Tag Archives: chocolate

What should I eat when studying for exams?

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Exam period is starting and before digging in the bag of sweets, let’s try to make smart decisions.

Best news this week: Eating chocolate improves learning ability (and mood)! However, I’m not talking about Cadbury’s dairy milk I’m afraid. It’s the flavonoids in chocolate that are responsible for improving learning and memory. The darker the chocolate, the better. Dark fruits also contain flavonoids, so go for it!

Another memory superfood is…. Omega-3 fatty acids!

Last week I attended a lecture about diet and mental health. The first thing I learned was that Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced by our body so it is essential we get them from our diet. Why? Because we need them for brain cell formation. According to Dr. Sandrine Thuret (King’s College, London), studies have demonstrated that Omega-3s can be associated with prevention of cognitive decline and that fish eaters experience up to 4 times less cognitive decline than non fish eaters.

Ok, so we need to eat oily fish or take fish oil supplements. If you want to buy supplements, you should pay attention to this: There are 3 types of Omega-3s: ALA, EPA and DHA. When buying fish oil supplements, you should look for EPA and DHA, simply because ALA cannot be precessed by our body.

EPA and DHA, through the building of new brain cells, increase our learning ability. They also help us cope with stress! When under stress, we produce cortisol, which can cause cell death. But cells that were fed EPA and DHA can resist to cortisol better than normal cells.

All great news then. Now what do we need to eat to get our daily fix of EPA and DHA and how much of it?

Recommendations for supplements vary between 300mg to 800mg per day. But to give you an idea of what these quantities represent, here is a list of foods in which there is 1g of EPA/DHA:

  • 85g salmon (or mackerel)
  • 255g tuna
  • 10 eggs
  • 3kgs beef (good luck with that)

In conclusion, eating a portion of oily fish a day during revision time should help us learn and memorize, even under stressful conditions.

Above all, remember to keep eating a varied and nutritious diet for optimum health :-)

And  G O O D   L U C K  ! ! !

Summer food, rose colored fish steak in a wine marinade

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How to deal with a tough time

1. Not by sitting on the sofa all afternoon eating cheese and bread

2. Not by buying a chocolate bar on your way to a dinner party

3. Not by creating an argument with a friend. Definitely not.

Yesterday morning I felt great. Enthusiastic, cheerful, looking forward to a busy Sunday. Busy with projects that I care about, dinner with people who I care about and who care about me. T’was going to be a good day.

But somehow, throughout the day, things did not go the way they were meant to and suddenly, before I knew it, my whole world was falling apart. Oh it was all in my head. But I lost faith. I know, just like that. You guys must be thinking : “Whaaat?” … “Weirdo”. But the truth is, that happens to me sometimes. And I did all of the above.

Emotional eating is bad. A woman I met last week told me this:

“It starts during childhood, when people give food to their kids to keep them quiet. Or when parents go: “Here, have some ice cream (or chocolate) it will make you feel better.” But does it really? At that moment, sure. But later, when they develop a habit of comfort eating? And look at themselves in the mirror hating their reflection, do they really feel better?

And I said: I think that, to a lot of overweight and underweight people, there is an emotional link to their eating patterns. And she said she believed that all of weight management issues are linked to emotions.”

I don’t know the stats on that, but eating comfort food when feeling sorry for yourself DOES NOT make you feel better. It really doesn’t.