Five Foods to Boost Your Focus

Young male eating sandwich

With finals right around the corner, what foods should you have on hand to help boost your focus during those long nights at the library? Here’s what Amy Nadelen, Health Educator in the UHS Health Promotion Office, recommends:


Whether you pick peanuts, almonds, or cashews, nuts are a great snack to help you boost your mental power. In fact, a 2012 article in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reported that eating antioxidant-rich walnuts can boost memory and improve cognitive function. Nuts are also an excellent source of healthy fats which can help to keep you fuller, longer.

Whole Grains

It’s common to crave carbs during stressful times. Instead of choosing refined grains (such as white bread or white rice) which can leave you feeling lethargic and foggy after a “carb crash”, opt for whole grains instead. Foods like whole grain crackers, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta are a better option.

Dark Chocolate

If you’re looking for something sweet, then choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Research has proven that dark chocolate has many health benefits, including a boost of mood, energy, and cognitive function. According to the Cleveland Clinic, aim for one serving size of 1.5 oz – 3 oz.


This versatile food makes a great breakfast, snack, or even dinner! They are packed with protein, vitamins, and a secret weapon called choline, which helps with memory function.


Don’t forget to eat your green veggies! Spinach (along with other dark leafy greens such as kale and chard) is packed with fiber, antioxidants, and is another great memory booster. Not a fan of salads? Add some greens to a sandwich, pop it on top of your pizza, or grab an Oh Kale! smoothie at Freshens next time you’re in the Pit.