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Eating Tips to Improve Your Memory and Focus

Eating Tips to Improve Your Memory and Focus

Melanie Jatsek for College Candy

April 06, 2011

Meal size:

Larger meals that are higher in calories take longer to digest, contribute to serotonin production, make you sleepy and diminish your mental performance. Lighter meals with fewer calories, on the other hand, will not only nourish your body and brain, but will keep you energized and with peak mental focus.

You probably have to be at your most sharp during daylight hours, so breakfast, lunch and snacks should be lighter on the calories.

Meal frequency:

If it’s extra energy and more focus that you’re after, it is critical that you “refuel” every few hours. This includes the most important meal of the day – breakfast of course! To break the overnight fast that happens when you sleep, breakfast is a must. When your blood sugar levels drop below a certain level, say after about four hours with no food, your stress hormones go up in an attempt to raise your blood sugar. This process weakens your brain and your ability to concentrate suffers!

Focusing on that boring lecture and studying for your first exam will come much easier when you: eat often, eat light, and fuel your brain with a wide variety of “brain building” carbohydrates, proteins and fats. If you’re dying for something sweet, go ahead and have a small portion of ice cream…after you’ve eaten a well-balanced meal!

Melanie Jatsek is a speaker, author and registered dietitian who teaches college students how to eat to look better, feel better, think better and stress less! Send her an email at or connect with her on her new Facebook page for college students: The Healthy Campus Project.

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