Studying is not something one usually enjoys doing, but what makes it bearable is the delicious study snacks. They usually consist of cookies, chocolates, chips and sugary drinks. As tempting as these snacks may be, they should not be your go-to! Instead, you should be thinking about brain foods.
According to certified nutritionist Taaliah Webber simple carbohydrates and sugary foods should be avoided – especially during the matric finals. Simple carbs include foods such as pastries, white bread and pasta, fries, fast food, and processed cereals.
These foods are digested quickly and send an immediate burst of glucose into the bloodstream. This is why after eating it you’ll feel a sudden burst of energy, but it is quickly followed by feeling fatigued and lethargic.
Webber suggest these top 10 brain foods to keep you going during your matric finals.
1. Green leafy vegetables & fresh fruit
These include vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli. These vegetables are rich in brain health and fresh fruit will provide you with vitamins and nutrients.
2. Fatty fish
Fish such as trout, salmon, tuna, and sardines contain omega 3 fatty acids which are necessary for brain health and memory.
Blueberries are high in antioxidants which are beneficial for managing stress and inflammation.
Turmeric contains curcumin which naturally boosts serotonin and dopamine. This helps improve symptoms of depression and anxiety and helps brain cells grow. Webber suggests adding powdered or grated turmeric and lemon to boiled water with a little honey and drinking it in the morning or evening.
5. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids which is very good for brain function and memory. Webber suggests snacking on pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and sunflower seeds as they all contain powerful antioxidants and are high in zinc, magnesium, copper and iron.
6. 70% dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has a higher cocoa content. It is packed with brain boosting compounds and improves your mood. Webber highly recommends staying away from normal chocolate as its high sugar content causes unhealthy sugar spikes.
Besides being a good source of protein, eggs contain vitamin B6 and B12 which have many benefits for brain health and help regulate the nervous system.
8. Whole grains
Complex carbs such as brown rice, bulgur wheat and oatmeal aid in brain and nervous system function. They provide a slow release of energy into the bloodstream which means you won’t have an energy slump halfway through studying.
Avocados is known as a superfood, and it is good for brain health.
Webber places great emphasis on drinking lots of water. She explains that water boosts your energy and not drinking enough water throughout the day can lead to dehydration and fatigue.