Exam Season: Foods to Boost Cognitive Performance

Exam Season: Foods to Boost Cognitive Performance

The exam season is back. And so is the time of studying for hours, burning the midnight oil, sacrificing on the play-time and suffering from nutritional deficiency. Wait…that last part need not be true, though it is a sad reality. More often, students feel, rightfully or otherwise that they are not prepared enough. So the last few days before the exams call for extensive hard work which the minds and bodies of students are not adequately prepared for. Many students suffer from exhaustion, excessive sleep, tension, and headache, and sometimes they fall ill due to lack of immunity.  

Thus, keeping a tab on what children eat during exams becomes all the more important. Experts have researched various foods and their impact on our mental chemistry. As we know that our brain works and functions on neurochemical reactions, which are responsible for our cognitive skills and even our moods. And because there is a direct relation of the food components we eat, and the chemicals which are then manufactured in our bodies, one has to be careful about the intake, for optimum results. For instance, folic acid has been known to stimulate the mood, and also ensure mental fitness and nutrition. Walnuts have huge concentrations of DHA, an Omega 3 fatty acid, which stimulates brain health and improves cognitive functions in adults.

Further, what we need is the 'clichéd' balanced diet. We might have heard this for the umpteenth time, and yet there is conclusive proof that eating a well-balanced food has shown to increase the quality of life in terms of physiological processes and even extend the life expectancy. Better yet, consuming the daily recommendations of minerals has also been known to cut the risk of degenerative diseases, and also prevent age-related ailments. Dietary fibers ensure that our bodies are able to process the food efficiently. Adequate water is a requisite, for the further absorption of nutrients, and also to regulate the toxins in the blood. Also more important is the time, when we consume our food. Greasy food items, late at night have shown to increase acne breakouts.

Now, as we near the time when school and college students would be gearing up for their annual examinations, food is one of the first things which go for a toss. Many tensed students skip their meals altogether or end up snacking continuously. Parents often complain that the kids end up resolutely neglecting their health, around examinations.

However, on the bright side, there are certain foods, like dry fruits and nuts, for instance, which actually improve cognitive function. Fruits contain abundant amounts of antioxidants and vitamins which act as ‘boosters’ for the brain’s functions when consumed regularly. Berries have shown to help improve memory. Green, leafy vegetables supply rich, complex carbohydrates and reduce fatigue and drowsiness often associated with exam season. Tea and coffee have been favorite beverages for us, for ages, and they come with their associated benefits- regular, moderated consumption leads to improved concentration, and helps the brain sharpen its focus. But the caffeine content can dissuade you sometimes. It is best to introduce fresh drinks like Yoga Jal to your children, which increases cognitive performance, improves physical endurance and boosts the immune system. It also keeps students hydrated naturally.

And when they do get bored of studying, which they will once in a while, introduce them to healthy snacking options, along with assorted nuts.

The most important aspect of these foods, apart from their effects and benefits, is the quality of such foods which are available to us in the market. Organic farming methods and proper hygiene when delivering the foods add to the nutritional value that we finally experience. And in today’s fast-paced life, it is a boon to have an e-commerce and online shopping platform to provide us with ways to get the best organic products delivered to us, at our doorstep. Stores are now doing a robust business by offering a professional twist to the role of the age-old grocer: getting fresher foods available, more readily.

All we need is to sift through the husk and find sources which provide us with genuinely healthy organic products for the exams and beyond.