Lifestyle | Brain food to help you through the essay and revision period

Balancing revision and a healthy lifestyle can be difficult, as it’s far too easy to opt for a frozen pizza rather than put the effort into cooking from scratch when the all-important exam period is looming.Yet as delicious as frozen pizzas can be, making your own meals and choosing certain ingredients may be more beneficial to your studies than you might expect.

We are bombarded with claims that certain foods can miraculously boost our health and brain power. However, the vitamins and nutrients found in certain foods can aid concentration and cognitive functions. Here are some super-healthy recipes for you to try over the exam period:

Prawn Omelette

You will need:

  • Two medium sized eggs
  • Olive oil
  • A handful of cooked prawns
  • Grated cheese
  • Your choice of seasoning

Heat the oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, meanwhile, crack both of the eggs in a separate bowl and whisk them. Add the seasoning to the egg mixture. When the oil is heated, pour the egg mixture into the pan. After a few minutes, sprinkle the cheese onto the top of the egg mixture in the pan, then scatter the prawns. When the bottom of the omelette has cooked, use a spatula to fold it in two.

Health benefits:

  • Eggs and shellfish are both rich in vitamin B12, which has been claimed to slow the effects of memory loss

Superfood Salad

You will need:

  • A handful of spinach
  • A handful of pak choi
  • Olive oil
  • A fillet of cold cooked or smoked salmon
  • About 30g grated parmesan
  • Crushed walnuts and sunflower seeds
  • Your choice of seasoning

Wash the spinach and pak choi, then place both in a medium-sized bowl. Spinach and pak choi can be bought very cheaply at local markets (try Abu Bhakar in Hyde Park), and are very versatile. Cut the salmon into strips and lay over the bed of salad. Then, drizzle the olive oil over the top. Scatter the walnuts and sunflower seeds and top the salad off with the parmesan and seasoning.

Health benefits:

  • The omega-3 fatty acids found in the salmon are regarded as vital for brain function
  • Olive oil, the walnuts and sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, which can improve concentration and protects neurons in the brain
  • Pak choi is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C


You will need:

  • Two rashers of bacon, cooked to your preference
  • One ripe avocado
  • Cream cheese
  • Salsa
  • Wholegrain tortilla or flatbread

Grill the bacon to your preference, the put to one side until needed. Spread the cream cheese onto your tortilla, then add a generous dollop of salsa. Remove the flesh from the avocado, then slice it into pieces. Add this to the tortilla with the bacon. Wrap the tortilla up in baking foil and enjoy.

Health benefits:

  • The tomato in the salsa contains vitamin A and C, strong antioxidants
  • Wholegrain foods provide long-lasting energy, which is vital for concentration
  • Avocadoes increase blood flow, which in turn increases intake of oxygen to the brain

I can’t claim that these recipes will make you a genius overnight, but eating well (and more importantly, eating enough) will stand you in good stead for preparing for impending exams and essay writing.

Ella Healing

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