Have you ever thought that your brain is always on? It controls your body processes, such as heartbeat, breathing, movements, senses and thinking non-stop. Therefore, your brain needs a constant supply of “fuel” that comes from foods.
Foods and brain
Experts say that the quality of your meals really makes the difference. In simple words, what you eat affects the structure and function of your brain. If you eat high-quality products that contain lots of vitamins and minerals, it nourishes and protects your brain. In contrast, if you ingest foods poor in nutrients, it harms your brain.
In its turn, the condition of your brain defines its functioning. Did you know that a diet high in sugars can worsen the symptoms of mood disorders? What’s more, because of the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by sugar, you may even get depression. On the other hand, cutting the amount of sugar consumed helps to maintain a positive mood. In short, food directly affects how you feel.
You might have noticed that during the exam period you are more worried than usual. Of course, numerous assignments with tight deadlines and frequent assessments make your emotional state more vulnerable. In such situations, you may want to consume more sugar products as they boost your mood. But you should be careful as this effect is temporary. In the long run, sugar consumption leads to negative consequences. So instead of solving your problems with food, you should find academic help. Your stress can be easily relieved if you turn to studyclerk essay maker or experts who can complete your papers in other disciplines. Delegating part of your homework to someone is the best solution in times of a heavy workload. It ensures a more balanced life and guarantees high grades.
Nutrition and academic achievement
Without any doubt, nutrition plays a vital role in academic performance. According to multiple studies, students who don’t consume enough healthy proteins, fruits, and vegetables tend to get lower test scores than their peers. But when one has a variety of healthy food options, their academic performance reaches its peak. Adequate nutrition is a must for students who aim for better grades. However, the question is ‘What can be considered adequate nutrition?’ Let’s consider some foods that help our brain stay healthy.
The best foods for successful learning
Below is the list of products you should add to your diet if you want to reach your highest potential at school.
- Oily fish
Oily fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that are vital for building membranes around brain cells. Healthcare experts say that oily fish also help to increase blood flow in the brain, which improves thinking abilities. Depending on what type of fish you like most, you can choose among salmon, herring, sardines, tuna and mackerel.
- Whole grains
Whole grains are known as a source of vitamin E, which is crucial for healthy brain functioning. Whole-grain foods include bulgur, brown rice, barley, whole-grain pasta, oatmeal and even whole-grain bread.
- Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids. Our brain needs them because it’s very susceptible to oxidative stress, which contributes to cognitive decline. Flavonoids also increase blood flow into the brain, improving its plasticity and memory.
Similar to dark chocolate, berries contain lots of flavonoid antioxidants, which makes them good for the brain. Strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries improve communication between neurons (brain cells) and increase plasticity, boosting learning and memory.
First of all, you should be really careful with coffee as it’s a highly addictive drink. But when consumed in small doses, it can benefit your brain a lot. Caffeine helps you stay awake and keep focus by blocking adenosine — a substance in the brain that makes us feel sleepy. Apart from increasing alertness, coffee improves the brain’s capacity for processing complicated information.
- Nuts and seeds
Our brain needs healthy fats and proteins for proper functioning. You can easily get sufficient amounts of them from nuts and seeds. According to some studies, adding nuts and seeds to your diet can result in better brain function and improved cognition. Besides, nuts and seeds are rich in the natural antioxidant — vitamin E, which supports brain health.
As you see, food has a dramatic effect on our brain. The products we eat every day influence not only our mood and energy levels but also our thinking and memory. If you add oily fish, whole grains, berries, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds and coffee into your diet, you will notice a significant improvement in your academic performance.
Author’s BIO: Helen Birk is a nutrition expert and study coach. She believes that there is a strong connection between our diet and cognitive performance. Helen studies how foods affect learning and creates meal plans for optimal brain functioning.
Click here for full podcast playlist.