There is a lot of information out there about how to prepare for the SAT and other standardized tests. However, an often overlooked topic is the role of diet in ensuring that you’re making the most of your study hours. Studies have shown that certain foods can promote neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to form connections and retain new information). My students generally prep for 2-3 months prior to taking the SAT. During this time, it’s wise to incorporate these “brain foods” into their diet. Here are some suggestions to get you started!
5 Foods and Drinks to Boost Concentration and Memory
- Blueberries: These little berries are not only delicious and adorable, they are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Numerous studies have shown that blueberries improve the way neurons communicate with each other as well as improving the brain’s working memory. For an SAT student, that means your brain will be more likely to recognize patterns and retain the information you’re studying if you eat blueberries.
Read more about the benefits of blueberries here: https://www.thinkingnutrition.com.au/yourbrain-on-blueberries/
- Wheatgrass: I’ll be honest…. Wheatgrass is not the most delicious food out there. However, the health benefits make it the perfect food to add to this list. Wheatgrass can help remove toxins from the body and make you feel more energetic. The long term effects of consuming wheatgrass include improved cognitive function. And in the short term, it can reduce anxiety which every SAT student could benefit from.
Read more about the benefits of wheatgrass here: https://www.healthline.com/health/foodnutrition/wheatgrass-benefits#bloodpressure
- Almonds: Almonds can be a really convenient and healthy snack to take to any study location. These nuts contain nutrients that have protective properties for the brain. Eating them may aid in memorization as well.
Read more about the benefits of almonds here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-almonds
- Water: I know this seems basic, but this one is really important! The majority of the brain is water. Increasing your water intake can improve concentration and reduce stress. There are endless other benefits to drinking more water, too.
Read more about the benefits of water here: https://brainmd.com/blog/6-amazing-healthbenefits-of-drinking-water/
- Green tea: If you need a caffeine boost before a long study session, try drinking green tea instead of coffee. Green tea can improve focus and keep you alert while you study. However, it also has a calming property that coffee doesn’t. As a result, it may lead to better retention of the study material.
Read more about the benefits of green tea here: https://www.thewhistlingkettle.com/a/info/wellness/concentration-memory
- Bonus Tip!
Dark Chocolate: This one is my personal favorite. Many of my students confirmed that eating a bar of dark chocolate on test day helped them feel more focused and alert during the test.This could be due to its high flavanol content. A Harvard doctor examined the benefits of short and long term dark chocolate consumption. You can read what he found here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/your-brain-on-chocolate-201708161217
I hope this information helps! Happy testing! 🙂