Sustaining a healthy diet during exam periods is critical in order to ensure students have optimal brain functioning. This includes eating well-balanced, regulated meals, however there are also a range of specific foods that are particularly good to help students with their study due to the nutritional composition and characteristics they possess.
Fruit and Vegetables
For students in need of a snack with a natural sugar boost to increase their motivation and extend their time spent study, fruits and vegetables are the best source to go to. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants are particularly good for this, such as blueberries and grapes. Antioxidants improve the communication between brain cells as it increases the brain’s capacity to form new connections, in turn improving memory and learning.
Salmon and other oily fish are great sources of omega-3 and protein, which is important to allow for optimal brain functioning. This is because consuming omega-3 results in increased blood flow around the brain, in turn leading to improved thinking ability and cognitive skills.
Eating eggs for breakfast is a great way for students to get an energy boost when starting their day. Eggs contain several important vitamins and nutrients and are particularly high in protein. As well as this, they contain less than 100 calories, hence they are a healthy option for students, providing them with the extra energy they need to study.
Avocados are a source of monosaturated fats. The consumption of these fats has been linked to the reduction of high blood pressure, a condition commonly associated with cognitive decline. Hence, eating avocados is a great way to lower a student’s risk of declining cognitive health in the future as they further their studies.
Dark chocolate is a great snack for students to treat themselves with and has the added health benefit of being high in antioxidants. This is highly beneficial to students as the brain is susceptible to oxidative stress which leads to cognitive decline and these antioxidants help to prevent this, which is crucial for improving a student’s ability to learn.
Yoghurt is a great brain food that is packed with probiotics, the bacteria that help to maintain a healthy and happy gut! These probiotics also health with managing stress, anxiety and depression, as well as boosting the brain’s capacity to learn. In addition to this, yoghurt is a great medium to add other brain-foods in, such as fruit and nuts.
Olive oil is one of the main ingredients included in the Mediterranean diet, a diet associated with a range of health benefits for overall well-being, such as lowering the risk of dementia onset. Research has also shown that olive oil is specifically associated with protecting the brain against cognitive decline, therefore it is a great option for students to use when cooking meals or adding to salads.
Coffee has a range of benefits for studying students when consumed in moderation. Coffee can increase alertness and concentration, as the caffeine within coffee blocks the chemical adenosine, which is responsible for making people sleepy. Coffee can also improve a student’s mood when studying as it is linked with the release of “feel-good” chemicals in the body such as serotonin.
Green tea is another great beverage to help students with their studies, as it is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols; chemical compounds which protect the brain from decline whilst improving focus, alertness and memory. Green tea is also a great for reducing anxiety, which can help students relax and overcome the stress of exams.
Nuts are also great for students to snack on, especially due to their anti-inflammatory effects which can reduce mental decline. Nuts are also full of health fats, fibre, proteins and nutrients which are not only great for overall health, but also boosting cognitive functioning.
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