Do you know what else, besides hard work, pays off during exams? A healthy diet for your brain while studying. Research has shown that the brain accounts for 2% of your body weight but uses 20% of your body’s energy to function. So, it’s only befitting that students try to consume brain-boosting foods to nurture this organ which is essentially a control centre of the body.
The brain mainly prefers glucose, unless it is operating in starvation mode. So, what you eat is a primary and direct source of energy for it. It’s vital that you think carefully about what you consume, and try to include brain foods for studying better in your diet. Focus on getting as many nutrients as you might need for your cognitive health. You can start by exploring the list of foods that improve memory and concentration.
To concentrate better during the exam season, your brain requires energy. This comes from a steady supply of glucose in the blood to the brain. Make this happen by opting for wholegrains with a low glycemic index – these foods release their nutrients into the bloodstream slowly. It helps you stay alert throughout the day if you eat plenty of wholegrains during the study season.
Tip: Choose brown wholegrain cereals, rice, and pasta. Limiting healthy carbs in your diet can lead to brain fog and irritability.
The brain is composed of fats, proteins, glucose, and amino acids. Of the fats in the brain, the stars are omega-3 and omega-6. Now the body cannot produce these on its own, so they must be obtained from your diet. Oily fish contains the most effective omega-3 fats. These fats help in attaining a healthy brain function. Some of the oily fish include salmon, Indian oil sardine, and hilsa.
Tip: Essential fatty acids are also found in flaxseed, soya beans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and their oils. Consuming omega-3 rich foods regularly will keep your brain healthy for the long haul.
A key function of the brain is memory – storing useful information. Just as the brain helps you remember facts before the big test, you can aid it by consuming foods that improve memory. Blueberries are said to be effective in delaying short-term memory loss. Not just that, any dark red or purple foods such as blackberries, and red cabbage are as effective. You can also include pumpkin seeds – they are rich in zinc, which helps enhance your thinking skills.
Tip: Consume foods such as beef, oysters, chickpeas, cashews, and almonds to get minerals such as magnesium, vitamin B, and tryptophan – to reduce stress and boost your mood.
Cognitive functions are what help us learn and ace exams. Research has shown that broccoli is rich in glucosinolates, which help in breaking down a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. This helps in enhancing the performance of the central nervous system and thereby keeping our brains sharp.
Tip: Including vegetables such as cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts along with cheese, and prunes in your daily diet helps you enhance your brainpower.
Additionally, you can include citrus fruits, turmeric, avocados, eggs, and leafy greens in your diet – along with optimum exercise to keep your mind in top shape.
You can always include brain-boosting beverages such as tea and coffee when you need a quick recharge. Just make sure you don’t go overboard with it. While an overall healthy diet and lifestyle are important, following a balanced approach during exams will certainly help you enhance your mental performance.
Sara started her professional journey in a newsroom and quickly realised that words and stories are her happy place. You may have noticed that she adores her alliteration. She’s also an ailurophile who needs her fix of cute kitty reels to unwind. A warm cup of coffee, chocolates with hazelnut, and a Netflix binge on a cosy chair are all she needs in life. Trees and beaches make her very happy too.