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Super foods to power you through finals

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about the ability of certain foods to sharpen your focus and enhance memory, so we decided to check things out for ourselves and learn if this is really true. Here’s what we found:


Give your brain a boost
Omega-3 fatty acids -- a healthy fat found in fish such as tuna and salmon -- play a vital role in enhancing memory. Studies have even shown that omega-3s can keep you sharp as you age. So, brown-bagging a tuna fish sandwich made of canned or pouched tuna for lunch may be just what you need to ace your exams! 
- Did you know?
The latest dietary guidelines for Americans say we should eat at least 8 to 12 ounces of seafood or fish per week to boost brain health.  That’s equal to three tuna fish sandwiches!
- Not into fish? Try this

Flaxseed and walnuts are rich in healthy fats that can boost brain function, so sprinkling ground flaxseed on oatmeal or munching on walnuts are smart habits to adopt now. 


Put on your thinking cap

Nuts, a good source of vitamin E, might also have the ability to help us focus.  Not nuts about nuts?  Then give blueberries a go! Studies show that blueberries are brain food, and just ½ cup every day will do the trick!  You can put them on your cereal, add them to yogurt, whirl them into a smoothie or just enjoy them plain.


Gotta do this
Of course, all sorts of nutrition fads come and go, but one thing will never change:  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.   Girls who eat breakfast perform better in school, consume more bone-building calcium, fiber and vitamins than those who skip breakfast, and they tend to eat less fat and cholesterol than their friends who miss this valuable meal. 
Eat up!
What does this mean to you?  Make time for breakfast!  And it doesn’t have to be boring.  Try a yogurt and fruit parfait, a scrambled egg wrap, hot cereal with brown sugar and honey, low-fat muffins, whole wheat waffles with bananas and syrup or a bagel slathered with peanut butter and fruit preserves.  After any of those meals, you’ll rock the classroom!

BY TINA RUGGIERO, M.S., R.D., L.D. ON 5/9/2014 12:00:00 AM

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Blueberries, apples, grapes, raisins and blackberries are all high in antioxidants and make great snacks.
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