Peoplewhoeat’s Weblog

April 22, 2008

Brain food

Filed under: Healthy — Tags: , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 9:53 am

You know it’s the exam period when meals become erratic, people run around sleep deprived and we start maxing out our library loans. Sometimes we spend so much time studying (or sleeping…or cleaning our rooms to avoid studying…) that we forget to eat, or at any rate forget to eat balanced meals.

There are plenty of foods which can provide you with a boost, whether in terms of energy or brain power. It’s well known that omega three fatty acids are essential for proper brain function, so fish is definitely on my menu plan…

Some of us are snacking on bananas, which are high in potassium and full of those slow-release calories which can give us a quick and often much-needed energy lift, particularly around mid-day. Dried fruit (prunes, apple rings, dehydrated mango and more) can dispel those hunger pangs as well, and are a good substitute for sweet things like cookies and cake, which are often craved during such stressful times. The energy boost of a good old-fashioned peanut butter sandwich is certainly hard to beat, at least according to some of us…some still need to be convinced.

Other foods great for brain power? Salmon, of course, is rich in those essential fatty acids, but other fish are good as well. Even some simple tuna salad does the trick. Vegetarian? Avocado is (as far as I can remember) one of the few non-animal sources of omega three fatty acids. (Try some of Emma’s guacamole). Walnuts and sunflower seeds are also full of essential nutrients that help our brains function at maximum capacity. Remember to eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, because some nutrients can only be absorbed at maximum capacity in the presence other nutrients. Your five-a-day is more important now than ever, because the last thing you want in the middle of exams is to fall sick.

Gingko biloba is thought to be a memory-booster, although as with most herbal remedies, how much of this is folklore and how much is medical fact remains in dispute. While I don’t think I’ll be taking any gingko supplements, avid tea-drinkers could try some gingko tea, available at most health-food stores. At any rate, it can’t hurt. Mint tea is also supposed to aid memory if you drink it while studying.

To anyone undergoing their exams at the moment (whatever kind of exams they may be), good luck! And remember…eat well, because life’s too short not to!


1 Comment »

  1. Dear Chloe,

    All very good advice for students!
    I would also recommend almonds…… I consider them brainfood and I love to munch them.
    Students .. stay strong and sharp … you will crush those exams!!
    All the best from sunny Ohio to the LSE people-who-eat!
    (A person who loves to grow it, cook it, and EAT IT ALL!)

    Comment by Rich Pratt (Emma's dad) — May 23, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

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