Finals are just around the corner and the homework is getting more intense! These final tests and assignments can definitely leave you stressed, and once the homework kicks in, you might find yourself spending many late nights at the library. Unfortunately, the midnight munchies probably come with those late night study sessions.
The easiest fix is to hit up the vending machines and grab the most convenient snack you can find. You may be tempted to choose a Snicker’s bar, some potato chips, or other high calorie, low nutrition snacks. Ultimately, these foods will only leave you feeling tired and may even lead to the dreaded freshman 15.
The good news is that there are many healthier alternatives that will give your brain the boost it needs! The ideal snack combines protein and carbohydrates and is low in fat. Carbs will provide you with the quick energy and brain food you need to hit the books again, while the protein and fat will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Too busy to prepare a complicated, healthy snack, don’t worry. Try these simple, make-ahead, grab-and-go nutritious snacks.
1. Hard-boiled egg and low-fat chocolate milk
Eggs are low in calories and high in protein, ideal for filling up without overeating. An added long-term benefit, they are a good source of choline, a mineral shown to improve memory. The low-fat chocolate milk rounds out your snack with protein and a little fat to keep you full, focused and energized.
2. Almonds and dried fruit
No preparation required! It is easy to grab a handful of almonds and a handful of dried fruit, and toss them into a baggy or container to bring along. Almonds are high in protein and provide fat, so they will keep you full, while the dried fruit gives you some quick energy!
3. Hummus and raw carrots or pretzels
Single-serving packs of hummus, a good source of protein, are readily available in many stores. Simply throw one into your backpack along with some baby carrots or pretzels as your carb source for a quick, filling snack!
4. An apple with peanut butter
Peanut butter is also available in to-go packs. Convenient and easy to grab, pair this protein with an apple for a nutritious and satisfying snack.
5. Mozzarella string cheese and grapes
Pick up a pack of mozzarella string cheese the next time you are at the store. This cheese is low in calories and contains protein, so you will feel full quickly. Grapes are also easy to grab as a study snack to give you some quick energy.
These are just a few suggestions, but there are plenty of other brain-boosting snacks that are easy to make! You can be creative and choose foods that appeal to your taste buds. Just remember to look for foods with protein, carbohydrates and a low fat content in order to keep your brain and body in tip-top shape. The next time you are faced with stressful all-nighters you’ll be armed with the right fuel to keep you going!
Photo Credit: Rachel Weidt