Starting the year with the right appetite

Many New Year’s resolutions are set with the assumption that healthy habits and better grades are somehow distinct. However, there are many healthy energy boosting foods like nuts, salmon, eggs, mushrooms, and spinach that can help students lead both healthier lives and achieve greater academic success.

Nuts

Nuts  require no preparation and can increase one’s energy. Filled with nutrients like protein and carbohydrates, raw nuts can be made into an even more powerful snack by soaking them in a simple warm water-and-salt solution overnight. Soaking nuts activates their germination process, making them easier for the body to digest and process their nutrients and increasing their value as a brain food. Studies have linked a regular intake of walnuts, in particular, to higher cognitive functioning, due to their high concentration of antioxidants.

Salmon

Salmon is often touted for its many health benefits. It contains omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. However, its main benefit for tired and stressed university students is its energy-enhancing properties. This pink fish is high in protein, vitamin B6, niacin, and riboflavin, all of which help transform food into energy. Salmon is also filled with docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, which boosts neuronal function in the brain and can be useful to students looking for a cognitive boost.

Eggs

Eggs also have immense potential to help students power through post-break inertia. Eggs are an inexpensive source of high-quality protein and, if eaten regularly, can contribute greatly to daily protein requirements. Protein has many roles including hormone regulation, muscle building, and maintaining immune system health. In combination with protein, the B vitamins, like B6 and riboflavin, found in eggs,  are a crucial source of sustained energy.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a healthy option with a substantial capacity for boosting energy. Just one cup of mushrooms can provide up to 50 per cent of a person’s daily serving of iron, with iron playing a key role in the transportation of oxygen through the bloodstream. The effective and efficient transport of oxygen is extremely important for the human body because, without an adequate supply of oxygen to the major organs, they won’t function at their optimal level, resulting in intense fatigue along with other health impairments like diminished cognitive functioning.

Spinach

Spinach contains many essential minerals, making it a great concentration-enhancing food. In particular, it contains extremely high amounts of iron, magnesium, and potassium. Alongside the oxygen-carrying and energy boosting properties of iron, magnesium is also crucial to the body’s production of energy. Additionally, when paired with magnesium, potassium plays a role in digestion as well as in nerve and muscle regulation. It also helps to improve brain function by sending more oxygen to the brain and reduces stress by lowering blood pressure and relaxing muscles. Finally, spinach is easy to incorporate into a variety of recipes, boosting the healthiness of whatever you happen to be munching on.

All of these foods are healthy and good for your brain. Yet, while they can help you keep your strength up, they are not a substitute for adequate rest and sleep, which are vital for retaining information as it moves from short-term memory to long-term memory during the deep sleep stage of sleep. Therefore, the keys to succeeding in the new year  are a diet of healthy foods, sleep, and studying.

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