It’s difficult enough to manage student life without being asked to think about cooking healthy food too, which is why we’ve put together a simple student guide to brain foods that taste great, are easy to cook and work with a student budget. Each recipe serves one person.

Breakfast of champions - porridge

Porridge is full of carbohydrates which give your body glucose. Glucose is an essential component of the body’s energy supply and because it isn’t stored, we need it to be supplied constantly. Because whole grain cereals offer glucose on a slow release basis, energy is available to you for longer than with other forms of breakfast. An American study showed that children who had oats for breakfast had better short-term memory than those who ate refined cereals.

Porridge recipe

It couldn’t be simpler! Put 50 grams porridge oats and 350 ml milk in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for four minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Alternatively, put the oats and milk in a large microwaveable bowl and heat for three minutes, stir well, heat for another two minutes and leave for two minutes. And there’s no reason to get bored with porridge because you can add:

•   Honey or brown sugar (but don’t go mad, you don’t want too many calories)

•   A sliced banana and a pinch of cinnamon

•   Strawberries and a spoonful of cream

•   Toasted flaked almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup

•   Raisins and a splash of rum essence

•   Sliced peaches or nectarines and fresh raspberries

•   A handful of chopped dates and a sprinkle of ground ginger.


In fact the sky’s the limit when it comes to delicious, brain-boosting breakfasts based on porridge!


Exam day lunch

When you’re studying or about to take an exam you want food that is simple to prepare, tasty and easy to digest. Our suggestion is to combine the healthy fat of an avocado with the student stand-by, toast. But our recipe takes things a couple of steps further to give you an all round brain boost that can be prepared in a couple of minutes.

Lunch recipe

1 egg

1 ripe avocado

Two slices of wholemeal bread

1 sliced beetroot

Butter or vegetable spread

Low sodium salt

An egg is full of protein to give you the power to get through a long revision day or a tough exam. Avocado offers healthy fats and is full of folate which staves off depression, wholemeal bread provides carbs to convert to glucose and beetroot is jam packed with nitrates which increase blood flow to the brain, enhancing mental activity.

Hard boil the egg and put it in a bowl of cold water which helps get the shell off easily. Put the toast on to grill while you slice the avocado and the beetroot then peel the egg and slice it. Butter the toast and pile the rest of the ingredients on top, finishing with a sprinkle of salt. Eat, enjoy, succeed.

‘Maximise your mental activity’ mac and cheese

Just a couple of changes to your standard comfort food can deliver a brain boost. This recipe adds tuna and tinned tomatoes to give a store cupboard based supper that’s great for your health. Tuna is high omega-3 fatty acids that improve the health of brain cells and also contains niacin which is known to reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease.


60 grams macaroni

12 grams butter or vegetable spread

15 grams flour

150 ml milk

60 grams grated cheddar

Small can tuna in spring water

Half a can of chopped tomatoes

Half a handful of tortilla chips or crisps

Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes, tip into a colander. Melt the butter or spread in a saucepan and add the flour, stirring as it cooks for a few minutes. Start whisking in the milk a little at a time and continue to cook for ten minutes until smooth. Add the most of the cheese and take off the heat, stir until melted.  Put the tuna in the bottom of an ovenproof dish and pour the tomatoes over, then combine the macaroni and cheese sauce and pour over the top of the fish, sprinkle with remaining cheese and put under a hot girl until cheese is brown - top with chips or crisps and serve.