Power Foods

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Power Foods

Sarah Wang, Staff Writer

Who doesn’t love a good snack while studying? Although most of us binge on unhealthy food during cram time, there is a better alternative: power foods. Power foods are specific health foods that are scientifically proven to boost brain power, health, and productivity. Before you start getting down to business with your studies, try out some of these ingredients in your daily meals:

Although avocados get a bad reputation for being a fatty food, they are actually among some of the most nutrient-rich fruit out there. According to the U.S. National Nutrient Database, the average avocado contains 64 calories, 6 grams of fat, 3.4 grams of carbohydrates, less than a gram of sugar, and 3 grams of fiber. Avocados are good for the heart, vision, cancer prevention, lowering risk of depression, digestion, as well as detoxification. You can try avocados in and on almost anything — toast, ice cream, salad, smoothie, or even soup!

Dark Chocolate
A classic favorite treat like chocolate may come as a surprise on this list, but dark chocolate is actually great for your body. Dark chocolate contains mostly saturated and monounsaturated fats, which are the “good” fats to consume rather than unsaturated fats. The sweet also contains small doses of caffeine and theobromine, making it ideal to consume for increased concentration and alertness before studying or taking a test. Dark chocolate is known to lower blood pressure, increase blood flow, reduce risk of heart disease, protect your skin from the sun, and last but not least, improve brain function. It’s unlikely that you need ideas on how to consume chocolate, but aside from eating it by itself, you can also drizzle it on your food, blend it into a smoothie, cover fruit with it, and even toss it into your morning cereal or granola.

Blueberries are best known as the antioxidant powerhouses of the fruit world. They also contain vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, and anthocyanins. According to the UK’s National Health Service, blueberries are proven to improve heart health, combat high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, and possibly reduce cancer risks and improve memory. For blueberry fans, tossing the fruit into parfaits, yogurt, smoothies, and cereals is an age-old go to when they want to pack in that extra boost for their day.

Egg Yolk
Although there has been much debate over the health benefits of egg yolk, the general consensus is that egg yolks are great health boosters when they are of high quality. A quick way to determine the quality of an egg is simply to look at its color. The brighter orange yolks suggest that the egg was produced by a healthy, free-range hen whereas dull, yellow yolks indicate that the egg was produced by a caged, poorly-fed hen. Egg yolks contain tons of great nutrients — in particular, choline, which aids brain development, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which improve vision.

Salmon is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium, selenium, and vitamin B-12. However, the most valuable part of salmon is the omega-3 fatty acids, or essential fatty acids, it contains, giving salmon its reputation for being a “brain food.”

There you have it! Now that you know some good power foods for your body and brain, you can get snackin’!