Foods That Improve Grades – Part 2/2

Foods That Improve Grades – Part 2/2

A previous student of mine who is taking the nursing local board examination mailed me asking about what foods to eat for optimal brain functioning. Food intake is an essential factor in passing the big test. Of course food intake alone won’t make you pass; it should be partnered with effective study habits, faith in God and interest in learning. Here is the second list of foods that enhances brain function.

Combat mental fatigue with tea

When freshly prepared, tea helps increase memory and focus of an individual at the same time providing relief from mental fatigue. Stress has been one reason why students get low grades on their examination. Green tea has been known for giving mental relaxation and keeping wits sharpened.

Green, green, green

Green vegetables contain folate which has a direct effect on memory. No wonder, mothers are forcing their kids to eat green vegetables. These foods helps retain memory and boost brain function. Spinach (kangkong) prevents and reverses memory loss. Studies have shown that ½ cup of cooked spinach meets the 2/3 daily folate requirement.

Coffee for memory and attention

Good news for coffeeholics! Research has proved that individuals who are consuming a cup (or two) of coffee per day has slow cognitive decline than those who are not. Coffee gives a person a wake-up buzz that keeps the person alert and focused in lectures and review sessions. Short-term memory, attention and concentration are also increased with coffee intake. It also contains antioxidants that are beneficial to the body. However, for those who have medical problems (e.g. high cholesterol) caffeine allowance should be avoided or limited to drinking plain brewed coffee only.

Blueberries for the brain

Blueberries contain antioxidants that decrease inflammation and free radical damage. It also improves neuron signaling in the brain that improves motor skills and learning capacity.

Don’t skip breakfast

Breakfast is essential for improving short-term memory of a person and attention span. An individual who skips breakfast may pose slow concentration due to pangs of hunger and decrease brain energy. A breakfast should contain any or combination of the following:

  • Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are converted to glucose in the body. Glucose in return provides fuel for the brain as it functions in daily activities. However, limit carbohydrate intake to whole grains, oatmeal, brown rice, barley, legumes, fruits and vegetable only. These foods are the best brain stimulating foods and increases blood supply in the brain. Refined carbohydrates such as pasta, white bread and pastries can make someone lethargic.

Oatmeal is a low-glycemic carbohydrate that provides faster energy than that of protein. It also promotes serotonin (a neurotransmitter) production that gives a person a sense of calm.

  • Milk

Milk is rich in calcium that improves the function of the nerves. Intake of milk can increase alertness and memory.

Do not eat too little or too much in breakfast. Eating too little results to poor concentration as pangs of hunger would distract someone from listening to a lecture or taking an examination. Too much food consumed in breakfast would make someone feel uncomfortable that would also disrupt concentration and focus.

Have a balanced diet and follow the food guide pyramid in deciding what foods to eat in a meal. This might sound very simple that most people neglect to follow it. Keep in mind that one of the main factor to top or pass that test is a good functioning brain. Make most of your brain by nourishing it with foods to increase its function and power. A poorly functioning brain can’t help you on that big test.  Help your brain, and in response it will help you more.

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Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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