Eat smart, ace exams and stay nutty!

As the academic year comes to an end and the summer break approaches, students still have to tackle one last hurdle before going on a well-deserved break: finals week.

Whether students are worried about clearing their schedule or pulling all-nighters to stay on top of their study game, there’s something that can give you a hand during this stressful period.

Taking care of your diet and fueling your body with nutritional foods can help you boost your academic performance. I know vending machines are tempting, but trust me, they won’t sustain you for long.

There are a range of options that can help boost your brain function and memory if you’re trying to memorize those specific details for an exam. These are what we call brain foods!

Check out these brain-friendly options that can supercharge your brain activity and help you ace your finals:


A gif of a woman eating shrimp and making a pleasure face.

Whenever you hear the words “brain” and “foods,” fish must be the first thing that pops into your mind.

Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which your brain loves and uses for various reasons. Omega-3s help with increasing learning, memory, cognitive well-being and intensify the blood flow to the brain. In fact, a study from 2017 found a connection between omega-3 levels and better cognitive abilities.

So, if you want to boost your memory and remember all the information for your exams, be sure to include fatty fish in your diet, including:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Herring
  • Tuna

Dark chocolate

A gif of a SpongeBob character screaming the word chocolate.


Dark chocolate isn’t only a yummy treat that goes well alongside a cup of coffee, it can also do wonders for your brain.

This type of chocolate is at least 70 per cent cocoa and is packed with flavonoids, an antioxidant that is important for your brain health. A study has shown that these flavonoids may help improve your memory and how fast you react during mental tasks – some research even suggests that eating dark chocolate could help prevent mental decline.

Now, not only do you have a delicious excuse to snack a dark chocolate, but you can also use it to give your brain a boost for those final exams.


A gif of a cat at a cafe with a cup of coffee.

Now let’s talk about everyone’s favourite study buddy, coffee!

During exam season, many students turn to coffee to help them stay awake and focused, especially after a sleepless night.

However, coffee does more than just keep you awake. A study from 2018 suggests that caffeine could boost the capacity of the brain to process information.

Just a note. While coffee can be a lifesaver during crunch time, too much caffeine can mess with your sleep, and doctors don’t recommend it for everybody. So, enjoy your coffee, but don’t go overboard.

Nuts and seeds

A gif of a chipmunk eating a peanut.

Snack time just got nutty – like, literally!

When it comes to study sessions or exams, nuts are the go-to choice for students. They’re easy to carry around and you can munch on them anytime.

Nuts are also loaded with vitamin E. Having high levels of vitamin E can help improve your cognitive performance and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you’re looking for a brain-boosting snack, reach for some nuts and seeds! Here are the top picks with the most vitamin E:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanuts


A gif of a Family Guy episode where Stewie refuses broccoli from Lois.

If broccoli had a resume, it would list being condemned in every kid’s TV show under its special skills. But this vegetable can be your secret weapon for acing exams!

Packed with vitamin K, broccoli helps boost your memory and the cognitive status of your brain. Plus, it’s great at reducing oxidative stress – fancy talk for keeping your brain healthy.

So, don’t let those old TV stereotypes fool you. Give broccoli a chance and watch your grades soar!

A gif of Patrick Star eating a lot of food.

With finals week around the corner, it’s time to give your brain a boost with brain foods to help you crush those exams and finish the year strong with an amazing GPA.

If you’re on campus and forgot to bring food from home, you should grab an IGNITE soup. The IGNITE Soupbar is available for Humber College and University of Guelph-Humber students, and the best part – it’s free! It’s the perfect grab-and-go option to fuel you up before your next class.

Do you have a favourite IGNITE soup? Share with us on Instagram @shareignite!

Feature image courtesy of IGNITE.

Have you thought of adding ingredients to the IGNITE soups? This is what Rashmi adds to make the IGNITE soups taste like home!

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