Eating healthier foods will not only increase your brain performance but will be better for your long-term health. The brain requires nutrients just like your muscles, heart and joints do. By just swapping a few junk foods a day for healthy, more natural options. You’ll see a dramatic difference in study performance and exam success.
Green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach contain a great source of folic acid and vitamins. Broccoli is full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function and improve brainpower.
Kale contains sulforaphane, a molecule that has detoxifying abilities and helps the growth of new brain cells. Cut kale from stems/ribs, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt, and bake for a healthy alternative to chips.
The main sources of oily fish include salmon, sardines and mackerel. They are full of omega-3 fats, which is essential to keep the brain working well. Eating more oily fish also decreases the risk of memory loss. A great snack is sardines on toast. This is simple to make and is a long-lasting meal of complex carbohydrates, vitamins and protein.
Research shows that tomatoes are full of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene helps protect from damage to cells, which occurs in the development of dementia. Add tomatoes to your sandwich or to salad, for a quick and easy fix.
Avocados contain a healthy fat that promotes blood flow, keeping your mind fully functioning. They have also been shown to reduce blood pressure. They’ll be perfect with fajitas or as part of a salad.
Eggs are so versatile. You can have them scrambled, fried, boiled, poached. So it’s easy to incorporate them into your diet. They are another rich source of omega-3, vitamins and zinc. Start your day with eggs for breakfast. This will fill you up and get you off to a good start for a day of revision.
Nuts And Seeds
Packed with essential fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals. Nuts and seeds boost your mood and keep your nervous system happy. Vitamin E is packed into nuts, which helps to prevent cognitive decline. Make a selection of mixed seeds and nuts to snack on whilst you’re revising.
Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berries all help improve your brains function. Berry fruits contain high amounts of antioxidants to help protect cells from being damaged. They change the way that neurons in the brain communicate. Which ultimately stops inflammation. Again these are great for snacking on or mixed with yogurt.
Opt for ‘brown’ cereals, bread, pasta and rice. These supply a steady release of energy. So will keep you fuller for longer. They release glucose slowly into the blood stream. Just switch to whole grain bread for your sandwiches and toast to enjoy the benefits.
Obviously this is one to be eaten in moderation. But treating yourself to a bit of chocolate after a hard day of revision is no bad thing. Dark chocolate is rich in anti-oxidants, improving focus and concentration. Milk chocolate is also good for you. It improves your memory and reaction time.
Are there any other brain foods you would recommend for studying?
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Imogen Farmer is a student, studying at Falmouth University. She writes for GKBC Writer Academy.