I hope you have had a good week and are enjoying the long weekend.
If you are living in a house with teenagers in the UK, I expect you are probably half way through the important GCSE, AS and A level exam period.
I hope you’re not experiencing too many dramas with your teenagers – unlike my 17 year old who decided doing a bit of skateboarding between revising was a good idea. Five hours at A & E later and we have a fractured elbow joint to contend with. Thankfully, it’s his left arm and he’s right handed.
If your teens are hitting a bit of slump though, here’s my Top Ten tips to boost brain function – hopefully 5 & 6 won’t apply to our teens too much!
Top 10 tips to boost brain function during exam season:
- Hydrate – Drinking a glass of water before an exam can improve cognitive ability by 15%. Aim for 6-8 glasses of fluid per day, more if exercising hard or if the weather is particularly hot.
- Eat healthy Omega 3 fats – oily wild fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies, nuts and seeds such as walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, flax and chai seeds, green leafy vegetables, avocadoes and extra virgin olive oil.
- Carbs – eating complex carbohydrates through the day helps to keep blood glucose levels stable, thereby keeping energy flowing to the brain. Suitable carbs would be wholegrain breakfast cereals and breads, brown rice, pulses and beans.
- Exercise – physical activity that raises the heart beat for approximately 30 minutes per day is ideal.
- Don’t smoke – smoking has a negative impact on blood vessels to the brain, as well as damaging the heart and lungs.
- Only drink alcohol in moderation. Teens shouldn’t really drink at all as it impacts developing brains.
- Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Not only do these provide high levels of nutrients and vitamins, they are also a form of slow release carbs (see 3 above).
- Keep caffeine and sugar intake to a minimum – this includes energy drinks and coca-cola.
- Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep has a profound impact on memory and cognitive function. Any sleep deprived mother can confirm this!
- Rosemary – sniffing a handful of the herb rosemary or sniffing a few drops of essential rosemary oil on a tissue prior to an exam can help memory recall by up to 75% according to research by Northumbia University, Newcastle.
These top tips have also been shown to help prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimers in older brains, so it’s a good list for us parents to adopt too!
Wishing all your teenagers every success in their exams.
This week’s meal plan:-
- Sausage stroganoff
- Coconut chilli chicken and salad
- Chicken with a white wine and mustard sauce, new potatoes and vegetables
- Salmon with chilli lime noodle salad
- Cottage pie
- Pork and spicy plum stir fry and rice
- Quiche and salad
I hope you all have a fantastic week and for those of you on half term, lets hope the weather is good!
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