So, exam season is upon us. A time of deep despair, amid all the stress of moving into your new home (the library), I’m not alone in desperately seeking anything- anything- that’ll minimise revision time and maximise that long term memory. Tempting as it might be, the only thing those cans of Red Bull are leading you to is a sugar crash- so try these snacks for brain healthy revision fuel.
Would there be any point in this if avocado didn’t feature? Please. Exeter without avocado is like Mean Girls without Regina George- devoid of all sass and character. Lucky for you, avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats, which increase blood flow and good cholesterol to the brain. Just half an avocado has 7g of these monounsaturated fats that protect the brain’s nerve cells , and the amount of potassium in them helps lower blood pressure- so take a revision break to Pret and raid the shelves of this green gem.
- Dark chocolate
No, this isn’t an excuse to crack open that share bag of dairy milk- dark chocolate remember! Revision is stressful, though, and chocolate is one hundred per cent a life saver when the pages in front of you are as empty as Exeter during the holidays. Just make sure you opt for dark chocolate to boost your flagging memory, though- its full of flavanol, which a 2012 scientific study found increased cognitive function in elderly patients with mild memory loss. If that isn’t enough, just a little bit of dark chocolate daily helps lower your blood pressure- sure to rise just trying to find a seat in Forum Library after 11am.
- Bee Pollen
Need I even mention this staple product, found in student kitchens across the country? Let’s be honest, even the most Exetah of students probably haven’t come across this in Waitrose yet, but there’s no time like the present. The nutrients in bee pollen help relieve tiredness and provide the highest concentration of vitamins of any food. These all help to support the glandular system and increase energy. To get as many of these nutrients as possible, it’s best to consume bee pollen raw, in smoothies, oatmeal and cereal. Delicious.
Bizarrely, studies have found that the caffeine in coffee blocks the chemical adenosine, which prevents the flow of good brain chemicals. With adenosine blocked, these energetic brain chemicals can flow freely, which allows for an increase in energy and concentration. Don’t go crazy, though- the added cream and syrups in some coffee shop beverages could counteract these positive effects.
So there you have it. Four fool-proof foods to boost your motivation and get you through the exam season. Good luck and happy eating!