We have all been there and we know it — the exam season can get quite stressful. The need to excel, coupled with the pressure to complete the syllabus can take a toll on a child’s health. But, it is also important for students to stay in the best physical and mental shape during this time. Among other things, good rest and proper nutrition are important. This is exactly what parents need to ensure around this time.
To help them with this, Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician at the Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur has suggested a list of food items that can be included in the diet to boost memory during examinations. These foods, she points out, are nootropic, meaning they are known to sharpen the memory, improve the mood and stabilise the energy of the child. Essentially, nootropic food items improve cognitive function and creativity, which is beneficial for the brain.
Remind your child to eat the following foods:
Eggs: They are rich in choline (an essential nutrient) which helps transmit signals across the neuronal membranes. Body uses the choline in eggs to produce acetylcholine, which in turn helps to achieve deep sleep in order to retain new memories.
Spinach: Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are the best source of brain-boosting nutrients ‘lutein’ and ‘zeaxanthin’. These help in quicker mental recall, and increased capacity for memory.
Turmeric: Turmeric, which belongs to the ginger family, helps stimulate neurogenic cellular creation, and is used in the treatment of depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and strokes.
Blueberries: These fruits contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant which prevents the brain from aging. Anthocyanin helps improve memory and cognitive function, and even helps intra-cellular communication within our brains.
Dark chocolate: Encourage your child to eat dark chocolates, because the flavanol-rich cocoa beans increase blood flow to the brain and even trigger the production of new brain cells.
Oily fish: The omega 3 in oily fish is believed to improve learning and memory, and reduce inflammation in the brain. This can help decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, depression and other mental health conditions.
Nuts: Walnuts have high amount of vitamin E that forms a protective layer around the brain cell membranes and wards off free radicals.
Water: Last, but definitely not the least. When we are dehydrated, we are more likely to not be able to think clearly. Around two litres of water a day is recommended, but it also depends on body weight, and level of physical activity of a person.
Pavithra N Raj cautions that children who do not receive proper nutrition during their first three years, may lose ground in intelligence to their better-nourished peers. It is necessary that foods that are high in fat and sugar are avoided.
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