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Foods to boost your memory

The supply of nutrients is of utmost importance for the student to perform well. Follow these nutritional guidelines to ensure optimum performance during exams.

health and fitness Updated: Feb 22, 2010 14:01 IST
Dr Anjali Mukherjee

Today, with all the emphasis on academic excellence, children are feeling the pressure to do well in their exams. This is when the brain is taxed to cram maximum information in the shortest time. The supply of nutrients is of utmost importance for the student to perform well. Follow these nutritional guidelines to ensure optimum performance during exams:

Kickstart with breakfast
In breakfast avoid starch-laden and sugary foods. They raise blood sugar levels followed by a sudden slump that makes you drowsy. Since the brain needs stable blood sugar levels, fibre-rich foods like broken wheat porridge, whole wheat bread sandwich, cauliflower paratha, sprouts, eggs, toast and milk with cereal are recommended.

Brain friendly food
The brain requires certain fats for proper functioning. Omega-3 fatty acids enhance brain function considerably by boosting memory, alertness and attention span, and also protect the brain from the effects of aging. Get your daily fix of omega-3 fatty acids from flax seeds, walnuts, tofu and fish.

Memory fats
Phospholipids are well-known memory and attention boosting fats. Of all phospholipids — acetylcholine, choline and dimethylaminoethanol are the most important. They reduce anxiety, improve attention span and promote learning. Egg yolk, organ meat, and sea food, too, are good for the brain.

You can also beat exam stress with B-complex, Vitamin C and zinc. Fresh fruits and vegetables such as amla or gooseberry, capsicum, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, mushrooms, soya and whole grains are high in vitamins. B-complex supplements coupled with zinc boost immunity and energy levels.

Proteins
Proteins maintain brain cells and aid in the synthesis of essential neurotransmitters or brain messengers that keep your child alert. Meals must contain at least one source of proteins — dairy foods, eggs, whole pulses, dals, seafood and lean meats.

Hydration
Keeping yourself well hydrated keeps the brain alert and focussed. Ensure that you have at least two litres of water daily. Sip water at short intervals.