The exam season is back with a vengeance and youngsters are cramming hard to make up for all the lost time and ace their grades (or in some cases, at least make it to the next grade!). We've all heard of having soaked almonds to boost memory but did you know that there are many other foods that can help remember those facts and figures better?
"Broccoli, green leafy vegetables, seasonal vegetables and even chocolates are a good choice of super foods for awesome memory," says Chef Shipra Khanna, author of 'Super Foods For Awesome Memory', which contains interesting recipe ideas using memory-boosting foods.
Students also tend to study late into the night and early in the morning so make sure you stock the fridge with some healthy treats to keep their energy going. Celebrity nutritionist and dietician Nmami Agarwal breaks it all down:
Memory Boosting Foods
Say yes to memory enhancing berries
1)Crunchy Nuts: Nuts such as almonds and walnuts to help improve brain power and concentration. It’s important to note students, you must start your daily day with these hearty, crunchy nuts. You can either have them soaked or add them to your cereal bowl or an evening smoothie. These nuts are power-packed with healthy fats – Omega -3, help to increase the blood flow to the brain and useful in improving memory functions of the brain.
2)Spinach: This dark, green leafy vegetable is rich in folate and Vitamin E can make your brain work in a much faster way. Spinach is loaded with Vitamin A and K, beneficial in preventing damage to cellular DNA, reduces inflammation and slows down brain aging process. So, the next time your mother brings that green veggie, eat it with all your mind and soul because it’s going to improve your memory and concentration.
3)Lean Fish (Salmon/Tuna and Other fish): Fish is an excellent source of Omega -3 fatty acids including DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which plays an important role in increasing brain growth and it’s cognitive skills. In exams, your brain is extra exhausted and stressed, so to give it an extra push you must add a grilled/ roasted fish in your daily day’s diet, which can contribute to a healthy brain – functioning and its development. You can make your daily snack, sandwich or a curry interesting with these fishes.
4)Pump with Antioxidants (blueberries, apples and broccoli and strawberries): Incorporating a child’s daily diet with fresh antioxidants can improve their memory and learning in the long run. Encourage them to have least one green veggie every day along with 3-4 colours of fruits. Make appealing and delicious veggie and fruit smoothies such a strawberry walnut smoothie, Apple beetroot smoothie and Cucumber, spinach, mint smoothie. In this way, you are not only adding optimum nutrition but also filling their body with rich antioxidants. These help to boost their memory and concentrate better for the upcoming exams.
Healthy Late Night Snacks
Avocado tacos can be a great late-night snack
1) Fresh Fruits: Fruits are quick and one of the easiest options you can opt for, while studying for a nerve-wracking exam. Fruits will give you that instant dose of energy along with nutrition at the same time. Instead of going for that packaged / tetra pack fruit juice; have one wholesome fruit.
2)Cream Crackers with Veggie Toppings: We all like to munch on those biscuits when it comes to those never ending chapters and study material. So we thought of turning them into a healthy and interesting snack. Take any hung curd/mint dressing and prepare fresh sautéed veggies for the toppings; when both of these things are ready, just grab your biscuits and start to layer them your choice of dressing and top it with veggies. This will turn your boring biscuits into a delicious quick snack.
3) Yoghurt Parfait: A lot of times, as a student you don’t have time to prepare anything special for yourself. So in those difficult days, take that fresh yogurt from your refrigerator and top it off with fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, apples, and banana. And this way you can prepare your fresh fruit yogurt parfait in less than 10 minutes. A small reminder - try not to buy those flavoured, processed yoghurt from the market.
4) Wheat Puff Bhel Chat: Studying for long hours can make you super exhausted. Add a power packed wheat puff bhel chat to your study hours. Take 3-4 teaspoons of wheat puff bhel in a small bowl and add colourful vegetables like onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, and sweet potatoes with a dash of lemon and herbs. This is a yummy and delighting recipe which will curb all your hunger pangs.
5) Tangy Masala Corns: Add some tanginess and spice to your late night studies by opting for one Masala corn cob or a chat. This quick, simple and flavoursome snack is also known to be a favourite snack for a lot of kids. Make sure you don’t overload them with those extra calories in terms of salted butter. Simply stick to lemon, black pepper, and salt.
6) Hummus with veggies sticks: Now for this, you will probably need your dear mother. But yes, you can definitely assist her in the preparation. Ask her to prepare a chickpea hummus dip and store in your refrigerator or a cool dry place. During those study hours, when hunger pangs hit, you can head straight for this hummus and enjoy it along with cucumbers and carrot sticks.
7) Keep sipping water throughout your day: While eating you must not forget to keep yourself hydrated. One can opt for lemonades, coolers such as mint or strawberry lemonade, apple cinnamon smoothie, berry smoothie, jal jeera and salted buttermilk. This way, your body will stay cool and hydrated in those tough times and you’ll be able to concentrate better.