We all know that good nutrition, or brain food, can give us energy and help us live longer, more satisfying lifestyles. But did you know that brain food can get you a better test score? It's true. Now I'm not exactly saying, "eat a banana; score a 2400 on the SAT," but if you consume some of the brain food listed below, your brain will begin to function better, and that can only lead to positive changes on test day.
How? Read below to find out which brain food is your new best friend when it comes to test-taking.
Brain Food #1: Green tea
Key Ingredient: Polyphenols
Test Help: Brain protection and mood enhancement
According to Psychology Today, polyphenols, the bitter-tasting substance in green tea, can actually protect the brain from wear and tear. Plus, it helps dopamine production, which is key to a positive mental state. And really, when you're going to take a test, you absolutely must have a positive attitude about it, or you'll doom yourself to second-guessing, worry, and fear, which do not good scores make.
Brain Food #2: Eggs
Key Ingredient: Choline
Test Help: Memory improvement
Choline, the "B-vitamin"-like substance our bodies need, can help your brain do something it's good at: remember stuff. Some studies have found that increasing choline intake can improve memory, and egg yolks are among the richest and easiest natural sources of choline. So scramble them up a few months before testing day to see if it helps you remember how to fill in an oval.
Brain Food #3: Wild Salmon
Key Ingredient: Omega-3-fatty acids
Test Help: Brain function improvement
The omega-3 fatty acid DHA is the major polyunsaturated fatty acid found in the brain. Eating food rich in omega-3's, like wild-caught salmon, can improve brain function and mood. And improved brain function (reasoning, listening, responding, etc.) can lead to a higher test score. Allergic to fish? Try walnuts. Squirrels can't have all the fun.
Brain Food #4: Dark chocolate
Key Ingredient: Flavonoids and Caffeine
Test Help: Focus and Concentration
We've all heard for a while now that in small quantities, 75% cacao content or higher dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and cholesterol because of its powerful antioxidant properties from the flavonoids. But one of the best uses of dark chocolate comes from its natural stimulant: caffeine. Why? It can help you focus your energy. Beware, though. Too much caffeine will send you through the roof and can actually work against you when you sit down to test. So eat the dark chocolate in isolation.
Brain Food #5: Acai berries
Key Ingredients: Antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids
Test Help: Brain Function and Mood
Acai has become so popular, that it seems cliché to want to consume it. For test-takers, though, the incredibly high antioxidant levels can help blood flow to the brain, which means in short, it'll work better. And, since the acai berry has a ton of omega-3's, it works on your mood, too, so you'll be more confident of your abilities as you're working your way through complex math problems.
So, on test day, why not try a cup of green tea, some scrambled eggs mixed with smoked wild-caught salmon, and an Acai smoothie followed by a piece of dark chocolate? Worst case scenario? You've had a healthy breakfast. Best case scenario? You improve your testing score.