As you can guess from the picture here, weʼre going to be talking about food. More specifically, about food thatʼs good for your brain – food that will support the hard work you’re putting in to pass your RO4 exams.
We’re also going to mention food thatʼs not going to increase your brain power, but rather damages it, because what you eat directly affects the biochemistry of your body. Since your brain is connected to your body, it affects your brain too!
Your brain uses more energy than any other organ, so any changes for the better you make to your diet will make a big positive difference to your brain. Iʼm going to suggest that you start paying attention to the effect that different food has on you. Because, once you start noticing whether it makes you feel sleepy or energetic; clear minded or foggy, you’ll begin to understand what a huge difference it can make to you.
You will have heard this before, but it really is essential to eat when you get up in the morning. It’s not called breakfast, break fast for nothing. The night would have been the longest amount of time you’ve gone without eating, without refuelling. And it’s a mistake to think that because you’re not moving about, you don’t need fuel.
On the contrary, your brain uses more energy than any other organ, and uses 25% of the all energy available from the food you consume. What’s more, activity in the brain doesn’t stop when you sleep. In fact many areas the brain are far more active during sleep than they are during the day, when you’re awake. And bear in mind that sleeping is an essential part of the consolidation of memories, you want to make sure that you get good quality sleep and enough of it, and that your brain has sufficient fuel to do its job while you’re asleep.
By the morning, your energy reserves will have been used up and you will need to refuel. People who don’t eat breakfast tend to be the ones who complain of low energy, depression and anxiety, as well as problems with thinking straight and remembering things. Many studies, and many of those with healthy college students, have proved that eating breakfast allows you to score higher in cognitive tests. If you’re making any effort to revise for RO4 exams, you wouldn’t want that effort to go to waste simply because you didn’t take care of your nutritional needs.
The best sort of breakfast includes a protein, some carbohydrate and a fruit or vegetable. So something like bowl of cereal (carbohydrate), milk (protein) and glass of orange juice (fruit) is ideal.
The worst thing you can do, especially on an empty stomach, is eat something full of sugar, such as a Danish pastry, which will have you feeling anxious, and will make it difficult for you to concentrate. Your short-term memory will also suffer a couple of hours later. Simple sugars are a real problem for the brain. While sugar is a carbohydrate, the sort of carbohydrates you should eat are the complex ones which release their energy slowly into the bloodstream, and give you a continual supply of fuel.
So bear that in mind when you’re studying for your RO4 exams. You want to give yourself the best chance of success, so don’t undermine your valiant revision efforts with food that’ll addle your brain!