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Revision snacking: Brain Food

Published Monday, 18 May, 2015 by Tiffany Rawling

When you are revising for exams, as I imagine most students are right now, you can be tempted to go for the takeaways, desserts, chocolate, anything to get you through but as great as these things are, there are other foods which will actually get your brain going and really help with your revision.

You need to start the day off well so a quick and simple breakfast is always a winner. A few ideas are:

Fruit – It is simple but it really is good for you. Fruit like blueberries, strawberries and oranges are great and all easy to pack away if you’re eating on the go.

Wholemeal bread – Toast is something most students grab on their way out in a morning so it is always a good thing to have in! You could top it with peanut butter or almond butter, high in protein and contains good carbohydrates which will keep you going until lunch.

Porridge – This is one which takes a little bit more time than others, but it really is just minutes. This can be prepared in the microwave or on the hob and it is great for topping with fruit and/or nuts and seeds which are also great brain food! Nuts like almonds, Bazil and cashews are high in protein and so much better for you to snack on throughout the day rather than a chocolate bar.

Now breakfast is sorted, you need to plan for lunch. A lot of people choose to revise in the library so here are some quick lunch ideas, all of which can be put in a tupperware to take with you.

Simple salads – There are so many variations of salad, most which hardly take any time to prepare. One of these being a pasta salad. This is something that can be prepped the night before or in the morning, depending on how much time you have. Pasta only takes 10 minutes and it takes no time at all to prep some lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, or whatever you fancy in a salad. When the pasta is cooked, throw it all together and store in a tupperware. If you didn’t fancy pasta, you could make a salmon or tuna salad. Oily fish is a great food to be eating while revising. It contains loads of omega 3 and protein which keeps your brain functioning well. Canned sardines is a great one too! Another variation of salad is a potato salad, one of my personal favourites. Budget friendly too! Boil some new potatoes until soft (you can get a bag for under £1 in Asda and Morrisons), when cooked, drain and then mix in some mayonnaise, a little bit of salt and pepper and put into the tupperware. Meals like this slowly release energy throughout the day so you can keep on revising hopefully a bit longer than you would normally!

Sandwiches – Making a sandwich is a lot better than buying one from a shop or cafe, you can control what bread you have and what fillings you include and most of the time they end up being better than any you could buy! As I mentioned above, wholemeal bread is a good one for you so you could use this and then fill with some tuna mayo, cheese, turkey chunks or ham. You could then bulk it up with some salad.

As well as eating a good breakfast and lunch, dinner is just as important. As I mentioned in the lunch section, fish is great for your brain and there are many things you can make with fish for dinner too. You can buy it fresh from the counter in supermarkets and coat it in breadcrumbs and bake in the oven, there are so many recipes online and most don’t take much time to prepare either! If you don’t want to buy fresh you could get frozen, which nowadays come with different sauces such as sweet chilli, parsley, and butter. Better still… they all only take around half an hour in the oven. You could serve it with some veg and maybe some potatoes..

As important as eating all the right food is, staying hydrated is vital too, especially now it’s getting warmer outside! If we get dehydrated, the rate at which our brains work can slow down meaning it won’t be very efficientfor revising and remembering everything you need to for exams. The NHS actually recommends we drink around 8 glasses of water a day. Drinking water while revising will help more than fizzy drinks will.

If you are in the middle of revising for exams right now then I hope some of these tips help you and you get a little inspiration for meal ideas! Remember though that even though all of these things are really good for you, a chocolate bar won’t hurt every so often!

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