Hey there! What do you think are the most important components of your preparation?
Yes! But there’s more.
Exam preparation is a time for holistic development of the brain. That is why, you need to make sure that while you are stuffing your brain with loads and loads of knowledge, you also feed the poor guy some excellent fuel which keeps it fully energised and running smoothly. So here are some great food items which would do just that. We have tried to make a list of food items commonly available in India. Some of the food items listed below are sure to be available easily in your homes/PGs, but some may not. Or you might have different food preferences, or even allergies. Don’t worry, eating everything is not mandatory. Just load up on whatever is available.
Note: Please check for food allergies before trying out anything new in this list.
Let’s start the list with something sweet, eh? For those of you with a sweet tooth, we know it is not as tasty as regular milk chocolate. But a Harvard Research says that dark chocolate will help you stay more focused and relaxed. Chemicals called flavanols present in it help in controlling blood pressure and also increases the blood flow to the brain. Of course, you should only eat it occasionally, but it is a wonderful brain fuel to keep you happy and satiated.
Whole grains like bajra, ragi, kuttu, amaranth, maize, daliya, etc. are a boon to our health, especially that of our brain. This is because these are low glycemic index foods which release glucose, the brain’s fuel, slowly over a longer period of time. So go for whole grain meals when you have to remain active and alert for longer durations like studying sprints and exam time. Apart from this, the fibre in whole grains controls cholesterol and improves blood flow to the body.
How to eat these whole grains? Add one teaspoon of a mixture of the same to your regular chapati atta, or dosa batter. You could also google out some recipes for ragi drinks and bajra, jowar, kuttu etc. chilla recipes!
Vitamin C Rich Fruits
Fruits rich in vitamin C, like oranges, strawberries, guavas, papaya and kiwi are great for the brain because Vitamin C helps increase mental agility. The healthy sugars in the fruits also helps in keeping alert and energetic. As a bonus point, fruits rich in antioxidants protect your brain from long-term damage.
Nuts, Seeds and Fish
Nuts like walnut and almonds are very important sources of omega-3 fatty acid, as are seeds like pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and fish. As per this Harvard study, omega-3 fatty acid helps protect our thinking skills by their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as their ability to build brain cell membranes. This fatty acid is extremely important because it is not produced by our body, and hence must be eaten in the form of food. Students suffering from omega-3 fatty acid deficiency complain of weakness, fatigue and brain fog.
Eggs and Yoghurt
Eggs contain a biochemical called choline which helps the brain cells to grow. It basically helps your brain develop and perform its best by staying connected with all of your body parts. In case you are a vegetarian, or do not like eggs, here are a few other options of choline-rich foods: tofu, yogurt, daliya/buckwheat, beans, cauliflower, and broccoli.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can directly enter the brain and reap its benefits there. As per studies done on the superfood, some of the benefits of turmeric are easing of depression by boosting production of happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine, as well as helping brain cells grow by boosting release of brain growth hormones. Along with the above, turmeric also helps in memory retention. You can add turmeric in your diet by adding them to your curries, as well as having a teaspoon of it in milk or water in colder weather.
Peanuts make an amazing snack! They also have an excellent nutritional profile of unsaturated fats and proteins which can keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Peanuts also contain Vitamin E and resveratrol which keeps the brain healthy. Resveratrol is a natural non-flavonoid antioxidant which has protective effects on the brain.
So that’s about it. Do try to have at least one of the above brain boosting superfood from the list above and keep your brain healthy, happy and wise. Just remember, keep yourself healthy and eat well. All the best for your preparation!