9 Best Brain Foods for Exam Takers

The brain needs a lot of energy to carry out its tough work. It also needs nutrients to maintain its stability and proper function. For students, what the brain needs is to have more focus and concentration in times of exams and activities. We can obtain these necessities from the food that we eat which then refers to a balanced and healthy diet.

Our brain has its innate potential to work and do things at an average level. But its maximum potential can also be harnessed when we need it in events like the entrance or board exams. We often do a lot of preparations just like enrolling in a review center or scanning some past notes. But the part that does most of the busy work is the brain. The time will come that it can be exhausted that is why we tend to lose more focus and attention to what we are doing. Thus, a balanced diet which includes foods that may help keep the memory, focus, and concentration is necessary.

a basket of fruits and vegetables for a healthy brain

9 Best Foods to Eat When Preparing for an Exam

To help your brain achieve its maximum performance, give it the highest quality fuel all the time, not just the day before a test. Here are the following foods that may help your brain function better than average during the review and the actual board exam.


Whole wheat fuels the brain for good memory

Whole grains such as whole cereals, wheat, and wholegrain bread, rice, and pasta help fuel the brain. The brain eats its food in the form of glucose, a monosaccharide. Without this simple sugar, our brain may find hard concentrating that is when we skip a carbohydrate meal, we lack energy and feel sleepy.

Wholegrain foods, unlike other carbohydrate meals, release glucose slowly which provides a steady supply of food for the brain. Wholegrains such as brown wholegrain cereals, granary bread, rice, and pasta keep the brain mentally alert throughout the day.


a basket of tomatoes that is good for the brain

The human brain is composed of fats that are necessary for the brain to function properly. The fats in the brain can be protected by brain-protecting plant molecules called carotenoid. Tomatoes are one of easiest and most economical way to increase the levels of carotenoid in the body. It has two types: lycopene and beta-carotene. These two are powerful anti-oxidants that eliminate free radicals that could damage the brain. Lycopene also regulates the genes that influence brain growth while beta-carotene help provides a continuous blood flow to the brain. Several studies link the importance of carotenoid in mental diseases like depression and Alzheimer’s.

Aside from tomatoes, carotenoids can also be found in high levels in watermelon, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy vegetables.

Vitamin C-Rich Foods

oranges and other citrus are rich in vitamin c which is good for the brain.

Foods such as broccoli, orange, lemon and other citrus fruit are rich in Vitamin C,  also known as L-ascorbic acid. Many studies found out the correlation of Vitamin C to mental agility. Relative high levels of vitamin C increases the mental agility of an individual. It helps the brain to think faster in critical situations without compromising the memory.

Vitamin C is also an anti-oxidant that helps remove free radicals in the brain. It is also essential in the production of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. Without a Vitamin C, the electrochemical signal would be traveling at a much slower rate.

Vitamin B-rich foods

green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamin B for brain functions

Eating foods rich in Vitamin B such as eggs and leafy green vegetables helps to improve your memory. Vitamins B1 (Thiamine), B3 (Niacin) and B9 (Folic acid) are some of the B vitamins that play crucial roles in brain function and development. Vitamin B1 helps in improving delivery of nerve impulses inside the brain making it more fired up while the vitamin B3 ensures efficient blood flow to the brain, thus, sharpening the focus and concentration. Vitamin B9 helps improve memory, focus, and alertness. Altogether, these vitamins help in the maintenance of nerve cells in order for the brain to function properly and at the same time, they prevent brain shrinkage according to studies.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds or butong kalabasa contains zinc that boosts memory

Pumpkin seeds help enhance individual’s memory and uplift mood. It contains zinc which is a cofactor for most enzymes. Aside from zinc, it also contains magnesium, B-vitamins, and tryptophan which is a precursor to the happy hormone called serotonin.


peanuts in a plate for healthy brain during the exam

Nuts are known source of vitamin E which protect the brain. According to an American Journal, intake of vitamin E help prevents cognitive decline making the brain sharper even at critical times.
A kind of nut called Walnut is the top nut recommended for brain health. It has a significantly high level of DHA which is a type of omega-3 fatty acids. As said earlier, fats are necessary for brain function. Eating nuts will provide DHA to the brain, hence, improve cognitive performance and at the same time age-related cognitive decline.

Fatty fish

a box of sardines that is rich in omega-3

Types of fatty fish include salmon, trout, and sardines which are all good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Half of the fat that comprises the brain is made of omega-3. A controllable intake of fatty fish provides protection to the brain by providing the necessary insulation. A study also showed that having high levels of omega-3 increases the population of nerve cells in the grey matter are of the brain. Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that control decision making, memory, and emotions.


a pot of tea and cup

Tea is also proven to have a good impact on the brain and cognitive health. It contains phytochemicals and antioxidants that remove free radicals that may damage the brain. Scientist found out that intake of green tea can prevent cognitive dysfunction and improve the memory.


A basket of apples that helps the brain to communicate efficiently.

Eating apples may increase the production of acetylcholine in the brain. It is an essential neurotransmitter, resulting in improved memory, motivation, attention and sensory perception. It also reduces anxiety, making you calm during the examination.


Eating the foods found in the list may help you prepare for an important exam. Brain foods mentioned above that are rich in antioxidants, Omega-3 and vitamins provide energy and aid in protecting against brain diseases. Since the brain does most of the work during a review and an exam, it needs to be supplemented and nurtured in order to stay focus and well.

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German Baloran
6 months ago

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2 years ago

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