• Birmingham

    Famous for its exuberant nightlife, vast shopping centres, cultural hotspots and historic landmarks. Birmingham is England's second-largest city, which suggests it's got everything that a student needs to have a good time!

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  • Bournemouth

    With 7 miles of beach, a pier and buzzing nightlife - what's not to love about this picturesque seaside town? Bournemouth also has a warmer than average UK climate - so you can really get your tan on during the summer months!

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  • Bristol

    The city is brimming with vibrant cultural hotspots, a buzzing social scene and an overall chilled atmosphere. Renowned for its music and art scenes, and its many festivals, you can expect to have a jam-packed diary all year around.

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  • Cambridge

    This small historic town has plenty to offer including punting down the beautiful river Cam and visiting the many museums of Cambridge. But if the party scene is more your thing, there are also plenty of bars and clubs to cater towards your tastes.

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  • Cardiff

    It's easy to see why Cardiff is the capital of Wales with it's beautiful historic castle and revitalized waterfront. There's always something for students to enjoy, including visiting the quirky comic shops, art centre and weekly farmers markets.

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  • Edinburgh

    Edinburgh, the Scottish capital is home to the much-loved and enjoyed Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It also has many student hotspots including Princes street where you can find all the trendy student shops and classy bars.

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  • Exeter

    Exeter is a city of history, architecture, and culture, with an abundance of shopping opportunities and foodie hotspots thrown in for good measure. What's not to love about this student city?

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  • Lancaster

    Lancaster knows how to spoil you with numerous shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. The city also has many historical hotspots and posesses one of the longest canals in the UK, stretching 43 miles all the way through to Preston.

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  • Lincoln

    Lincoln offers an experience rich in history combined with independent boutique shopping. The city is packed with restaurants and student bars and is surrounded in beautiful countryside. It's obvious why students love Lincoln.

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  • Liverpool

    Liverpool has an abundance of things to offer students such as shopping, unique restaurants and entertainment - including live music. Liverpool also has a nightlife scene with many bars and clubs dotted over the city - you really are spoilt for choice!

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  • London

    It's easy to understand why students love London. The city is made accessible by the underground and has everything a student could possibly want from the Uk's best shopping, restaurants, parks and museums to some of the most unique bars and clubs.

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  • Newcastle

    Newcastle has lots to offer including its historic castle and bridges, restaurants, bars, clubs and extensive shopping - including 600 shops in the city. It's simple to understand why students love this city!

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  • Nottingham

    Nottingham is known for its role in the great Robin Hood legend and sandstone caves underneath the streets of the city. Nottingham also has a beautiful castle to explore along with many shops, restaurants, bars and clubs.

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  • Plymouth

    What's not to love about Plymouth? The beautiful port city in Devon boasts an idyllic harbour, plenty of shopping areas, restaurants, bars and Barbican areas.

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  • Portsmouth

    If you love the sea - Portsmouth is a great choice! From eating and drinking out to shopping and exploring the historical dockyard - there's always something to keep students entertained in Portsmouth.

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  • Southampton

    Southampton is a bustling student city offering museums, music venues, art galleries, award winning parks and incredible shopping facilities. There are also plenty of student bars, clubs and a selection of eateries for you and your flatmates to try!

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The Best Brain Foods For Students

Fuelling your body properly is one of the keys to flourishing at university – both academically and otherwise. The more nutritious your diet is, the better your brain will perform and the happier you will feel in general.

Different foods affect the brain in different ways, so it is no exaggeration to say that your diet has a huge and direct impact on your mood. In other words, eat well to feel well.

There’s absolutely no harm in a McDonald’s pig-out or a Domino’s party every so often – they’re delicious, let’s face it – but don’t let them become daily rituals. The same goes for the food you cook at home: go easy on the oven chips, the chicken dippers, the Chicago Town pizzas, and all the rest of that sort of stuff. You need nutrients from fresh, unprocessed foods! Save the junk-feasting for weekends or, better still, special occasions.

With that in mind, here are some foods to fill your basket when you go food-shopping.

1. Avocados

Avocados contain vitamins (specifically B, C, E, and K) and high amounts of monounsaturated fat (i.e. the kind of fat that is actually good for you – not the kind that clogs your arteries). Vitamin K boosts your cognitive function levels, and the monounsaturated fat lowers your ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDLs) while raising your ‘good’ cholesterol (HDLs). Avocado also lowers your blood pressure, which leads to easier blood-flow around your body and to your brain.

avocado

And, as you’ll no doubt have seen on Instagram and in foodie cafes, you can do a lot with an avocado:

  • Have it sliced alongside poached or scrambled eggs on toast
  • Mash it up with thinly diced chili and lime-juice to create a nice bowl of guacamole
  • Chop it into chunks and throw these into a leafy salad

You get the gist.

2. Leafy Green Vegetables

On their own, leafy greens are unexciting – we can’t and won’t deny that. But they are highly nourishing: full of antioxidants, high in fibre, low in fat and calories, rich in vitamin C and folic acid, and more. (They’re also very cheap, which is great for your pocket as well as your head!)

spinach

Broccoli, spinach, and kale are three leafy greens that you can easily get creative with. Here are some examples of how to use them in a non-boring way:

  • Throw extra broccoli into a stir-fry
  • Use spinach in an omelette or a salad
  • Add fried kale to a pesto-heavy pasta dish

3. Oily/Fatty Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids are renowned for their health benefits, and fish are full of these. EPA and DHA are types of omega-3 that are found in oily fish and in the human brain, so by eating oily fish, you are topping up your body’s supply of EPA and DHA.

Why is this important? Because studies have shown that consuming high levels of EPA and DHA can help to encourage the release of serotonin – the chemical that makes you feel good.

salmon

Smoked mackerel and tinned sardines are probably the most budget-friendly types of fatty fish you can get, and they are the most rich in omega-3! But there are plenty of other options if you want to treat yourself to something a bit more luxurious:

  • Wild salmon
  • Albacore tuna
  • Halibut
  • Freshwater trout

(If you’re vegetarian or vegan, fret not – we’ve got you covered omega-3-wise in the next section.)

4. Nuts

Most types of nuts contain omega-3 acids, but some are packed with them (such as cashews and walnuts). On top of that, all types contain vitamin E, which helps to keep your cognitive function working well, and they contain those healthy fats that keep your blood pressure and your LDL cholesterol level low.

pistachios

One thing to bear in mind is that nuts are high in calories – some more than others – and they’re certainly moreish, but a couple of handfuls a day is a perfectly reasonable amount to have.

They make a good alternative to crisps, chocolate, and biscuits (much better for your body and your mind!), and you can even incorporate them into your meals – cashews in stir-frys, for example. And when you do fancy a sweet treat, try making a pecan pie – you’ll need to use quite a lot of sugar, but at least you’ll be balancing it out… kinda.

5. Blueberries & Blackcurrants

Antioxidants help to defend your body and your immune system against ‘oxidative damage’, which contributes to things like premature ageing and the degeneration of cells. Scientific research suggests that following a high-antioxidant diet can massively improve the performance and resilience of your body, which, of course, includes your brain.

blueberries

Anyway, blueberries and blackcurrants are superb sources of antioxidants (and vitamin C), so you should eat lots of them. We suggest mixing them in with Greek yogurt – which probably seems like a healthy-eating cliche, but is a mighty tasty one.

More Student Advice & Tips

We like to look out for you here at The Student Housing Company, so we’re always writing articles that will help you get the most out of uni life. Take a look at our blog for more advice-pieces.

(Photos courtesy of Unsplash.)

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