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Nutrition Tips for Passing Exams

Nutrition Tips for Passing Exams
It's a fairly well accepted fact that the food we eat can have a huge impact on how well (or not!) our brain works. This is an important reminder for our kids, especially those living away from home, who are probably paying more attention on books than what's for dinner.

When you learn how the food you eat affects your body, you can then choose foods that improve your memory, fuel your brain and help you smash that study schedule, report or project.

What's food got to do with it?

Your brain is the most complex part of your body. Like a computer, it runs millions of processes every day. It never stops working, so it needs constant topping up with the fuel it operates on—glucose, which is a type of sugar.

Your body obtains glucose from your food, and it’s delivered to the brain through the bloodstream. The problem is, your brain can’t store glucose, so you need to top up your levels every day.

That doesn't mean you need to rush out and eat a tonne of sugar every few hours! But it might go some way in explaining that mid-avo slump.

If your brain isn't properly fuelled, you're likely to feel sad and irritable. You might also have trouble sleeping, poor memory, and difficulty problem-solving. That's not how we want our kids to feel when they turn up for a test or important exam.

Which foods are the best brain fuel?

Healthy brain food for studying includes:

  • Protein — meat, fish, eggs, poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds, dried beans and lentils, dairy products and soy products. Protein helps your brain send messages to the rest of your body, and helps create brain chemicals that improve your mood.
  • Antioxidants — fruits and veggies, including berries, and pomegranate juice. Antioxidants can help delay or even prevent certain effects of aging on the brain.
  • Omega-3 — oily fish, flax seeds and flax oil, and eggs, chicken and beef. Omega-3s have been found to help your brain work harder and improve your mental health.
  • Dietary cholesterol — dairy and egg yolks. Your brain relies on cholesterol to create the cells that send messages to the rest of the body.
  • Monounsaturated fats — avocados, nuts, olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Food that contains monounsaturated fats can improve your memory and help your brain work harder, better, faster, stronger.
  • Caffeine (moderate amounts) — tea, coffee and dark chocolate. In small doses, caffeine can help you feel refreshed and more focused.
  • Water - Your brain is 73% water, and water is vital to keeping your body (and brain) in tip-top shape.

Try these simple swaps 

The best way to feed your brain is to eat a wide range of foods from all food groups. However, when you’re hitting the books, it can be a little tricky to put it into practice. So, we’ve come up with some easy meal-swaps to give you the best diet for studying that will get your brain humming in no time.

 Swap this...
 For this...
 Processed cereal Porridge topped with fruit and walnuts
Biscuits or a muffin Wholegrain crackers with cheese and tomato
Frozen pizza Frozen Mac'n'Cheese
Burger and fries Lamb and steamed veges
Chocolate or lollies Fresh or dried fruit
Ice-cream Vegan Chocolate Boysenberry Mousse Cake
Potato crisps Handful of nuts
Energy drink Fruit smoothie
Coffee Green or herbal tea

Eating well-rounded meals most of the time will help you study better, and lead to better results, both in the short-term and the long-term. While many of the brain foods we’ve talked about have immediate results (like caffeine), the best results are the ones that show up over time, such as the slowing down of age-related cognitive decline, and the decreased likelihood of degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.

What Next?

We really want to help our kids eat well, especially when they're living away from home and probably not bothering to cook at all. That's why we have our awesome range of Care Packages available to order one-off or as a monthly delivery.

Our Student Care Package includes a selection of individual meals as well as a big Lasagne for the whole flat to share, and a delicious Tiramisu dessert.