Foods that enhance mental activity

Due to the demands of the fast paced learning in schools, students nowadays especially the older ones who don’t have packed lunches opt for fast or  junk foods to fill their stomachs and to save time. To be awake and alert all the times, most of them already drink coffee or energy drinks as boosters. It is already proven that energy drinks can affect kidney health and it’s not advised to drink it a few times each day. It’s okay to take coffee for caffeine boost once in a while but too much may give you the opposite effect.

Students must be encouraged to observe proper diet and nutrition to sustain their growing cells and enhance their memory and thinking. It’s already given that oxygen is critically needed by the brain cells to be alive and to function well. Aside from oxygen, the following sources of nutrition are proven needed by the brain for development and learning:


The body uses tyrosine to make chemical messengers that are involved in conditions involving the brain such as mental alertness. It is usually found in protein-rich food. It boosts mental performance and alertness.  Some foods rich in protein are fish, beef, chicken, pork, and dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt.


Iron is a mineral that is mostly found in the hemoglobin, iron and oxygen binding protein of red blood cells, and in the myoglobin, iron and oxygen binding protein of muscle cells. Iron is needed for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide in the different parts of the body most especially the brain. Dark green vegetables, eggs, meat, beans, rice, and fish are good sources of iron.


Boron aids in improving thinking skills and muscle coordination. The common sources of boron are grapes, apples, nuts, and dried beans.


Zinc plays a key role in maintaining vision, the sense that is needed to retrieve information, and it is present in high concentrations in the eye. Whole grains, beans, seafood, dairy products, nuts, and turkey meat are high in zinc.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is used for physical and mental stress and thinking problems aside from strengthening the immune system. Vitamin C also enhances absorption of iron, . It is usually found in fresh vegetables and citrus fruits like orange, lemon, kalamansi.


Getting a good source of carbohydrates from whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes provides a high-quality fuel for optimal brain function.

Proper nutrition is one of the best ways to enhance mental activity. Learning and nutrition go hand in hand.
Proper nutrition is one of the best ways to enhance mental activity. Learning and nutrition go hand in hand.

Iron levels must be always normal and saturated fats must be kept low. Always encourage students to eat nutritious snacks and avoid skipping meals or eating too much throughout the day to avoid loss of concentration and alertness. Eating foods that enhance mental activity coming from natural sources is encouraged than taking supplements.


Tenedero, H.S. (2001). Breaking the I.Q. Myth. Pasig City, M. Mla. Center for Learning and Teaching Styles, Phils. Inc.

Khambatta, C. Are Carbs Destroying or Helping Your Brain? Retrieved from

Search for a vitamin or supplement. Retrieved from


SJ Valdez

Dreamer, Doer, Self-proclaimed Adviser... Simply a MOM!