Foods to fuel your brain

It is well known that nutrition plays a big role in our ability to maintain concentration, learn and recall information, however having a well-balanced diet is often low on the list of priorities when studying for exams. Whilst making the effort to eat properly may take you away from the books for a few extra minutes, it will certainly reward you with greater concentration and improved memory.

Preparing meals that are well balanced in protein, essential fatty acids and complex carbohydrates can help fuel your brain and provide you with the sustained energy needed to commit information to memory and recall that information when required. Try make the most of your exam preparation by indulging in these quick and easy meal ideas.

Breakfast and lunch options:

  • Overnight oats; this recipe has been included on the Total Balance blog.
  • Eggs with avocado on grainy or sourdough toast.
  • Omelette; include olives, feta cheese and whatever vegetables you like.
  • Smoked salmon with cottage or ricotta cheese on grainy or sourdough toast.

Snacking options:

  • Avocado on rice cakes or sourdough/grainy bread. To boost the protein content, add tinned fish such as mackerel, tuna or salmon, cottage cheese or feta cheese.
  • Peanut butter with banana or strawberries on rice cakes. To improve your energy balance, add a sprinkle of cinnamon which can help with blood sugar regulation.
  • Mixed berries, plus a serve of your favourite nuts (preferably raw and unsalted). To bulk up this snack, add yoghurt or coconut yoghurt.

If all of this snacking has made you thirsty but you’re not in the mood for water, select a “brainy beverage” such as green tea. Consumption of green tea has been known to increase the production and growth of brain cells, providing benefits for memory and spatial learning.

Written by Julia D’Angelo, Naturopath

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