Tag Archives: memory

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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* NUTRIENTS IN FOOD* is what matters

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Dishes I cooked in January and February 2013. Simple, tasty, nutritious.

This is just a thought I want to share with you, my lovely followers (and anyone interested). We really tend to focus on the ‘bad saturated fat’ and the ‘evil sugar’ when it comes to food. What if we were thinking wrong? There are hundreds of foods out there that offer health benefits. This is why eating a variety of natural foods and home-made recipes is so important. A few examples here:

  • Fruits, packed with vitamins including vitamin c and its antioxidant power (fighting free radicals)
  • Oily fish for omega 3 (heart health, also oil is essential for fat-soluble vitamin absorption)
  • Colourful veg such as carrots and red peppers for beta-carotene (antioxidant again)
  • Spices ie: turmeric (good for mood lifting)
  • Calcium rich foods for bone health (dairy, almonds)

I could stretch the list but I just want to focus on the fact that food nourishes us, gives us beautiful skin, helps us sleep, increases our energy, strengthen our bones, helps us with memory. And so on…

It’s not a myth. I’ve been testing it for two months now and I can really feel the difference! It takes one quick look on other blogs on WordPress.com to see that I’m not the only one. I know that all this information on ‘nutrient content in food’ can be overwhelming. That’s why I learn one thing at a time, at my own pace, working towards healthier nutritional habits :)