Perhaps one of the coolest things I came across researching the human palate is how the food we put in our bodies has a tremendous effect on our performance not only physically, but mentally as well.
There are many “brain” foods: foods that help the mind think clearer and respond quicker. Incorporating such foods into our diet will positively impact our thinking either at school or in the work-place.
During exam weeks and finals testing, eating right not only nutritionally, but also for our mental performance is vital for a successful score. If we look at ourselves, we tend to get the most frustrated, most irritable, and concentrate the least when we are hungry and lacking some energy. This is exactly the feeling we want to avoid on an important week.
Here are some great foods to eat the morning off and during your exam week. Integrating these few items into your weekly palate will boost your energy and productivity, while giving your body excellent vitamins and minerals.
Blueberries contain Vitamin C and Vitamin K, as well as a little bit of manganese. They are known to have the highest anti-oxidants than all other vegetables and fruits. Antioxidants prevent oxidation in our organs, which means foods with antioxidants help the body fight possible illnesses and diseases. The antioxidants of blueberries are stored in areas of the brain that increase memory retention.
How to Incorporate blueberries into meal:
- Check out our “Blueberry & Banana Overnight Oats” blog for a quick, simple, and easy recipe perfect to make ahead for breakfast!
- If you are a fan of baking, try this recipe for healthy Blueberry muffins by Amy’s Healthy Baking: http://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2016/01/14/the-best-healthy-blueberry-muffins/
- Or.. if you love smoothies/smoothie bowls, try my go-to blueberry smoothie recipe:
- Ingredients: 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup blueberries, 1 banana, 1/4 cup ice, 1-2 Tbsp almond butter, 1/4 cup yogurt, (optional: add a handful of kale if desired)
- Blend all ingredients and pour into either a cup or bowl. Serve!
2. Whole-Grain (Whole-Wheat) Breads
Whole-grain breads differ from white-flour breads because of the type of carbohydrates each one offers. Whole-grain breads offer complex-carbs that provide energy with longer lasting energy and keeps it fuller. White-flour breads often contain simple carbohydrates that are made up of refined sugar and do not give the body long lasting energy. For more about the different types of carbohydrates, check out our “Overview of Food Groups & Classification” blog.
Because whole-grain breads give better energy, receiving a good amount of these complex-carbs will not only keep you feeling fuller and less hungrier, but also help your brain think clearer. Complex-carbohydrates are known to aid the brain in thinking, which is why choosing whole-grain breads, which are rich in these types of carbs, is a great thing to eat before an exam or for breakfast.
Whole-grain breads include whole-grain waffles, whole-grain English muffins, whole-grain bagels, whole-grain pasta, and anything else labelled under whole-grain.
How to incorporate whole-grains into meal:
- See our “Power Start Your Day” blog that includes three easy-to-make recipes that involve whole-grains
- Use whole-grain bread as your base instead of white-flour bread for your sandwich and toast.
Please let me know if this helps you all out! Don’t forget to check out @talkbyvictoria on Instagram:)
Have a great day and good luck on your finals! I’m sure you all will do fantastic!!
- “Benefits of Antioxidants.” Nutrex Hawaii. URL: http://www.nutrex-hawaii.com/benefits-of-antioxidants
- “10 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries.” Authority Nutrition. URL: https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-blueberries/
Photo Credits: http://www.blueberrycouncil.org