Brain Storm: Cooking for Cognitive Development

Unfortunately, college students don’t always eat with nutrition in mind. Both your mental and physical states are highly influenced by your diet, making it key that university chefs offer nutritious choices as often as possible. Certain fruits and vegetables promote quick thinking, improve short-term memory and provide a plethora of physical benefits with their rich nutritional profiles. Cook with these fruits and veggies for an A+ meal.

Apples

Don’t keep the doctor away, help him get his P.H.D! Apples are rich in the antioxidant quercetin, which protects your brain cells from being damaged by pesky free-radicals. Aside from encouraging brain health, quercitin is believed to positively affect blood flow, leading to improved endurance. To get the most out the compound, be sure to leave the skin on!

Broccoli

Vitamin K is the name of the game when it comes to broccoli. This classic veggie contains over 100% of your daily dose per serving. The vitamin helps form sphingolipids, fats that are nearly omnipresent in brain cells. The nutritional profile increases further if you cook with the stems, so be sure to include them!

AvocadoS

As if avocados needed another reason to be popular. Health buffs know that avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats (I.E. The “good” fats) and omega-3 acids, which help increase blood flow to the brain. On top of that, they allow other antioxidants to thrive, so avocados work in conjecture with all of the items on this list!

Pumpkin Seeds

America’s favorite fall squash (and the go-to latte flavor of students everywhere) combines nutrition and versatility into one delicious, economical package. Serve beyond the rind with baked pumpkin seeds. They’re phenomenally healthy, being great sources of zinc, magnesium, and copper. All of these minerals work together to improve the signals between nerves, promoting improved learning and memory.

Kale

This leafy green is jam-packed with vitamins, and also serves as a rich-source of potassium and iron. The durable vegetable tends to be more popular with the collegiate crowd too, so keep it in your kitchen whenever you can.

Blueberries

Small but mighty, blueberries have an exceptionally powerful nutritional profile. Students will be happy to know that they include flavonoids that allow smoother communication between neurons. This improves numerous aspects of cognitive function, resulting in improved memory, stronger verbal comprehension and quicker reasoning.