As much as I love snacking on my favorite salt and vinegar chips, my body definitely craves something refreshing during midterm season. Healthy snacks are great, but sticking to the same ones can get boring. Here are a couple of nutrient-dense foods to feed your brain and body as you power through midterms.
Part of the amaranth family, this seed is rich in dietary fiber and B-vitamins, and it contains a whopping 8 grams of plant-based protein per cup. Quinoa can get a bad reputation for being on the bland side, but when cooked right, it can serve as a blank canvas for salads or a delicious mix-in for a burrito bowl or oatmeal. With a cook time of 15 minutes, quinoa checks all of the boxes for healthiness, deliciousness and convenience. So boost your studying with this plant-based powerhouse!
If you’re like me, you’re running out of the house with barely enough time to make it to class. Grabbing this potassium-rich snack can be helpful in a time crunch. While eating a banana on its own is a delicious snack, it can serve as a vehicle for some nut butter to keep your stomach happy and your mind focused. If you happen to have a little bit of a slower morning, you can peel and cut up bananas and place them in the freezer for a couple of hours (or overnight) to use as a creamy base for smoothies. Frozen bananas can also be blended with a bit of almond milk to make quick, plant-based ice cream. My all-time favorite campus-friendly snack is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with sliced bananas layered in between.
A full day of studying at Doe Library is a daunting fear itself, but preparing yogurt beforehand can make your day go by a lot smoother. There are endless yogurt flavors and varieties, including both dairy and nondairy options, that can ease your hunger pangs but also provide a good source of protein and probiotics. Toss in your favorite mix-ins, such as granola, fresh berries and nut butter, and you’ve got yourself a new go-to snack.
Pro tip: Find an unsweetened version of your favorite yogurt brand; that way, you can tailor the amount of sweetness, and you won’t get that sugar crash an hour after eating it.
Although a bit out of the ordinary, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are one of my favorite things to eat when studying. They’re a great source of protein and are easy to prepare. Chickpeas can be rinsed and eaten as a salad topping, mashed together with celery and red onion for a vegan tuna salad or even blended with tahini and lemon for a simple homemade hummus. If you need a mess-free snack to munch on while studying on the glade, tossing chickpeas with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasting them in the oven for a few minutes will give you the crunchiest and yummiest snack ever.
Dark chocolate holds a special place in my heart. A little square gives me the perfect boost of energy to push through my late-night studying at the library. However, choosing chocolate that’s on the darker side can actually hold a lot of benefits. A few pluses to dark chocolate include antioxidants, and they help prevent dips in energy levels, as chocolates with 70% more cocoa are usually not as packed with artificial sweeteners. Having a square or two of your favorite dark chocolate can also decrease your stress levels, especially during the craziness of midterms. Check out this article on why adding dark chocolate into your midterm study regimen can be of benefit!
Whether you’re writing a six-page paper or learning the steps of glycolysis for your upcoming midterm, you need to fuel your body and brain. Try out these snacks the next time you’re crafting your grocery list or thinking about what to pack for lunch.