Exams are quickly approaching, and while it’s a stressful time for most students and cooking is the last thing on their minds, eating the right foods can help you improve your memory and retain more during your study periods!

Eating junk and greasy foods will only make you tired, lethargic, and unable to concentrate. Certain foods, dubbed “brain foods” will ramp up blood flow, increase cognitive function, improve memory, and decrease stress! These foods are rich in good fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Though time is stretched during exams, stock up on these foods beforehand so you can whip up a quick and easy meal or snack for yourself instead of resorting to that midnight Tim Horton’s run for a sandwich, large triple-triple, and 20 Tim bit’s (that you swear you’ll share with you friends, but you know at least 15 are for yourself).

Brain Foods to buy before exam time:

Avocados: this fruit is full of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, folic acids, and monounsaturated fat. Avocados improve blood flow to the brain and supports your nervous system during stressful times (a.k.a. exams).

Blueberries: these berries contain antioxidants and flavonoids (plant-based compounds) which reduce stress, improve memory, and increase cognitive function.

Broccoli: this vegetable has a long list of nutrients, but vitamin K might be the most crucial in terms of studying–it improves brainpower and cognitive function, while the other benefits of broccoli includes increasing blood flow and removing heavy metals.

Dark Chocolate: the flavonols in dark chocolate improve blood flow, cognitive function, and memory, and dark chocolate can also improve mood and ease pain!

Nuts: almonds and walnuts especially are full of vitamin E, which improves brain power. Also containing omega 3, omega 6, and vitamin B6, nuts are generally good for your brain and nervous system.

Oats: the fiber in oats is great in that it releases its energy in a steady flow–meaning you can keep going for longer. Oats also boast B vitamins, which supports your nervous system in times of stress, and boasts energy.

Fish: oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring are rich in omega 3 fats, especially EPA which contributes to a healthy brain and heart.

Rosemary: you don’t need a lot of rosemary to boost your mood, energy, and increase blood flow. It acts as an antioxidant and a detoxifier, even the scent alone improving memory and cognitive function.

Below are a couple recipes to get you started on your exam brain food cooking adventures!

For breakfast, try fried eggs and avocado toast with a smoothie, like a banana orange avocado smoothie or a berry green smoothie. At lunchtime, opt for a healthy broccoli and apple salad and for dinner try lemon rosemary salmon. Finish off the meal with some dark chocolate nut clusters! Throughout the day, snack on some savory vegan trail mix or an almond chocolate chip granola bar.