Avoid these “brain drainers” during exam time

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Mar 21, 11:55 AM in and . No comments.

Revision week can be a stressful time and it may be tempting, if you are this way inclined, to treat your teen to sugary snacks, rewards of takeaways and “at the desk” quick meals.

This is not doing your student any favours.

You want some good old-fashioned brain food to see them through. (To be honest, this type of eating applies to anyone when trying to eat to improve mood and brain performance – energy, concentration etc).

Here are the “brain drainers” to avoid at all costs

- Too much caffeine (this is a stimulant which perks you up, but the buzz doesn’t last long)
- Too much sugar
- Saturated fats, trans fats and processed foods
- Meal Skipping (just don’t)

What to include instead

A good balance and enough in the way of hydration is vital for giving your student that extra edge.

Brain Boosters

1. Regular, balanced meals – include well-balanced snacks (it’s important to keep blood sugar levels even for energy and concentration).

2. A good breakfast (porridge, egg on grainy toast, layered granola, milk-based fruit smoothie – all with veg of course!)

3. Mealtime balance – This means good protein sources, slow release carbs – whole grains, a rainbow of vegetables and healthy fats at each meal.

4.Omega 3 fats (excellent for brain power) – walnuts, oily fish, flaxseed, avocado, olive oil. Oily fish is high in protein and Omega 3, which are essential in boosting concentration levels but keep to 2-3 portions a week,

5.Smart snacking.
You could try fruit such as blueberries, bananas or apricots – all potential brain boosters. Also, include seeds and nuts as snacks. A handful of pumpkin seeds, for example, gives for your daily recommended amount of zinc, which is vital for improving thinking skills and enhancing your memory.

6. Water -keep the coffee down (no energy drinks)

7.Fibre (making sure your student is regular also helps!). Make sure to include high fibre choices at every meal – lentils, chickpeas and beans are great additions to meals and may also be brain boosters.

8. Taking time to eat – mindful eating, away from the desk.

Do you have any other mealtime tips for exam time?

Image by Kevin Phillips from Pixabay

Tags: Balance, Brain Boosters, Brain Drainers, Brain Food, Caffeine, Exams, Exam Time Food, Good Mood Food, Healthy Teens, Omega 3 Fats, Revision, Sugar

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.

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