Food for your brain
photo: iStock

In college, I managed to eat Chipotle burrito bowls at least twice a week (yeah, I know, guac is extra) with a full rotation of Jimmy John's, Domino's, and Starbucks. Whether or not I was studying hard enough, I wasn’t doing my brain any favors with all the fast food I was eating. When I started training for a half marathon with a friend, I needed fuel for the tough workouts and began to drastically change my diet. Turns out, I should have been eating that way all along.

According to research published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), what we consume has a direct link to cognitive performance. So the next time you’re memorizing for that big presentation, try eating a few of these foods to help you get rid of those note cards.

Leafy Greens

Beyoncé has made this vegetable famous in her “7/11” video, but Kale is just one of the many dark greens that will help boost your brain with antioxidant vitamins C and E.

Nuts

Aside from being the perfect to-go snack, nuts have vitamin E and can help reduce cognitive delay.

Salmon

Whether you like this cooked or in sushi, salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, also known as the “good” fat. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center have found it can help with mood and prevent cognitive decline.

Blueberries

According to research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, these little blue miracles are known to enhance short-term memory, which makes them a perfect snack for a late night study session.

Flax and Chia Seeds 

These little seeds feature healthy omega-3 fats, calcium, and iron and pack a serious nutritional punch. I recommend adding them to your cereal, fruit, or yogurt. They have a nutty flavor that’s perfect for breakfast!

Avocado

As Latinas, we all know avocado goes with anything. Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this green gem is making its way onto my plate. Good thing too, since it has vitamin E for cognitive function.

Whole Grains

Although I fully support corn tortillas, whole grains have made a comeback due to vitamin E and zinc. They also keep you feeling fuller longer which means less reasons to break your concentration.

While you don’t need to try all of these at once, try sprinkling a few into your diet for better brain results. Any others you think should be on the list? Mention in the comments section below!

Michelle Rivas is a Founding Creator and wellness blogger. When she's not writing for Vivala.com, you can find her at thehealthylatina.com.