Bright minds need the right nourishment to learn effectively, maintain concentration, enhance memory and power through marathon study sessions. And starting the day with a healthy, nutritious breakfast can help keep your energy levels up for everything else you do through the day - working, taking care of your family, volunteering, spending time with friends...
We've pulled together a few quick, healthy and tasty recipes which work well as brain-fuelling breakfasts or study snacks. Perfect for students or anyone who wants to nourish the grey matter while balancing a budget and a busy schedule.
Why these bars are brilliant for students
Coconut's medium chain triglycerides have been shown to improve brain function. Plus the fat in coconut is vital to help your body absorb all the nutrients in the chia, cinnamon and berries, as well as keep you full through your lecture or study session - so you can concentrate on learning and keep your mind from wondering about the contents of the nearest vending machine
Sunflower seeds are an affordable and convenient source of vitamin E, copper, B vitamins such as thiamine, phosphorus, selenium and antioxidants, making them perfect for students. These nutrients can aid your learning by preventing free radical oxidant damage, increasing brain function and improving memory and mood.
Many types of nuts are rich in both antioxidants and Omega-3s and can help improve mental focus, so these high-quality protein powerhouses are a super addition to any a study snack.
Cinnamon is a flavoursome anti-inflammatory high in antioxidants and can assist your cognitive function and brain health by activating neuro-protective proteins that protect brain cells.
Honey – one of the oldest sweeteners on earth – is a healthier alternative to table sugar, containing vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc and iron. But it is still a sugar, so use it in moderation to keep your brain brilliant. Each of these bars contain less than two teaspoons, and combining it with fibre (from coconut, seeds and nuts) slows the release into the bloodstream for a more sustained energy boost.
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup roughly chopped almonds
- ½ cup roughly chopped pistachio kernels, macadamias or other nuts
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp ground cinamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C, and line a 21 cm × 17 cm baking tin with baking paper (leave some excess paper overhanging to make it easier to remove your bars).
- Heat the honey in a small saucepan until just warmed through.
- Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the warmed honey over the nut mixture and stir until all the ingredients are well coated with the honey.
- Tip the mixture into the lined baking tin, spreading it evenly, then press to form a compact layer (an extra layer of baking paper will stop your hands - or other items you use to compact your mixture - from getting sticky).
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, then immediately press the surface firmly to flatten again, using the extra baking paper layer (we've added some goji berries at this point - you could add other dired fruit for extra flavour too).
- Leave to cool completely in the baking tin, then use the overhanging baking paper to remove the 'slab' from the tin and cut into 16 bars. Enjoy!