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The top 9 brain foods for studying and exams

By shodgson 25 Mar 2024

Keep the doctor away with flying colours  

As a student, you will have a lot of information thrown at you that you'll need to properly understand and retain to achieve your desired grades. While there are of course practical ways of maximising your studying, you may not prioritise a healthy diet which can seriously affect your performance. Here are all the top brain-boosting foods you should try to eat more of:


a group of fruit on display in a store

Berries can be a powerful tasty tool for improving your performance as they contain a useful compound called anthocyanins. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and others are all high in this and it basically increases the blood flow to your brain, helping with learning and memory. So why not try to make a super smoothie next time you're revising and see some instant results?

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit are similar to berries in that they contain a bunch of flavonoids that promote information retention. Just by drinking the juices or taking one along as a snack, you can give your brain what it needs to revise. 

Dark chocolate and cocoa products

bars of chocolate

Yes, even chocolate can be good for your brain but you'll want to opt for products that have a high cocoa percentage like dark chocolate. The cocoa will help tackle mental fatigue, keeping you going for longer and is also proven to help with your reaction time. But remember, it's all about balance and just eating chocolate will obviously not be a good thing! Pair up all the foods on this list in reasonable amounts and you'll be on to a winner.


food on a table

You'll have probably heard before that nuts are a superfood and that's for a good reason. They are a great source of body fuel to keep you going throughout the day, containing fats (the good kind), protein and fibre. On top of that, they contain key vitamins like vitamin E and zinc, which are great for overall brain function. It's easy to take a bag along with you so make it your go-to study snack.


a close up of a egg

Eggs are a multivitamin powerhouse that do a tonne for your brain. Vitamin B12, selenium and choline are all vital nutrients for your brain but you got to eat the whole egg (not just the egg white) to maximise the potential of this food. They are essential for a good workout too so you can build your body and brain at the same time! 


Your favourite fad food is also another brain booster! Research has shown that avocados contain lutein which is good for both your brain and eyes. So your general mental accuracy and how well you take in information will be improved. It's a versatile food that you can easily spread on toast (and maybe pair with some scrambled eggs?) for a breakfast that packs a punch.


Swapping out some of the meat you eat for fish can be a game changer. As you've probably heard, fish contains omega-3 which are important fats that enhance your memory, and contribute to an overall healthier brain with a slower mental decline.


a variety of fresh vegetables on a cutting board

Beets will help with the blood flow to your brain like berries and citrus fruits. They contain lots of nitrates which are also great for your nerve cell communication. If you're in the middle of the exam period then maybe it's time to get the beets out to improve your performance on the tests.

Red, green, and orange vegetables

different vegetables

Okay, so those three colours cover a lot of vegetables which is great because it means you've got plenty of options. Vegetables are a well-known source of nutrients that are just great for your health, body and mind. This probably isn't a massive revelation but it's an important reminder, eat your veg!

Eating a little bit of all these foods will contribute to making your brain as powerful as possible. Combine with your studies to get the results you want.