WHEN YOU are studying or when acquiring new information, your brain has to work harder. As it works hard, it needs the right nutrients in order to function properly. When you are cramming, however, you tend to forget eating as it might take a portion of your time. Hey, even if you spend the whole day studying your lessons, your brain wouldn’t be able to store the information if you don’t eat the right food. So, try marauding your kitchen if you have any of these food stuff that will help boost your mental activity.
- Fish – Sardines and other cold-water fish are a rich source of Omega-3. Studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids enhance learning ability and boost memory power by enhancing communication between brain cells.
- Milk – Calcium- and magnesium-rich food help in proper functioning of the nerves. You know very well that it is through the nerves that information travel from our sensory receptors to the brain. Studies show that minerals like calcium and magnesium help improve the transmission of signals to your brain.
- Eggs – Don’t believe your older brother that when he tells you that you would get a zero when you eat eggs for breakfast. Eggs are rich in precursors for some neurotransmitters.
- Nuts – No, you won’t go nuts if you eat nuts. When I was a kid my mother would always tell me to eat peanuts. Well, she was right, nuts are rich in Vitamins E and B6, folate, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants, that boost your brain power and improve your mood.
- Fruits – We get Vitamin C from fruits but it is not to be replaced with Vitamin C supplements because we also get fiber and other co-enzymes from fruits that we don’t get from the commercial supplement. I would suggest that you eat oranges and bananas.
- Water – It is important to keep your body hydrated in whatever activity you do. When you feel very tired from studying, you might just be dehydrated. Drink a glass of water (note to self: not coffee) or two, and you will feel revitalized.
- Sugar – The glucose from the carbohydrates you take in provides your brain with the necessary energy to keep it going. However, you have to avoid white bread, pasta, and pastries because they could make you feel sleepy.
- Iron-rich foods. Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen to the brain through the blood stream. There should be enough iron in your body so that your brain has enough supply of oxygen. You can get iron from pork ,chicken, or beef liver (yum!), oyster (talaba) and mussels (tahong), beans, etc.
- Tea – Freshly-brewed tea can improve your concentration and help you counter mental fatigue. Green tea is highly recommended because it is found to be rich in antioxidants. Coffee might be good also, but it has to be taken in only small amounts. (I really had to insert coffee here to justify my habit. Lol)
- Chocolate – When I am your coach during contests, expect to receive a bar of chocolate from me. Your craving for chocolate happens to be beneficial to your brain and can help enhance your mood. It has natural stimulants that facilitate the production of endorphins that improve focus and concentration. Dark chocolate has flavanols that help ensure proper blood supply to your brain. How much more beneficial would it be if the chocolate you eat has milk and nuts in it?
But you have to remember that you still have to eat a balanced diet. It doesn’t mean that since you know the food listed above are found to be beneficial for you brain, you would feast only on them and forget your regular meals. Take everything in moderation. Good luck!
*Photo is from here