Feeling sleepy during lectures? Can’t focus or concentrate during study? Feeling overwhelmed or stressed during exams? Well, what you’re eating may be having an impact.
Here’s how to have a smarter, healthier brain so you can study like a boss.
Have regular meals throughout the day
Generally speaking, people who have five to six small meals during the day gain sustainable energy levels and a better mood. This is based on the fact that regular eaters get frequent glucose out of food, which is essential for providing the body and the brain with energy while leading to a stable blood sugar levels.
Substitute processed food, refined carbs and sugary food with whole grains, fruits and vegetables
Sugary, processed and refined foods are low in nutritional values and high in calories. Obvious, I know, but still important. Also, several studies have shown that people who consume refined carbs and sugar are more prone to depression than people who consume wholegrain, fruits and vegetables, so eating well is crucial.
Include protein in your three main meals
There are 20 amino acids that make up protein. Some of these are essential for our brain function. Proteins are responsible for neurotransmitters and making up enzymes and hormones. People who lack some amino acids are prone to low energy levels, anxiety and depression as they have unstable blood sugar levels. Get your protein game on, people!
Colour your meals with a variety of food
Eating a variety of food from each food group will ensure that you are supplying your body and brain with as many nutrients as possible. Eating a variety of food, including carbs (yes, some carbs are fine), protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals will boost your body’s energy levels.
Snack between exams
Healthy snacks between lectures, exams or meal times may improve your mood and boost your performance, concentration, and energy levels. According to the American Dietetic Association, adults who eat a small snack in the afternoon are likely to get through their tasks more quickly and efficiently.
Add some food sources rich in omega-3
Fish oil is essential for maintaining a healthy brain. Omega-3 has an incredible effect in helping with depression and anxiety, as well as other mental disorders. Several studies have found that people who consume omega-3 on a regular basis have significantly improved levels of mental health.
Water is vital for our body and brain to function. A general rule of thumb is eight glasses of water a day, or two liters to stay hydrated. I know it’s tough to maintain, but researchers have found that dehydration could lead to poor concentration, anxiety and other mental and physical disorders.
Limit your alcohol consumption and avoid binge drinking
Binge drinking, or excessive consumption of alcohol, has severe consequences on the mental health. Alcohol interferes with our brain’s communication pathways and it affects the way it looks and works. These disruptions change our mood and behaviour and make it harder for us to think clearly and move with coordination. General rule: don’t get sloshed unless you want to pay the cost!
Hit the gym or enjoy some outdoor activities on a regular basis
No one can ignore the vital benefits of exercise on our mental health and wellbeing. This is all thanks to the endorphins and serotonin that is released by our brains when exercising. As you probably know, these two little critters are known as the happy hormones. Regular exercise acts as a great help for elevating symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. It can also boost your brain power, increase your self-confidence, improve memory and help with relaxation and sleeping patterns.