Brain Food: How What You Eat Can Help You When Studying

Apr 24, 2018 11:15 AM ET
Press Release

GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 24, 2018 /3BL Media/ – If you are what you eat, then what should you eat (or not eat) to help you retain information when studying for final exams? Sodexo national dietitian Beth Winthrop, who helps the company’s college and university clients create healthy, well-balanced food options for students around the United States, has offered her tips for smart eating during finals season.

“Keeping your brain healthy with proper sleep, hydration and exercise, along with eating certain foods that may help with cognition, will set the stage for maximum memory, calm and focus during a busy time,” said Winthrop.

A Harvard Medical School report lists particular foods that may improve brain health and mental function. These same foods protect the heart and blood vessels. These include:

  • Green, leafy vegetables that are high in vitamin K, lutein, folate and beta carotene.
  • Fatty fish or other sources of omega-3 fatty acids like avocado, walnuts and flaxseed.
  • Tea or coffee in small to moderate amounts--according to the Journal of Nutrition, the caffeine in them may help solidify new memories.
  • Dark chocolate and berries contain flavonoids, which have been shown to help improve memory
  • According to a study published in Neurology, the Mediterranean diet, high in fruits, vegetables, fish, olive oil and whole grains along with moderate amounts of dairy and red wine, has been shown to help with depression and better thinking skills.

What does Winthrop advise? “Eat a breakfast including lean protein and high fiber carbohydrates that allows a steady release of blood glucose.”   Students should also stay away from alcohol and excessive amounts of caffeine while studying. According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine is safe up to 400 mg per day, which translates to four cups of coffee. She suggests indulging in moderate amounts of tea and coffee rather than high caffeine energy drinks, which are a bad idea particularly as a mixer with alcohol.

About Sodexo - Universities

Sodexo provides food service, accommodations and facilities management services to over 1,000 universities, colleges and independent schools in the United States and 35 other countries around the world. Sodexo serves eight million university students, staff and visitors around the world daily. With nearly 50 years of experience, Sodexo focuses on improving the student experience through integrated services that promote and enhance quality of life.

About Sodexo North America 

Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life of 15 million customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily.  The company employs 133,000 people at 13,000 sites in all 50 U.S. states and Canada and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional jobs through its annual purchases of $9.2 billion in goods and services from small to large American businesses. In support of local communities across the U.S., the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed close to $30 million over the past 20 years to help feed children in America impacted by hunger.  To learn more about Sodexo, visit and connect with us on Facebook and @SodexoUSA on Twitter.

Laurie Goldstein
Sodexo, Inc.
+1 (301) 252-4553