Food for thought

paula mee

Nutritionist Paula Mee has some top tips on how your diet can improve your brain power.

Brain Food

Nutritionist Paula Mee has advice and tips


Eating regular meals can really help you to concentrate and study well. By keeping your energy levels stable, you can cut down your visits to the vending machine and the temptation to snack on sugary foods throughout the day.

Iron and B vitamins are especially important for the physical and mental energy you need to study well. Iron-containing foods include lean red meat, eggs and green vegetables. Foods that contain B vitamins include fortified breakfast cereals, whole-grains and nuts.

Dietary supplements can boost your intakes of nutrients but they wont make up for poor meal choices. An orange contains not only Vitamin C, but fibre, phyto-chemicals, beta carotene and certain minerals — so it can’t be replaced by your favourite chewable vitamin C supplement. When you’re heading for the book, take apples, Clementines, carrot sticks and hummus or dried apricots. Smart snacking can enhance studying.

Breakfast like a King! The idea is to get some protein and calcium from milk/yoghurt, a slow release carbohydrate cereal topped with a banana for fibre and vitamins. When you have a bit more time enjoy some scrambled or poached eggs, or beans on wholemeal toast.

Stay well hydrated. Since too much caffeine can make you jittery, try to drink a minimum amount of coffee and other caffeine containing drinks. Include more water, and some fruit juice, milk, and anti-oxidant-rich green tea or herbal teas which can help you relax and sleep well later in the evenings.

About Paula Mee Paula Mee is a regular contributor to RTÉ's The Afternoon Show as well as appearing on such shows as The Health Squad and Operation Transformation. Paula previously worked with Superquinn as Nutrition Manager and with the National Dairy Council and is a past president of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute. She runs a private practice at the Dublin Nutrition Centre. See


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