Best Foods to Eat for Studying

Ramisa Sharif
Edited by Sravya Hamsala
Published on
February 21, 2024

A regular word of advice that we hear is to eat healthy to fuel our bodies with the energy they need. This dietary recommendation still holds for students, but what foods do so? This article will explore which foods will help maximize your brain power for studying and retaining information better.


Berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, have high amounts of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are flavonoid compounds that help improve cognitive performance and attention ability. Regularly incorporating these in your dietary regime before you study can help you focus for longer and retain what you study for longer.

Citrus Fruits

Various citrus fruits, including lemons, oranges, and grapefruits include compounds that help to “promote learning and memory, as well as protect nerve cells from injury, therefore warding off mental decline” []. Fruit juices include more concentrated amounts of these compounds than whole citrus fruits, and thus can be drunk as a snack between study sessions. 

Cocoa products

Many chocolate products, especially dark chocolates, have the highest density of flavonoid content out of any food due to the presence of cocoa. As mentioned earlier, flavonoids can help improve brain function, as seen in a study of 90 older adults who saw increased performance after regularly consuming one serving of a high-flavonoid cocoa drink daily.


Vitamin E and zinc are 2 vitamins essential in cognitive function and memory, which makes nuts a great vitamin-dense option to snack on during or before your study sessions. Walnuts are particularly a fan favorite, with a 2015 study from UCLA concluding that daily consumption of them improved scores on a cognitive test. 


Eggs are known for being a nutrient-dense protein, including vitamins such as vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium, choline, and selenium. Vitamin B12, selenium, and choline are noted particularly because of the wonders they do for brain function, coordination, memory, and general development. In addition, vitamin D helps with mood, which is especially helpful if you find it particularly mentally barring to study continuously.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish are packed with healthy unsaturated fats such as omega-3, which have been shown to improve mental performance and memory in the long term. However, be mindful of moderation, as many times overeating can lead to high levels of mercury and excessive consumption of other possible contaminants found in improperly processed seafood. 


It is regularly suggested that everyone gets their daily intake of healthy greens, but there are some you can particularly pay attention to when trying to improve your brain health. Red, orange, and green vegetables contain a plethora of plant compounds that aid in mental performance. For example, many of these vegetables lead to MPOD accumulation in your retinas, showing a strong correlation between improved brain function and intellectual ability. In addition, avocados, like fatty fish, are packed with the healthy fats that you need to facilitate blood flow to your brain, which in turn helps improve cognitive function. Pumpkin seeds are also a great snack to incorporate into your study sessions, as they are high in zinc, which as mentioned earlier is essential to cognitive function and memory. Last but not least, including more beets in your meals can help you get that much-needed nitric oxide, which aids in nerve cell communication, blood flow, and brain function.

Caffeinated drinks

Not only do caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee help keep you alert during your study sessions, but they can also help you remember information better, especially in the short term. A study at Johns Hopkins University showed that participants who consumed caffeine more were more likely to accurately remember what they had studied the day before.


If you are having a hard time incorporating these foods into your diet, the most important thing you can do is stay hydrated. Getting the right water intake is crucial in “delivering nutrients to the brain and removing toxins”, states National University. In other words, your brain cannot function properly when you are dehydrated, with the consequences being impaired concentration, fatigue, and drops in blood sugar.

Source List:

Ahles, Sanne, et al. “Effects of Berry Anthocyanins on Cognitive Performance, Vascular Function and Cardiometabolic Risk Markers: A Systematic Review of Randomized Placebo-Controlled Intervention Studies in Humans.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 22, no. 12, 17 June 2021, p. 6482,

“Ask a Professor: Is Zinc Good for Your Memory?” Colgate Magazine. 6 Nov. 2020,

“Best Brain Foods for Studying.” National University, 9 Apr. 2018,

British lion eggs. “Egg Nutrition - Official UK Information | Egg Info.”,

“Food for Concentration: 10 Foods to Help You Focus.”,

Harvard Medical School. “Foods Linked to Better Brainpower.” Harvard Health, 6 Mar. 2021,

Lakhan, Ram, et al. “The Role of Vitamin E in Slowing Down Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Narrative Review.” Healthcare, vol. 9, no. 11, 18 Nov. 2021, p. 1573,

Services, Department of Health & Human. “Caffeine.”, 19 Mar. 2020,

“The Top 9 Brain Foods for Studying and Exams.” Healthline, 12 Oct. 2020,

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