Optimal performance in sports depends on a carefully-calibrated regimen of skills training, conditioning, nutrition, rest, and coaching. Why should optimal performance in academics and tests be any different?
Protein is a powerful driver of peak cognitive function, in large part because neurotransmitter activity in the brain runs on amino acids, which come from protein. The better the fuel, the more efficient our brains operate. In addition, good protein boosts energy, mental clarity, and mood, while helping to manage both pain and stress.
Of course, these benefits accrue from good sources of protein. So rather than packing Big Macs and Buffalo wings on test day, be more strategic in your selections. For example, nuts are chock full of fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Researchers seem to uncover new benefits to eating nuts every year, from low blood pressure to weight control to longevity.
Experts agree that walnuts are particular potent in enhancing brain function. Walnuts are rich in those magical omega-3 fatty acids, which deliver a host of benefits. One study found so many significant, positive associations between walnut consumption and cognitive functions that its researchers suggested that daily walnut intake may be a simple beneficial dietary behavior. Another credited walnuts with the ability to increase inferential reasoning in young adults. Furthermore, a diet rich in walnuts may prepare the body to deal better with stress.
Of course, other nuts can offer similar advantages. If walnuts don’t appeal to your taste buds, almonds are also high in fatty acids along with significant levels of Vitamin B6 and zinc. Almonds, especially when presoaked in water, are credited with improving memory function. Macadamias, hazelnuts, and cashews offer benefits as well.
Our command of reasoning, recall, and focus fails when we neglect mundane considerations like food and sleep. Enhance your results with brain food both leading up to as well as during final exams and standardized tests. Packing–and remembering to eat–a handful of walnuts or mixed nuts may be just what you need to ace the big test. Go nuts (just not this N.U.T.S.) for peak performance on test day!