Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain, protects it, and provides it with much needed fuel.  A nutritious diet rich in “brain foods” is essential for ideal health and maintaining optimum mental performance. Incorporating foods into your diet that supply your body with key vitamins, essential fats and high-quality protein is crucial to keeping your brain healthy and in optimal condition for the exam.





Eat Smart by including these nutrients into your diet.


1. Omega-3s

Ingestion of Omega-3 fatty acids increases learning, memory, cognitive well-being, and blood flow in the brain. Omega-3s are excellent brain food for exam preparation. The best source of Omega-3s is oily, cold-water fish. Wild Alaskan salmon is the prime contender, although trout, sardines, mackerel, and herring all contain great Omega-3s.
Looking for vegetarian brain food for test preparation that still contains Omega-3s? Hemp protein and flax seeds are quality sources as well as avocados and walnuts.

2. Antioxidants

It seems that the darker the fruit or vegetable, the healthier it is for you. Research indicates that antioxidants can improve brain aging and memory. Dark, leafy greens are known for their antioxidants, such as vitamin C, and have been shown to reduce age-related memory loss. Greens also are rich in folate, which can improve memory by decreasing inflammation and improving blood circulation to the brain. To boost your antioxidant levels, some of the best foods besides the dark and leafy fruit and veggies are berries, especially blueberries. Flavonoids, the natural plant pigments that give berries their brilliant hues, also help improve memory. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, antioxidants are the most beneficial when obtained through whole foods.

3. Complex Carbohydrates

The brain uses sugar for fuel and according to The Franklin Institute, our brains need twice the amount of energy as the rest of the cells in our bodies. Since brain cells run on glucose derived from carbohydrates and don’t store excess glucose, they need a steady supply of it. Complex carbohydrates are a preferred brain food, providing a slow, sustained supply of glucose. They take longer to metabolize and are high in folate, the memory-boosting B vitamin. The best source of complex carbohydrates — natural fruits, vegetables, and grains that are minimally processed. For example, whole grains, chickpeas, oats, sweet potatoes and black beans and legumes.

4. Quality Lean Protein

Protein is important for sustained energy. Some excellent breakfast proteins include lean meats, eggs, soy foods (soy milk, soy protein meat substitutes) and  low-fat milk

5. Healthy fats

Avocados are a fruit rich in monounsaturated fat, which improves memory function by helping improve blood cholesterol levels when eaten in moderation in place of saturated fats. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat, which can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels when used in place of saturated or trans fat. Extra-virgin olive oil is the least processed type with the highest protective antioxidant compound levels. Nuts, such as walnuts, are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which lower triglycerides, improve vascular health, help moderate blood pressure and decrease blood clotting.

Healthy Snack Ideas
• Dates with peanut butter
• Raw cashew nuts
• A few squares of dark chocolate
• Celery and hummus
• Chopped apple with almond butter
• Dried apricots
• A handful of trail mix
• Roasted chickpeas
• Avocado on wholegrain toast




The Usual Culprits 


1. Sugary Drinks
The primary ingredient, high-fructose corn syrup can cause brain inflammation and impair memory and learning.

2. Refined Carbs
Eating refined carbohydrates (sugars and highly processed grains like white flour) with a high glycemic index and glycemic load results in poor memory and decreased mental alertness.

3. Highly Processed Foods
Processed foods are high in sugar, added fats and salt – e.g., chips, sweets, instant noodles, microwave popcorn, store-bought sauces, and ready-made meals. These foods can cause weight gain that contributes to excess fat around the organs, associated with a decline in brain tissue.

4. Foods High in Trans Fats
Artificial trans fats can be present in margarine, frosting, snack foods, ready-made cakes, and pre-packaged cookies. These fats can have a detrimental effect on brain health and is associated with impaired memory.

5. Excessive Alcohol
While moderate alcohol intake can have positive health effects, excessive consumption of alcohol can have detrimental effects on the brain, leading to memory loss, behavioral changes, and sleep disruption.

• The Mediterranean Diet has been associated with better brain health and maintenance of cognitive abilities into older age. 
• Stick to real ingredients rather than quick fixes. Supplements appear to do much less than previously thought. 
Tea and coffee– The caffeine in your morning cup of coffee or tea might offer more than just a short-term concentration boost. Research now shows that natural sources of caffeine like tea, coffee and green tea can have positive effects on your brain and mental health. These include:
– Increased alertness
– Improved mood
– Sharpened concentration
In a 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, participants with higher caffeine consumption scored better on tests of mental function. Caffeine might also help solidify new memories, according to other research. 
Walnuts. Nuts are excellent sources of protein and healthy fats, and one type of nut in particular might also improve memory. A 2015 study from UCLA linked higher walnut consumption to improved cognitive test scores. Walnuts are high in a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Diets rich in ALA and other omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to lower blood pressure and cleaner arteries. That’s good for both the heart and brain.
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and flavanols, a plant compound that protects against cell damage and helps fight inflammation. Consuming dark chocolate is linked to better brain function and improved memory, according to research




Staying hydrated doesn’t just help you feel alert and cognitive. Drinking water may also reduce test anxiety.