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The art of mastering snack time

Studying all day at home or in the library is an incredibly hunger inducing task, so we often reach for a snack to tide us over until the next meal time. However, the usual snacks that the majority of us impulsively choose, are often unhealthy and packed with unnecessary fats, sugars and salts.

Thinking a little more carefully about what snacks you may be consuming, and planning and preparing some healthier alternatives, allows you to ensure greater mental productivity. Snacks that are high in protein, fibre and healthy fats provide the perfect brain food and body fuel.

Pumpkin seeds provide a good healthy snack as they are high in Zinc, which enhances mental agility and memory retention. You could try making your own trail mix with these, and other seeds, nuts and dried fruits. Dried fruits provide you with a natural sugar boost, but are considerably better for you than a packet of custard creams! You could also include a couple of pieces of dark chocolate, because this, in moderation, does have impressive health benefits. Due to it being packed with antioxidants and natural stimulants, dark chocolate improves concentration and mood.Apple with peanut butter is a great snack that provides your body with healthy fats and protein, whilst being a tasty sweet and savoury combination.

On a similar vein, I would recommend a Granny Smith apple dunked in hummus, which is perhaps the most perfect pairing. Another healthy and delicious snack are blueberries. Studies carried out by Tufts University in 2015, suggest that blueberries improve short term memory, ideal for cramming exam facts. Admittedly, these berries are on the pricey side, but perhaps their healthy goodness is worth it!

One of my regular mid-mornings snacks is a mixture of natural yoghurt, oats, pumpkin seeds and a blob of honey.

I find that this is ideal if I’ve eaten my breakfast early and am watching the clock waiting for it to reach the suitable time for lunch, (apparently quarter past eleven is not socially acceptable to reach for a sandwich). Oats are high in carbohydrates and fibre, providing slow-release energy and aiding gut health. Also, I personally find oats really filling and this snack will keep me going well past lunchtime! Almonds are another favourite of mine, primarily because they are really convenient to take with you on a trip to the library. These are packed with healthy fats and proteins and interestingly, a good source of magnesium, important for those of us who suffer from period pains as the mineral is recommended to relieve this discomfort. On a further note, almonds are quite discreet to nibble quietly away on in the library, if like me, you would rather not have an Edifess written about you crunching a carrot.

So next time you need to stem any stomach rumblings, rather than reaching for a packet of Quavers or a Mars Bar, grab something a little healthier, believe me, your body (and brain) will thank you for it.

Image credit: The Creative Exchange via Unsplash