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The walk of life has exams at every nook of it. Perhaps the most dreaded of all exams are the ones which we take during our academic journey. They are an important determinant of every student’s career and future. Quality food is a necessity of life. It nurtures a person’s health. Nutritional food for exams is mandatory for students to effectively study for their exams and keep their anxiety levels under control. Studies have shown that nutritious food helps the student stay focused and alert while studying; process information faster and improves their memory. Foods rich in fibre, protein and fats are brain food for exams, keeping the students energetic and fit.

Did you know that your diet can influence your brain size?

Food starts impacting your cognition right from the moment you see and smell it. Ingestion of food releases hormones like insulin and glucagon-like peptides which in turn contribute to learning and memory. In fact, studies have hinted that having a healthy breakfast improves short-term memory and attention. Here is a list of brain food for exams that will improve a student’s memory.

brain food foe exam


Nutritional value

Nuts like walnuts, almonds, peanuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Rich in protein and omega fatty acids


Rich in omega 3



Rich in omega and fatty acids



Rich in omega fatty acids and Vitamin E


Rich in the antioxidant, lycopene

Brown Rice

Rich in Vitamin B

Finally, a diet including brain food for exams must be complemented with FDA food safety tests to ensure that the food is safe to consume.

The Brain-Boosting Diet

The type of food you eat influences your memory, focus and concentration. Therefore, students need to eat nutrition-rich food to improve memory power for exams. In the sections below, we discuss some popular brain foods for exams and their benefits.

food for brain

Essential Nutrients for Optimal Brain Function

Eating brain food before exams is essential for a student to help their brain function optimally. Here are a few examples of essential nutrients that must be a part of your food to improve memory power for exams.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 is a healthy fat which is essential for our body to support our brain functions, maintain heart health and control inflammation. Since this is not produced inside our body, students should consume food rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Examples of some brain foods for exams rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are Mackerel, Salmon, walnuts, Chia seeds and Soybeans.


Studies suggest that Antioxidants boost the memory and cognitive functions of students.  Thus, the food to eat before exams must be rich in antioxidants. Some examples of suitable brain food for exams rich in antioxidants include apples, avocados, berries and cocoa. 

Vitamins and Minerals

For any person and especially students, the brain is one of the most important organs in the body. It commands essential functions like memory, creativity, focus and motivation. Foods rich in certain vitamins and minerals are considered the best brain foods for exams. Foods rich in B vitamins (like eggs, dairy products, leafy green vegetables and poultry), zinc (like seafood, whole grains and nuts), and iron (like spinach, lentils and chickpeas) are ideal for students. 

Foods Rich in Brain-Boosting Nutrients

Foods rich in nutrients help students stay stronger, sharper and more focused in their studies. Some brain foods for exams which are rich in nutrients are mentioned below.

Fatty fish

Mackerels are one of the most nutritious fishes. They are a good source of omega-3s which promote development. Sardines are another brain food that helps in protecting the student’s brain health.

Blueberries and other berries

Rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, Vitamin K, Manganese and Potassium, blueberries increase blood flow to important parts of the brain, improve memory and attention and prevent cognitive stress.

Nuts and Seeds

These are the best breakfast brain foods for exams. Rich in Omega-3s and fatty acids, nuts and seeds improve cognitive functions; and memory, and increase our attention span.

Dark Chocolate

The best brain food snack for exams, dark chocolate is tasty and rich in antioxidants. They strengthen the cognitive functions of the brain and also help in learning effectively.

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Energy-Packed Snacks during Exam Days

Students must eat well while studying for exams. Eating healthy snacks in gaps between meals keeps the blood glucose level from falling and boosts the energy level of students.

exams snacks food

Importance of Sustaining Energy Levels During Exams

Students should eat the best brain food snacks for exams. Snacks help maintain high energy levels during the exam season which in turn impacts student performance. Some benefits of high energy levels include the following

  • Support strong cognitive functions important for problem-solving and effective learning.
  • Keep students alert and focused while studying
  • Support information processing thereby helping students to understand complex topics for the exam.
  • Reduce anxiety and improve the brain’s ability to retrieve information.   

Healthy Snack Options for Prolonged Focus

Care must be taken that the students eat nutritional food for exams. Here are some healthy choices for brain food for exams for students to indulge in while studying.

Trail Mix with Nuts and Dried Fruits

This is great food before exams when the students feel hungry. It contains dried fruits which are rich in proteins, calcium and other micronutrients. On the other hand, nuts are rich in Omega-3s and fatty acids. Both of these help improve brain health and memory and are ideal for students.

Greek Yogurt with Honey and Granola

Yoghurt, honey and granola mix is ideal for students due to their multiple health benefits. While the protein-rich Greek yogurt maintains brain health and influences cognitive performance granola provides complex carbohydrates which maintain high energy levels. To add to the goodness, honey is a natural antioxidant which ensures good long-term cognitive health. No wonder, Greek Yogurt with Honey and Granola is the best food snack for exams

Fresh Fruit slices with Nut Butter

This brain food has the goodness of fresh fruits and nuts which in turn supports a healthy brain. Make sure to include fruits like guava, kiwi, tomatoes and strawberries in the salad.

Hydration and Brain Function

A glass of water can do much more than you think. Let us understand why water is the memory brain food for exams.

food exams

The role of water in Cognitive Performance

According to studies, water loss leads to a decline in cognitive function.  Water facilitates communication between the brain cells, flushes out toxins hampering brain functions, carries nutrients to the brain and helps in faster decision-making. Therefore, staying hydrated improves cognitive test performance. Thus, water is one of the most crucial brain foods for exams.

Hydration tips for exam periods

As the exam time nears students are more likely to forget to drink water. Here are a few tips for students to stay hydrated even during exams.

Importance of Staying Well-hydrated

Water is the most important brain food for students preparing for exams. Proper hydration ensures optimal brain function which in turn boosts the student’s academic performance. Also, a well-hydrated student is more focused, alert and productive while studying. Finally, productivity also harbors a positive mindset.

Herbal teas and infused water options

Herbal tea and infused water are essential brain foods for exams. Matcha, green tea contains caffeine and I-theanine that can help students stay calm and boost their brain power to help them stay focused. It is also responsible for improving memory.

Foods to Avoid on Exam Time

Brain food improves brain health and helps students focus and perform better in their exams. However, not all foods are healthy. Students should avoid them during the exam period.

Impact of Certain Foods on Cognitive Function

The right diet can work wonders for you. However, eating unhealthy food can impact you negatively. Some foods can especially harm the functioning of your brain, thus impacting your memory and mood. Here is a list of some foods for us and especially for students to avoid.



Sugary Drinks

Causes a reduction in memory and learning.

Refined carbs (like white flour and processed grains)

Impairs memory and intelligence

Highly processed food (like instant noodles, store-bought sauces, ready-made meals and chips)

Causes memory and learning impairment and brain plasticity

Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame)

Causes behavioral and cognitive problems.

Foods That May Cause Energy Crashes and Distractions

Not all are good brain foods for exams. Some foods can cause energy crashes and distractions and should be avoided by students, especially before their exams.

High-Sugar Snacks

Too much of something is not good. Snacks with high sugar content will lead to excess glucose saturation in the brain. This in turn can lead to cognitive deficiencies and harm our memory power.

Processed and Fried Food

Unfortunately for our taste buds, processed and fried foods do not make it to the list of brain foods for the exam. Processed and fried foods reduce our brain’s learning capacity (which is also known as neuroplasticity). Therefore, students must check their consumption of these foods as much as possible.

Excessive Caffeine Intake

Excessive caffeine intake reduces the cerebral blood flow thereby causing brain hypoperfusion.

Meal Planning Tips During Exam Times

exam plan

Eating the right meal comprising the right brain food for exams at the right time can help students nurture a healthy brain. In this section, we discuss meal plans in detail. 

Importance of a Balanced and Well-timed Diet

A balanced and well-timed diet including nutritious brain food for exams maintains sufficient energy levels to keep students active and focused throughout. Moreover, a healthy diet also ensures overall good health for the students which is essential during the exam period.

Sample Meal Plans for Exam Days

An exam is not just about the students. Their parents are equally stressed during this time. They try to ensure that their children get the healthiest food and have the best academic guidance. Here are some meal ideas (containing brain foods for exams) that are both healthy and tasty.

Breakfast Ideas for Sustained Energy

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Here are some tasty breakfast foods for exams for the students.

  • Baked oatmeal with pears is a great brain food for exams as it can help reduce brain stress and increase productivity and alertness in students.
  • Poached Eggs and Quinoa with Vegetables help students maintain a high level of energy throughout the day.
  • Granola and Honey in Milk is healthy brain food for exams as it also helps students maintain sustained energy levels and good cognitive health.

Lunch Option for Concentration

Lunch made with nutrient-rich ingredients helps boost the concentration of students. Here are some easy-to-make lunch ideas made with ingredients which are considered brain foods for exams.

  • Chickpea stew with tomatoes and spinach is a nutrient-rich brain food for exams which boosts a person’s memory and protects other activities of the brain.
  • Fruit, Veggie and Cheese Plate can be customized to your preference. You can add nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits that secure brain health, boost concentration and are tasty to eat. For example, tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables like spinach and nuts help improve our concentration. 
  • A chickpea and egg sandwich is great brain food for exams as both egg and chickpea improve memory power and boost students’ concentration.

Dinner Choices for Relaxation and Recovery

Dinner is usually the last meal of the day. It should be kept light yet nutrient-rich. Here are some easy-to-make dinner ideas made with ingredients which are considered brain foods for exams.

  • Dark chocolate chia seed pudding helps students think clearly and boosts their moods. It is a tasty brain food to end the day with.
  • Avocado and black bean eggs are a stress-busting dinner, rich in vitamins. This meal helps students calm down and relax.

Simple Recipes for Busy Exam Days

Being stress-free during the exams is important for both students and their parents. Here are some ideas for healthy memory brain food for exams which are simple and require the least time to prepare.

Overnight oats with fruits and nuts

This is probably the least complicated and most nutritious food to eat before exams. You can customize this dish by adding nutritious fruits of your own choice. The goodness of oats and nuts guarantees a high energy level and attention span along with improved memory power.

Quinoa Salad with Vegetables and Protein

Quinoa, vegetables (like spinach), and protein (like egg) are powerful brain foods for exams. You can combine these to make nutritious food to eat before exams. This dish guarantees high energy levels and concentration in students.

Smoothie Recipes for Quick Energy Boost

Smoothies are the best food to eat before exams. Not only is it easy and quick to make but you can customize it to add ingredients rich in nutrients you need. Here are some smoothie ideas containing brain foods for exams.

  • Healthy Breakfast Smoothie (containing milk, yoghurt, honey, blueberries, berries and unsweetened peaches)
  • Tropical Smoothie (containing fruits like mango, pineapple and oranges)
  • Brain food smoothie (containing Greek yoghurt, milk, avocados, strawberries and banana)

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Tips for Healthy Eating and Budget During Exams

healthy life exams

We agree that consuming brain food is important for students to concentrate and stay healthy, but it also has to be on an affordable budget. Healthy food is not always costly. Here are some ideas for making affordable and nutritious meal plans.

Affordable Food Options for Students

Some affordable food options that incorporate powerful nutrient-rich brain foods for exam are discussed below.

  • Rich in nutrients and fibers, legumes (like beans and lentils) are affordable and delicious brain food.
  • Shopping for nutrient-laden brain foods like oatmeal and brown rice in bulk will save you a lot of money.
  • Eggs are an extremely good for exam. Not only do they support healthy brain functions but they can also be cooked in multiple ways to plate a tasty and healthy diet.

How to Plan Nutritional Meals without Breaking the Bank

You do not need to break the bank to eat healthy. Here are some tips for students to eat for exams in a budget-friendly manner.

  • Planning the upcoming week’s meal. This will help you understand what you should be buying and eliminate impulse buying. Also, do not forget to jot down the nutritional value of each food on your list.
  • Buy locally produced seasonal fruits and vegetables that are considered essential brain foods for exams.
  • Research to compare the prices of foods from different brands, given the package size. This will help you make an economic choice while making the purchase.
  • Leverage the discounts and offers available on brain foods for exams while planning your meals so that you can maximize your savings.


Food plays an important role in our well-being. A human nutrient  diet ensures that our body functions optimally and keeps us strong and healthy. Students must consume brain food which boosts their memory power, and energy level and protects their cognitive health. In this blog, we discussed the importance of brain food ]] for students. Moreover, we also suggested healthy recipe ideas using brain food that can be easily made.  You will also find some suggestions on budget-friendly meal plans to ensure that students can afford nutritious food before their exams. 

Eating nutritious food is just one essential element for the betterment of the student’s academic performance. Getting quality education is another important factor. Excel PU College is one of the best PU colleges that can help students begin their higher education journey and successfully pursue the career they desire.