Preparing for exams? Do you know what you eat can affect your memory and how well you study? A diet rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants does wonders for your brain.

Here are foods that can boost your memory and help you study effectively and score for exams:

1) Fruits and Vegetables

A study by Harvard Medical School of 13,000 women for 25 years showed those who ate high amount of fruits and vegetables had lower age related decline in memory.

Cruciferous vegetables and leafy green vegetables have the biggest effect. Phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and quercetin are some of the powerful antioxidants that reverse age related deficit in lab animals.

  • Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, Brussels’ sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower
  • Leafy green vegetables – spinach, collard and mustard green, kale
  • Anthocyanin – berries, cherries, eggplant, plum, rhubarb, red onion, red apples
  • Quercetin – onions, leek, cherry tomato, broccoli, grapes, apricot

2) Fish , Nuts and Seeds

Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and nuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 support the communication between brain cells by expressing molecules related to learning and memory.

3) Herbs

One of the most popular memory-enhancing herbs is rosemary. Rosemary is rich in antioxidant, which helps to reduce oxidative stress in the brain. Carnosic acid in rosemary helps to dilate the blood vessel supplying more oxygen and nutrients to brain tissues. Even the smell of the leaves can improve memory performance.

Other herbs that boost memory power are Gotu Kola, Siberian Ginseng, Ginkgo Bilbola and Rosemary

  • Gotu Kola ( Centella Asiatica) – the main component tri-terpenoids improve blood flow to the brain, which helps to reduce anxiety, enhance mental function.
  • Siberian Ginseng ( Eleuthero) – contains an active ingredient eleutheroside  that affect brain and immune system. Preliminary study on middle age volunteers showed improved memory compared to placebo.
  • Ginkgo Bilbola – widely known as “ brain herb”. It improves blood circulation by dilating the blood vessel, reducing the blood platelet stickiness and protecting the nerve cells.

4) Soy

Soya bean is rich in choline, lecithin and isoflavone. Choline has positive impact on brain development and reduces memory loss. Lecithin prevents deposit of plaques in the brain. Isoflavone increase brain function, logical memory, spatial and memory recall.

5) Folic acid

Folic acid is essential for brain function as it reduces blood homocysteine level. High level of homocysteine triggers the death of nerve cells in the brain. Deficiency and lead to neurological disorder such as depression and brain function impairments. Folic acid has a direct positive impact on memory, faster information processing and memory recall.

Tufts University in Boston reported a study on 350 men for 3 years and discovered those men with high blood homocysteine showed memory decline. But those who ate food rich in folate, their memories were protected.

Food rich in folate are legumes, green leafy vegetables, millet, quinoa, lentil and Spirulina

6) Water

Three quarter of our brain is water. When we are dehydrated, the brain releases the stress hormone, cortisol, which shrinks the branches in the brain that stores information, thereby decreasing memory.

Change to a healthy diet today to include these wholesome food and you are well on your way to scoring distinctions in your exams.

Have you tried these food and see the impact on your brain function? Share with me your experience in the comment box below.

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