Getting good test scores is something every student is interested in, but it's important to remember that improved cognitive function plays a huge role in this. If you are more stressed than focused and if your memory and concentration levels are dipping due to anxiety and all-nighters, chances are that you will make unnecessary mistakes.
What you should be doing instead is meditating and getting proper nutrition to improve your memory and concentration levels. There are a number of foods that can boost your cognitive function. How, you ask? According to a study in Nutricion Hospitalaria in 2018, the brain needs a continuous supply of amino acids, folic acid, vitamins and antioxidants to synthesise neurotransmitters like serotonin to improve learning, memory and concentration. Increased serotonin production in the brain can also uplift your mood and keep exam stress at bay.
Obviously then, a diet rich in foods that are packed with these nutrients is just what you need before your exams. But while you're busy stocking these foods that improve brain power, remember to drink enough water. A study in Physiology and Behavior in 2018 has linked hydration with attention and memory. It reveals that drinking enough water, especially to make sure that you never have dry mouth, plays an important role in improving cognitive function.
So, sip on water and eat the following foods to improve your memory and concentration levels.
Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in vitamins, fibre and flavonoids. They can reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and improve communication between brain cells. Blueberries also reduce short-term memory loss, and isn't that just what you need during your exams?
Apart from being rich in protein, eggs are also packed with choline and B vitamins, especially folic acid. Don't think about not eating egg yolks, because they are packed with these nutrients as well as omega-3 fatty acids - all of which are linked to improved cognitive abilities
3. Tea and coffee
It doesn't matter if you're a tea person or a coffee person. As long as you consume some caffeine during the day, your brain will remain alert and your memory will hold up too. If you don't want to indulge in coffee, try a simple cup of green or black tea because both are rich in caffeine and antioxidants.
All nuts and seeds are great sources of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, so you'll be really spoiled for choice. But walnuts - according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2015 - are exceptionally rich in a type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, which improves memory while keeping both the brain and the heart-healthy.
5. Fatty Fish
Packed with the richest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, fatty fish varieties like salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines and tuna are just what you need to be eating more of right now. Choose to bake or lightly grill the fish, instead of making rich curries or frying them, to minimise the risk of indigestion.
There's one compound in turmeric, curcumin, which can work wonders on your memory and concentration levels. Eating some raw turmeric early in the morning will boost both serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain, and help with the production of new brain cells too.
It doesn't matter if you're eating chicken or mutton liver, this organ is packed with vitamins A, C, B6 and B12. Not only will eating half a bowl of well-cooked liver once a week improve your concentration and memory power, but the iron, protein and magnesium in this food will keep you strong and keep anaemia at bay.
8. Dark chocolate
The darker the chocolate, the richer it is in protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamin B12 and antioxidants like flavonoids. Not only will eating some dark chocolate improve your memory and concentration, but also lift your mood and keep those exam blues away for good.
While you should totally eat more of these foods to improve your cognitive function, it's important to remember that these are not miracle ingredients. You will still need to study hard, but these foods will definitely ease the process of learning and improve your brain's performance.
For more information, read our article on How to increase brain power: Foods and home remedies.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India's first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.