Here we come, Dead Week. Most academic institutions let students out of class for a few days if not the entire week (hence the name). But thanks to the glorious quarter system, we in Oregon can’t spare time for days off to study.
As you balance your last week’s class schedule during the day and study all night, your brain will eventually need some sustenance other than Red Bull and Adderall. Check out these cheap, healthy study snacks that you can make in five minutes or less.
Bananas with some maple syrup or honey and some blueberries smattered on top is one of my favorite brain snacks. Bananas are loaded with potassium, which is supposed to be great for the brain. Honey or maple syrup has tons of fructose in them (as do bananas), which are sure to give you a boost for a bit. Blueberries have antioxidants — the health freak’s cure-all — in spades. A diet rich in antioxidants will help your cells stay healthy and keep you going strong day (and night) after a day of school work.
Another one of my all-time favorites is applesauce with wheat germ sprinkled on top and a couple of slices of cheese on the side. The protein in cheese will stick to your bones, keeping you charged a bit longer than some of the other snacks. Wheat germ is full of all kinds of goodness, including more of those lauded-after antioxidants (in the form of Vitamin E). Additionally, according to healthy.net, wheat germ has something called octacosanol in it, which is supposed to improve focus and alertness.
Dill pickles with rye crisps (also called rye crackers — found at any regular grocery store) and Dijon mustard: Unlike the other two, this one doesn’t have tons of nutrients, but it also doesn’t really have anything bad either. Snacks like this that have sharp, biting flavors such as mustard or pickles can help keep you awake if your mind starts to wander. If you’re not sure which kind of pickles to get, go for the spears — you won’t need to cut them and they’re easier to put on the crisps.
For the sweet tooth, almonds and chunks of dark chocolate are a great mix. According to healthy-holistic-living.com, almonds contain something called phenylalanine, a compound known to boost brain health and mood stability — great for keeping you going under high levels of stress.
Finally, there’s the classic hummus with crackers, carrots or pita bread. If you’re looking for an interesting variation, dice up some bell peppers or a tomato or two and mix them in with the hummus. Also, warm pita bread is one of the best things around — heat the oven to 200 degrees and put the bread in for about 5-8 minutes while you study.
Finals Week is never fun. (If it is, you’re doing something wrong.) However, if you are able to stay away from the standard study snacks of chips and soda, your mood, focus and hopefully GPA are bound to improve.