So your exams are approaching and you need all the help you can get? Here’s some food for thought: what you eat can affect how well you study. It’s true; a diet rich in essential fatty acids, fruits and vegetables does wonders for your brain power. Check out our list of foods that can help you boost memory and study more effectively.
1. Fish: Fish is your best source of Omega-3 fatty acids, the primary components of the brain, retina and other nerve tissue. Studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids boost energy, enhance learning ability, improve problem-solving skills, and boost memory power and enhance communication between brain cells.
2. Colourful and citrus fruits: Eat fruits with all the colours of the rainbow and a few more, and you’re guaranteed to improve your brain power. Avocados are especially potent in increasing blood flow to the brain because of their mono-unsaturated fat content. Other beneficial fruits that have a positive impact on your brain and help you recall information quickly include watermelon, tomatoes, , pineapples, oranges, apples and grapes.
3. Cruciferous and leafy green vegetables:. Cabbages, kale, turnips, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, collard greens, cauliflowers, radishes, spinach, mustard green and water cress all help retain memory. Other vegetables that are good in boosting brain power are onions, red peppers, lettuce, carrots, asparagus, okra, mushrooms, broccoli and sprouts.
4. Chocolate: Chocolate is not only delicious, it’s also beneficial to your brain and can help enhance your mood. Natural stimulants boost the production of endorphins that improve focus and concentration. Milk chocolate has been shown to improve verbal and visual memory and boost impulse control and reaction time. Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols that boost blood supply to the brain and help improve cognitive skills.
5. Nuts: Rich in Vitamins E and B6, folate, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants, these small food items boost your brain power and improve your mood. The whole nutty family of cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, Brazil nuts and pecans brings some benefit to your brain.
6. Tea: This wonder beverage, when freshly brewed, has been proven to improve memory and focus as well as combat mental fatigue. Green tea is your best bet to good relax mentally and keep your wits sharpened because of the catechines it contains. Black tea, while not as potent as green tea, also works well as a brain enhancer.
7. Eggs: A rich source of Vitamin B and lecithin, eggs are good providers of EFAs (essential fatty acids) to the brain. The yolk is especially rich in choline, a basic building block of brain cells that helps improve memory.
8. Calcium-rich foods: Yogurt, cheese, milk and other foods rich in calcium help in improving the function of nerves. Studies have proved that tyrosine, the amino acid in yogurt, is responsible for the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenalin. In short, yogurt helps improve alertness and memory.
9. Iron-rich foods: A deficiency in iron has been proven to be the most common cause for poor concentration, decreasing intelligence and slow thinking processes. Iron is essential to supplying the brain with the oxygen it needs to continue normal activity. Red meats and liver are the best sources of dietary iron.
10. Water: Nearly three fourths of the brain is water, which makes this life-giving liquid an essential component for the smooth functioning of the brain. When dehydration occurs, the brain releases the hormone cortisol which shrinks dendrites, the branches in the brain that store information. This leads to a decrease in memory power. Cortisol also produces adrenaline which affects mental and cognitive functions. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep your brain active and quick.