#BacktoSchoolWithTRMC: Brain Food That Will Help You Stay Productive This Fall

September 15, 2020    

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Say goodbye to impulsive snacking that makes you feel jittery and unfocused – we’ve compiled a list of yummy snacks that have been proven to have positive effects on the brain and your ability to focus.

Back to back classes and a growing to-do list may have you straying away from your regular meal schedule. While snacks are an essential part of any student’s success, it’s important to think about what you’re feeding your brain with – as it can make or break your ability to focus and be productive.

Being more intentional about what we feed ourselves is both a form of self-care AND a productivity hack – read on and let us know what your favourite study snacks are in the comments below.

Kale Chips

A healthier, vitamin-packed alternative to fried, salty chips. Kale contains manganese, which supports brain function, helping you to focus better. It also contains amino acids which provide a natural boost of energy, so if you’re working on cutting back on caffeine or feeling a little extra drained, Kale Chips could be a great mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

If you want to take your Kale game one step further, try adding it to your breakfast in the morning, by pairing it with your eggs on toast, or adding it to a smoothie. Another bonus – the Omega-3 fats in Kale are also known to lower the risk of depression and diabetes!

With so many different ways to incorporate it into your day, Kale is a staple in any busy student’s diet.


An important thing to preface is that coffee should always be enjoyed in moderation – too much will outweigh its positive effects. However, there’s no need to cut back entirely. In fact, not only does it have the ability to keep us more alert and focused in the short term, some studies have also shown that coffee may improve short-term memory as well.

Caffeine also promotes the release of dopamine and serotonin – the chemicals that produce happiness and regulate emotion, similar to the effects of physical activity.

If you’re still not entirely sold, observational studies have associated moderate coffee consumption with a significantly lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. While we’re not recommending drinking multiple cups a day, a morning or early-afternoon cup of coffee will likely result in more benefits than harm.

Nuts & Seeds

With so many different possible combinations, there are no excuses to miss out on creating your own personalized brain food study-mix. Nuts and seeds are rich sources of Vitamin E, which has been proven to support brain health in aging. It’s never too early to start thinking about long-term health!

Sunflower seeds, almonds and hazelnuts all contain some of the highest amounts of Vitamin E. Pistachios are considered the best nuts for improving cognitive processing and learning, and even help to retain information longer.

Whether you’re more of a sweet or a salty snack lover, there’s something for everyone. Dark chocolate covered almonds or hazelnuts are a great way to satisfy that sweet tooth, while lightly salted cashews, pistachios or sunflower seeds are another great chip replacement.

Dark Chocolate

With reference to our last post, dark chocolate coated nuts or berries are an amazing study snack packed with benefits. High-flavanol cocoa has been proven to improve cognitive function, verbal fluency and lower risk of several diseases. In the short-term, dark chocolate may have similar effects to coffee, due to it containing stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine.

In addition to all the antioxidants and minerals found in dark-chocolate, it also has shown to sometimes improve blood flow and lower blood pressure – something any student stuck at their at-home desk setup could benefit from.

Veggies with Hummus

The carrots with hummus combo is a go-to for anyone craving something crunchy. Chickpeas are loaded with magnesium, which ultimately helps to speed up transmission of messages to and from the brain. It also helps to increase blood flow, and lower blood pressure.

Not only is hummus delicious, but it’s extremely versatile. Use it as a spread for your morning toast, or pair it with your favourite veggie for an afternoon study snack.

An overlooked alternative to carrots, cucumbers are also a great option for dipping in hummus – especially if hydration is an issue. It’s easy to lose track of how often you’re filling your water, so snacking on some cucumbers is a great opportunity to get that extra hydration in.

Even more veggies to pair with hummus: celery, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, or cauliflower.

Roasted or Freeze-Dried Chickpeas

If you love hummus and you haven’t tried roasted or dried chickpeas, you’re missing out. Add these to your study-mix of nuts and seeds mentioned above or get creative and experiment with different spices to find your favourite, personalized crunchy study snack.

Apple Slices with Peanut Butter

As mentioned earlier, nuts are a fantastic source of Vitamin E, and peanut butter serves as an amazing dip as well.

There’s a reason why apples have become the symbol of all things education: they’re a great source of quercetin, which is an antioxidant that protects your brain cells and keeps everything flowing. In other words, quercetin protects your brain from mental decline. In order to get the most out of your apples, be sure to leave the peel on as that’s where you’ll find the most of this powerful antioxidant.


There are so many different super-fruits to choose from, and so many different ways to enjoy.

There’s a good reason why blueberries are so famous for being a brain food – their ability to boost memory and protect the brain from future memory lapses makes them the perfect snack for students.

Some other berries that help to protect brain function include raspberries, strawberries, pomegranate and black currants. Grapes are amazing when frozen – very refreshing and can help increase blood blow (and therefore oxygen) to the brain.

With so many options to choose from, becoming more intentional about your study-snacking habits doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming, and can be really tasty too.

Here are some more of OUR favourite study snacks – make sure to let us know yours in the comments below.

@ryersontrmcHere are some of our favourite study snacks! Check out the link in our IG bio for more on brain foods❤️✨ ##backtoschool ##student ##canada ##boostyourmood♬ Eyes Blue Like The Atlantic, Pt. 2 (feat. Powfu, Alec Benjamin & Rxseboy) – Sista Prod

Ryerson TRMC#BacktoSchoolWithTRMC: Brain Food That Will Help You Stay Productive This Fall
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  • Mariam Varghis - September 16, 2020 reply

    Cutting apples and grabbing a spoonful of peanut butter as we speak. These all look incredible!

  • Dalena Tran - September 16, 2020 reply

    I always make sure to have at least one tub of hummus in my fridge!

  • Chumki - September 16, 2020 reply

    Coffee <3

  • Nazia Chaity - September 16, 2020 reply

    So excited to try these snacks while I study!

  • Norah Kim - September 16, 2020 reply

    Going to go and buy some dark chocolate today!

  • Samar Jeddi - September 16, 2020 reply

    Hummus is one of my favourite snacks!! I can’t wait to try out the Kale chips too

  • Rishi Darubra - September 16, 2020 reply

    I got my list now for my next grocery trip

  • Erica Park - September 16, 2020 reply

    Mmmm all these snack ideas sound delicious

  • Simon Carrabau - September 16, 2020 reply

    Always up for a bowl of fruit!

  • Ankita Roy - September 16, 2020 reply

    Coffee and chocolate?? Yes please!

  • shayla - September 16, 2020 reply

    so many yummy ideas, thanks for sharing!

  • Kevin Balkaran - September 16, 2020 reply

    You can’t go wrong with apples and peanut butter!

  • Shirley Anne Macalalad - September 16, 2020 reply

    Can’t wait to try out these snacks!

  • Anya Stepanenko - September 16, 2020 reply

    Morning coffee is the best!

  • Margi - September 16, 2020 reply

    I love having hummus on any given day! Healthy and filling! Thanks for sharing all these other snack ideas!

  • Anna Medvedeva - September 16, 2020 reply

    Coffee and hummus are my absolute favourites!

  • Natasha Yankov - September 16, 2020 reply

    This was the sign I needed to go get myself a Pumpkin Cold Brew

  • Lina Botyrius - September 16, 2020 reply

    Mmm coffee

  • Laiqa Lalani - September 16, 2020 reply

    Really needed this, thanks team !!

  • Sara - September 16, 2020 reply

    apples are my go to snack!!

  • Sashmi Pagoda - September 16, 2020 reply

    Kale chips? Yes please!

  • Jasmin - September 16, 2020 reply

    On my cheat days I go for apples with nutella!! <3

  • Jesse - September 17, 2020 reply

    Awesome advice! Thanks team!

  • Mili - September 17, 2020 reply

    hmm coffee!

  • Izabela - September 18, 2020 reply

    Apples + peanut butter = perfect pairing

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