Food is an essential part of life, and there are delicate health consequences of inadequate food supply to the body. Food is anything we eat that maintains health, provides energy and supports growth and development. Balanced food or diet is a serving that contains all the classes of food in their right proportions. Lack of food will lead to an inadequate supply of nutrients needed for growth and development in different parts of the body which will, in turn, lead to malnutrition.
As students, the importance of food can’t be neglected, especially in exam periods. One of the grievous acts that limit one’s success ability in exams is not having access to proper food during examination periods. During the exam periods, it is expected that students should not skip meals, but eat balanced diets. It’s so that the brain can comprehend effectively what such students read.
The activity of the brain is heightened as students prepare for exams, as the brain is tasked with reasoning, understanding, memorising, and other related activities. Therefore, the brain will require a larger amount of energy and other nutrients that will aid its effective delivery and execution of tasks. These nutrients and aliquots of energy can be accessed in fruits. In this post, we have gathered the top 5 easily accessible fruits that can help the brain’s activity most especially during exams to further ensure success.
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are known as agrumes, which means sour fruits. Most citrus fruits are from a small group of plants from about four species in Southeast Asia. The most common are oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons, and limes.
The peels of citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons contain a high quantity of nobiletin, which reduces cholesterol, slows down the growth of cancer cells and also possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition to this, citrus flavonoids repair cellular damage and improve the cognitive functions of the brain. These compounds may have the ability to promote learning and memory, as well as protect nerve cells from injury, therefore warding off mental decline.
Although fruit juices are more concentrated sources of these potential brain-health-promoting compounds, whole citrus fruits are also rich sources of flavonoids and can be used as a snack when studying or preparing for an exam.
Avocado is the fruit of the avocado tree, scientifically known as Persea americana. This fruit is prized for its high nutrient value and can be added to various dishes due to its good flavour and rich texture. It is the main ingredient in guacamole (a Mexican dish).
A diet rich in healthy unsaturated fats supports the brain and combats cognitive decline. Avocados are packed with good-for-you monounsaturated fats that promote healthy blood flow and support information-carrying nerves in the brain. They are also loaded with several of the brain’s most valued nutrients, including folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, and copper.
A 2018 Tufts University study linked avocados with better brain functioning in older adults. The research monitored 40 healthy adults over the age of 50 who ate one fresh avocado per day for six months. Researchers found that they experienced a significant improvement in their problem-solving skills and working memory. The study also found that a control group in the same age bracket who did not eat an avocado each day did not experience the same cognitive health benefits during the study period.
Walnuts are round, single-seeded stone fruits of the walnut tree. They are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fibre. They may enhance heart and bone health and help in weight management, among other benefits. They are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts are chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids and boost thinking power. Omega-3 fatty acids have a protective effect on the brain as they rev up the functioning of neurotransmitters, which in turn improves memory and cognitive skills. They are also a good source of protein. Nuts have a reputation for being a high-calorie and high-fat food. However, they are dense in nutrients and provide heart-healthy fats.
In Nigeria, it is called ‘Asala’ or ‘Awusa’ in Yoruba; ‘Ukpa’ in Ibo; and ‘Okhue’ or ‘Okwe’ in Edo.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits worldwide. They contain essential nutrients that can have a protective impact on health. Bananas offer potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other important nutrients for your health.
Studies show that eating bananas help students learn more efficiently and improve exam scores. They also contain vitamin B6, which promotes the production of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine to support concentration.
When your body metabolizes protein, it produces ammonia and ammonia is toxic to body cells. Magnesium activates an enzyme that converts ammonia to urea so your body can excrete it. Even a small amount of brain ammonia can hinder your ability to focus and pay attention; so, eating magnesium-rich foods are beneficial for improving your brain function. A large banana gives you 37 milligrams of magnesium. Magnesium also helps facilitate the electrical activity between the nerve cells in your brain.
Bananas in summary are tasty and a convenient source of some important nutrients.
A berry is a small, pulpy, and often edible fruit. Typically, berries are juicy, tounded, brightly coloured, sweet, sour or tart, and do not have a stone or pit, although many pips or seeds may be present. It includes blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, strawberries e.t.c.
Strong scientific evidence exists that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes. Eating berries is healthful and may help your brain to improve your memory.
They also are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre along with flavonoids called anthocyanins, a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in almost all fruits and vegetables.
Following a healthy dietary pattern is important when you’re studying and taking exams. Although an overall healthy diet and lifestyle is what’s most important, research shows that certain foods may help enhance mental performance, making them an excellent choice for students. If you’re looking to enhance your mental performance and improve your overall health, try adding a few of the foods listed above into your diet.