are seven brain boosting foods to help clear the study fog:

Dark Chocolate

If it's your dream to have an excellent excuse to eat chocolate more, then you're in luck. Dark chocolate is full of nutrients and antioxidants to help cancer prevention, heart health, brain health, and more. The darker the chocolate, the better because darker chocolates contain higher magnesium, potassium, and fiber concentrations.


Avocados are not only highly versatile, but they can also contribute to brain health! They have high levels of lutein, which is a carotenoid that can accumulate in your brain and eyes. High lutein intake and blood lutein levels are associated with better mental performance and function. The healthy fats in avocados are beneficial to many areas of the body.


Fish is a healthy and tasty option for students looking for more than just a study snack. Different studies have linked high fish consumption to better mental performance due to fish's high amounts of nutrients and Omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish is healthy fat that makes it one of the best brain foods.


Berries are high in special compounds called anthocyanins, which increase blood flow to the brain. Their antioxidants can also reduce inflammation and protect from brain cell damage. You can find these superfood qualities in blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries. Berries are a tasteful and easy snack to boost brain function.


Eating snacks like trail mix or even granola bars is an excellent option for studying because of the high antioxidants in various nuts like peanuts, walnuts, and pistachios. Antioxidants in these nuts help promote heart health, improve memory retention, and reduce inflammation. Pistachios specifically are proven to be great for learning and information retention. Nuts also tend to have high levels of protein which will support brain health and your energy throughout the day.


Eggs are another great study or morning food to start your day because of their high protein content. They are full of critical nutrients like Vitamin B12 and B2, Vitamin A, and small amounts of calcium, iron, and potassium. Eat a breakfast of scrambled eggs to begin your day with a nourished mind and energetic spirit. Eggs are also great because of the number of ways you can cook them. Promoting brain function is easy when you have so many choices!


Finally, broccoli also has incredible amounts of vitamins and antioxidants. Whether you eat it cooked or raw, it helps to preserve memory, boost learning retention, and sharpen reasoning skills. This is due to broccoli's excellent anti-inflammatory properties to build and rebuild damaged brain cells.

Remember the Right Foods for Brain Health and Brain Function

School can be hard sometimes, especially when your brain and body are not adequately equipped for a day in front of book stacks or a screen. Properly providing your brain and body with the right foods to function will help you focus, give you energy, and prepare you to conquer your studies! My personal research suggests that enjoying a great tasting snack while studying (that also supports proper brain function) is always a good idea.

IWU-National & Global is committed to seeing its students succeed in every area, so make sure you bring a list of these brain foods to your next trip to the grocery store and visit our student resource page for more tools for success.

Rebecca Grissom

Copywriting and Marketing Assistant, IWU-National and Global

Rebecca Grissom is currently a junior at Indiana Wesleyan University pursuing degrees in Strategic Communications and Humanities. She is passionate about good books, good coffee, and telling stories. When she's not working, Rebecca enjoys time spent with her dogs, nature, and friends.

Jake Hreha

SEO Copywriter, IWU

Jake Hreha is a graduate of Ball State University, where he majored in advertising with a concentration in media presentation and design. He is passionate about design, and in his free time he enjoys cycling, traveling, and reading.

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