13 Brain Foods: Boost your performance in exam season

13 Brain Foods: Boost your performance in exam season

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13 Brain Foods: Boost your performance in exam season
Sahil Dahal

A healthy and balanced diet is essential for maintaining overall physical and mental health because it provides the body and brain with the necessary nutrients to function correctly. When you eat a diet rich in nutrients, your body and brain can work at their best, which can help improve your performance in various tasks, including during exam season.

Some specific brain foods that may help boost your performance during exam season include blueberries, avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds, whole grains, dark chocolate, turmeric, green tea, eggs, leafy greens, oranges, tomatoes, and red peppers. These foods are rich in essential nutrients for brain health, such as antioxidants, healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you may improve your memory, cognitive function, alertness, and overall brain function, which can help you perform better during exam season.

This article provides a list of 13 super-brain foods with remarkable power that will give you nutrition and enable you to ace your examinations and achieve higher exam scores.

Milk Chocolates/Dark Chocolates

Dark chocolate is a beloved treat that many people enjoy, and it can also be considered a "brain food" due to its potential benefits for cognitive function. Dark chocolate contains high levels of antioxidants, specifically flavonoids, which can help improve blood flow to the brain and increase clarity and alertness. This can help to enhance cognitive skills such as problem-solving and essay writing.

Dark chocolate is also known to have stress-busting properties. It contains a compound called phenylethylamine, which releases the same feel-good chemicals as endorphins and helps you to feel happier and less stressed. Low-stress levels can help to boost memory, focus, and mood, which are essential for effective studying.


Eggs are one of the world's most adaptable foods, and they are nutritious for the body in any form, whether they are poached, sunny side up, boiled, fried, or scrambled. Eggs are the ideal food for students. Eggs are high in protein and essential for enhancing memory performance.

Unlike simple carbs, eggs' choline helps your brain stay alert for longer, and their proteins contain amino acids, which assist the brain's cells in connecting and forming networks.

Whole Grains

Eating whole grains can be beneficial for students looking to improve their grades. Whole grains are complex carbohydrates that are not refined and are digested slowly, providing a steady supply of energy to the body. This constant energy supply can improve brain power and enable students to study for extended periods.

Whole grains are also beneficial for students looking to improve their memory, as they support cognitive function. This is particularly important for students who need to memorize a lot of information, such as for exams. Whole grains contain fibres, vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and B vitamins. Additionally, whole grains are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote healthy blood flow and circulation in the brain.


Water is essential for overall health and beneficial for students during exam time. Though not food, water plays a vital role in keeping the body hydrated, which can help keep the brain healthy.

The brain is composed of approximately 73% water, so maintaining hydration is crucial for cognitive function, alertness, and concentration. When the body is dehydrated, it can affect the brain's ability to function correctly. When the body is dry, it can lead to fatigue, headaches and difficulty concentrating, making it challenging to study and retain information effectively.

Water acts as a medium through which blood flows, and this process is essential in transporting oxygen to all body tissues, including the brain. Adequate hydration helps improve blood flow, increasing the amount of oxygen reaching the brain, making it more alert and better able to perform cognitive tasks.

Green Tea

Green tea is a popular beverage known for its health benefits, particularly for the brain. Green tea contains a plant compound called polyphenols, known for their natural fuel and energy-boosting properties. Drinking green tea during exams may help protect the brain from wear and tear and help ward off mental fatigue.

One of the active compounds in green tea is caffeine, which helps to increase alertness and improve cognitive performance. Additionally, polyphenols such as catechins, specifically Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) found in green tea, have been shown to have neuroprotective effects, which may help prevent damage to the brain, which can lead to degenerative diseases.

Green tea is also a good source of antioxidants, which helps to protect the body against the damaging effects of free radicals. As the body undergoes mental and physical stress during the exam period, the antioxidants present in green tea can help reduce inflammation, which can help prevent mental fatigue.

Green Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are highly beneficial for the brain, containing essential nutrients such as iron, protein, fibre and calcium. These nutrients are necessary to maintain overall brain health and promote proper brain function. Eating these vegetables in their raw form is the best way to acquire maximum nutritional benefits.

Other vegetables can be beneficial for students during exam time. For example, Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts contain nutrients that can help increase retention power and memory. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams are rich in complex carbohydrates and contain soluble dietary fibre, which can help reduce drowsiness and fatigue, leading to better focus during study time. Spinach is rich in folic acid, which can help prevent memory loss. Red Onions contain compounds that can improve essential brain functions such as memory and focus.


Fruits are an excellent choice for snacking during exams because they are high in fibre and natural sugar. These nutrients can help keep you feeling full and focused during your studies. Here are some specific benefits of different types of fruits that may be particularly helpful during exam time:

  • Apples: Apples are a good source of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and dietary fibre. Eating an apple before studying or taking an exam can help improve focus, memory, and overall academic performance.
  • Bananas: Bananas are a great energy source and contain natural sugars that can help keep you full longer, reducing distractions and increasing focus. They also contain potassium that helps to regulate blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Cherries: Cherries are high in dietary fibre and antioxidants, which can boost the immune system. These antioxidants also help to keep you alert and awake during long study sessions.
  • Oranges: Oranges are a good source of Vitamin C, which can help protect against colds and other illnesses. Additionally, the natural sugars in oranges provide a slow release of energy, allowing you to stay productive for extended periods.
  • Grapes: Grapes are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can help to boost brain function and improve memory and concentration. They are also a good source of natural sugars and are easy to eat.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter is an excellent option for exam time because it contains healthy fats and a significant amount of protein. These nutrients help keep you full for extended periods, reducing the need to snack frequently. The healthy fats in peanut butter can also help improve focus, concentration, and cognitive function.

A single serving of peanut butter typically contains around 8 grams of protein and about 16 grams of fat, most of which are healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These nutrients help promote satiety and curb your appetite for a long time.


Coffee, while not technically a food, can be a helpful tool for students during exam time because of its caffeine content. Caffeine, the active ingredient in coffee, is a stimulant that can help increase alertness, focus and attention. It can also help reduce the feeling of drowsiness, allowing you to stay awake and focused for extended periods. Some studies have found that caffeine intake before an exam can improve cognitive performance, specifically working memory, reaction time, and vigilance.

As a general guideline, it's recommended to stick to a moderate intake of coffee, 2-3 cups per day, as excessive consumption can have adverse health effects. Additionally, consuming it without adding excessive sugar or cream can contribute to weight gain or other health problems. It's also worth noting that the aroma of coffee can also have an alerting effect, which can help to keep you awake even before you consume it.


Fish is a great brain food for students who have much studying to do, particularly those who prefer fish. Fish is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, essential for maintaining healthy brain function. These fatty acids have been linked to improved memory and cognitive function and can help reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. Fish is also a good source of protein, which can help to improve focus and concentration.

In addition to being an excellent brain food, fish is a relatively low-fat, low-calorie food choice, making it a healthy option for students looking to maintain or lose weight. Canned fish, such as tuna and sardines, can be a convenient and cost-effective way to include fish in your diet.

Dry Fruits

Nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, are excellent brain food for students during exams. They are high in healthy fats and calories, which can provide a sustained source of energy to help keep you focused and alert while studying. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins E, B, and magnesium.

Nuts are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, specifically omega-3 and omega-6, which can help to improve brain function and cognitive performance. These fatty acids are essential for healthy development and part of the brain. Some nuts, like walnuts, are specifically high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to improve memory, attention, and mood.


Legumes like beans and lentils are great brain foods for students during exams because they are packed with essential nutrients for maintaining healthy brain function. They are rich sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, and calcium.

Legumes like kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils are exceptionally high in folic acid, a B vitamin essential for healthy brain function. Folic acid is necessary for memory, as it helps to protect the brain from damage and helps to improve memory retention. Studies have found that people who consume higher amounts of folic acid have a better cognitive function and a reduced risk of cognitive decline.

Legumes are also a great source of protein, essential for maintaining healthy brain function. Proteins are the building blocks of the brain and play a vital role in the development and process of the nervous system. Eating enough protein can help to improve focus, concentration and cognitive function. This is why sufficient consuming protein is essential for students to perform well in school.

Brahmi/ Brahmi Leaves

Brahmi, also known as Bacopa monniera, is a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to improve cognitive function and brain health. Brahmi is traditionally used to improve memory, concentration, attention, motivation, intelligence, and overall cognitive performance.

The active compounds in Brahmi, including bacosides, have been found to positively affect the brain's neurotransmitters and receptors, which help to improve communication between nerve cells and support cognitive function. Studies have found that taking Brahmi can significantly improve memory recall and recall the time, as well as attention and cognitive processing.

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