Eat Yourself Clever: 3 ways to Improve Brain Function
With exam season constantly around the corner, it can feel like a drag to motivate yourself. You hand one assignment in then just a week later, you’re sitting an exam. Whilst some people seem to be supernatural beings, unfazed by constant deadlines, there are those of us out there who need a little help.
As students, we can be guilty of eating the same old junk food. However, if you want to power your mind to focus sharply and ace a test, you’ll have to give your diet a bit of an overhaul. Say goodbye to the Nutella slathered on white bread and fill your basket with green veggies and protein.
Here is the best way to eat yourself clever*:
*You may not achieve higher marks by consuming a few veggies, but you will feel better for it.
Before we get started on food, water is probably the most important part of your diet, yet most of us don’t drink enough. You should be drinking roughly eight cups a day in order to keep yourself hydrated. Symptoms that you’re not getting enough water include dizziness and dehydration and without referring yourself to a doctor, it is already easy to wonder how your brain will work when it is spinning or trying to fight off a headache. If you find it difficult to drink water, you could always infuse it with chopped fruits so that it takes on a sweeter flavour.
You may remember it as the element that used to do cool explosive things in chemistry lessons at school but it is available in more healthy and accessible forms too. Potassium is an electrolyte, which you will have seen as an ingredient in sports drinks, and is responsible for your memory function – useful when you want to keep things in your head before a big test. For a nutritious way of getting your potassium and also a few vegetables, you could try making a soup. The best soup for this would ideally be something potato based, as potatoes make an excellent source of potassium. These are especially good when you return from the Christmas break and the weather is still a bit cold – they’re a great way to warm up!
3. Omega 3
Omega 3s are found in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel and they’re known as a super brain supplement. A 300g serving of salmon (about one standard fillet serving) will provide you with all the essential fatty acids and omega 3s that you need for a hardcore study session. Omega 3s are also found in green vegetables such as broccoli and nuts and seeds. If you’re serious about your omega 3 intake, you may experience improved memory function and fewer episodes of brain fog.
Whilst omega 3s’ effect on cardiovascular function has mainly been debunked, the jury is still out on its effect on brain function. We understand that it is the chemical DHA which is found in oily fishes containing omega 3s which is so important to our memory and sensory health.
Whilst all of these foods have great health benefits, it’s important to fuel your body like a machine when you’re studying. Eat well, eat often and eat a balanced diet. If you fancy some chocolate, don’t restrict yourself; you might just find that it’s the only thing that will get you through your cramming session.
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