You have an exam or important piece of work coming up. If you aren’t exactly feeling like Einstein, what can you do to get your brain working?
Many of you turn to snacking to try and combat the stress of deadlines. Actually, this can be a good thing, providing you snack on the right types of brain food. This is because there are certain food groups that contain essential nutrients and vitamins that are good for brain function. So what is good brain food?
Low-GI wholegrains, such as granary bread, wholegrain cereals and rice, slowly release glucose into the bloodstream and help to keep you mentally alert. This is handy if you are planning a late night.
The benefits of eating oily fish are now well known. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish have been shown to maintain healthy brain function and can help with memory and stress. Good types of fish to eat include trout, salmon, mackerel, sardines, kippers and pilchards.
Recent studies in the US suggest that eating blueberries as part of your diet may improve your short-term memory.
Next time you are working on a difficult essay question, try snacking on some pumpkin seeds. These seeds are packed full of zinc, a valuable mineral that encourages memory and cognitive skills (Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention)
OK, so it’s not everyone’s favourite veg, but broccoli contains high levels of vitamin K, which has been shown to boost cognitive function and improve brainpower.
You may not realise it, but sage has a long-standing reputation for improving concentration and memory due to the essential oils contained in it. Therefore, it may be worth tucking into a meal with a sprinkling of sage prior to important exams.
“A brain food?” we hear you ask. Let’s face it, sometimes only a chocolate bar, or 2, will help. In fact, research has reported that dark chocolate can improve blood flow to the brain, so don’t feel guilty;go for it.