Brain Power! 5 Cheap Foods That Will Help You Feel Smarter When You Hit the Textbooks

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team

We’re knee-deep in the spring semester, and cramming for exams is fast becoming part of a daily routine. When it’s time to hit the books, your body needs fuel – especially if you need a helpful nudge towards Focusville (Population: You).

The simple solution to a grumbling stomach mid study session is whatever’s cheap and fast… like a bowl of sugary cereal or some greasy takeout. But we challenge you to feed your brain and your body, to help make the most of your textbook time.

Arm your pantry, fridge or secret snack drawer with these nutritiously super-charged brain foods that will help you cram that last little statistic into your brain before Exam Day. (Did we mention they’re also super-affordable? Because they are. We got your brain wallet back.)

1) Blueberries! Mixing some blueberries into your diet can work wonders for a last-minute study session. Pop a handful in your mouth, or toss them into that afternoon yogurt (go Greek for extra protein!). Proven to enhance the learning capabilities in rats, blueberries are also believed to stave off Alzheimer’s! Available in your everyday grocery store, the average price for a packet of blueberries is under $5.00.

2) Eggs, anyone? Studies show that the protein in eggs can boost brainpower for up to a few hours. Don’t worry if you’re trapped without a stovetop. Microwaving eggs might sound strange, but it’s an easy, fast, and tasty alternative to the frying pan. Need further motivation to whip up an omelet before rushing off to class? The selenium in eggs can even help elevate your mood J. In the refrigerated section of your grocery store, you’ll find medium-sized eggs at an average cheap value of only $1.39/carton of 12 eggs.

3) Dark chocolate. The rumors are true! Unlike it’s milky cousin, dark chocolate contains caffeine, which can help you maintain your concentration during a long exam. Dark chocolate also is a natural source of antioxidants, if those Hershey’s commercials speak the truth! Found anywhere from your grocery store to the local bakery to a gas station, dark chocolate will probably cost you under $4.00. (Also said to be an aphrodisiac, but that’s a whole other story…)

4) Say cheese! Yes, upon consumption, the amino acids in cheese are transmitted to your brain, helping you focus on that distressingly thick textbook you have to chew through. Have it in a healthy (whole wheat) sandwich or by itself in moderation, a pound of cheddar cheese will run you about $3.98.

5) Pecans! Need to add some choline to your diet? Look no further than pecans. No idea what choline is or why you need it? Think of this essential nutrient like gasoline for your brain – the brain needs choline if it is to run properly! Find some pecans in the nuts and snacks aisle at your grocery store for anywhere between $4-$9. Slightly more expensive, but just a small handful at a time will be more than enough. Keep ‘em in the fridge for longer shelf life.

There you have it! Next time you’re mid-cram-session and need a pick-me-up, don’t reach for greasy takeout or empty calories. They might taste amazing, but will only leave you feeling sleepy and unfocused. Fuel your body and your brain with one of the tasty snacks above and show your professors what you’re made of.

Extra inspirational and informative resources:

Average food prices gathered from

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