Nutritious Foods to Improve Studying

When it is time to study, don’t forget the snacks! You don’t want hunger to keep your from being able to focus on your studies. Your go-to snacks may be candy bars, chips and sugary drinks, but those snacks will only make you tired. Throw away the energy drinks, cookies, candy and salty snacks. Instead, choose healthy snacks that will boost your energy and brain power.

Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and veggies are one of the best snacking foods. This is because many fruits and vegetables are chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants designed to boost your energy and improve your brainpower. Next time your parents go to the store, ask them to pick up some of the following fruits and vegetables that you can eat as a snack:

  • Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and have been shown to improve learning and delay memory loss. Other berries, such as strawberries and raspberries have also been known to reduce memory loss.
  • Apples not only keep the doctor away, they also help improve how your cells communicate, thereby making your body more alert and ready to learn. Natural apple juices have the same effect.
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower may not seem like a delicious snack choice, but they have phytochemicals that get your enzymes working and improve how your body works.
  • Carrots not only help your eyesight – they also reduce memory loss and brain inflammation thanks to the luteolin they contain.

Think of unique ways to eat these fruits and vegetables for a snack. For example, if you cannot find fresh berries or apples, try a mix of dried fruits or drink an all-natural fruit juice. You can also mix some of the fruits and vegetables with some ice and a bit of yogurt to make a healthy smoothie.


When most people hear the word “protein” they think of meat. Thankfully, you do not have to gnaw on a piece of meat or fish while you are studying because proteins come in many forms. Proteins contain healthy fats and oils that help your brain operate at its maximum capacity. Next time you study, try snacking on a protein-rich snack such as:

  • Nuts, especially walnuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • All-natural jerky


While candy bars are not a study-friendly snack, some chocolate is okay. Chocolate contains flavonoids which help improve your cognitive processing. However, most of the chocolate you are used to is loaded with sugar that masks the flavonoids’ effects. Instead of a typical chocolate bar, try a piece of dark chocolate or a small piece of a plain, low-sugar chocolate bar.


Did you know that your brain is 75% liquid? The more dehydrated you become, the harder it is to focus. Instead of filling up on soda, energy drinks and other sugar-filled options that can cause you to become dehydrated, keep a glass of water nearby when you study. This will help keep you hydrated, energized and awake. For a bigger boost of energy, add a slice of orange, lemon or lime.

Don’t Study on an Empty Stomach

Whatever you do, avoid studying on an empty stomach. When you are hungry, not only will the sounds of your stomach and your hunger pangs distract you from studying, but you will have decreased energy levels and brain power. Even a handful of nuts, a piece of fruit or an ounce of chocolate can be enough to get your attention off of your hunger and back on your books.

Suggested Exercises
  1. Write down 2-3 unhealthy foods you usually snack on and 2-3 healthy alternatives.
  2. Make up a trail mix of dried fruits, nuts and dark chocolate and put it in little bags to have on hand for students’ next study session.
  3. Create a shopping list of healthy snacks your parents can get next time they are at the store.
  4. Design a poster to show the benefits of healthy snacks or to discourage kids from choosing unhealthy snacks.

Discussion Questions
  1. What healthy snacks can you easily start enjoying?
  2. What are some creative ways you can eat some of the fruits and proteins listed? (Example – make a trail mix of dried fruit and nuts or spreading peanut butter on whole grain crackers).
  3. Why do you think so many kids choose energy drinks and candy bars over healthier snacks? What can we do to change this preference?
  4. Which healthy snacks are easy to have on hand at school or when you are not studying at home?