As you’re studying for the CPA Exam, it’s no doubt that your brain and body need to work in tandem with one another for you to perform your best. Especially if you’re combining studying with school, work, taking care of a family, or all of the above! So in order to make sure you’re staying healthy both brain and body wise, we’ve gathered 10 foods for you to eat that are good for you mentally and physically! Indulge in these goodies that can help boost your brain power while simultaneously keeping you energized in a good way.
Wholegrains provide a fantastic source of glucose which you need for energy. These good sugars found in wholegrains makes your brain work consistently when given a steady, adequate supply. Choose low-GI wholegrains that slowly release glucose into your bloodstream which will keep you alert all day. Options include anything light brown, such as cereals, pasta, etc.
2. Fish oil
Fish oil isn’t just good for your skin, hair, and cuticles! Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, these bad boys aid in plenty of mental health benefits, such as improving focus, retention of memory, and protection from vision loss. Take it in pill form of indulge in a fatty fish such as mackerel, kippers, salmon, or trout.
Studies have shown that cerebral ageing may be connected to a shortage of carotenoids in the brain, particularly lycopene and zeaxanthin, which are two antioxidants found abundantly in fruit, vegetables, and tomatoes in particular. Low levels of these two carotenoids can lead to lower cognitive performance, so eat your tomatoes which provide a good dosage of lycopene and zeaxanthin to give your noggin the star treatment it deserves!
Otherwise known as brainberries, researchers have found that blueberries help protect your noggin from oxidative stress, which can reduce age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies with rats rich in blueberries have also shown improvement in the rats’ learning capacity and motor skills. So, in addition to those antioxidants that blueberries have, they’re also good for keeping your brain and bodily movements sharp.
5. Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t let their size fool you; pumpkin seeds are actually packed a powerhouse of great nutrients and benefits for you. In addition to containing plant-based Omega-3 fats (sound familiar? They’re from our fish oil!) it’s also a rich source of tryptophan, the same chemicals found in turkey that your body converts into serotonin, which is in turn converted into melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” Eat a few before bed and you’ll get a nice, restful sleep which is crucial in regenerating healthy brain cells ready to tackle the next day!
High in a phytoestrogen compound called lignans, broccoli increases cognitive skills such as thinking, reasoning, remembering, learning words, and imagining. The potassium it contains aids the nervous system, and in turn the brain, enabling such a connection to possibly help the brain heal itself in the event of an injury. Is there anything broccoli isn’t good for? If you’re not a fan, try any of its familial brands such as cauliflower or brussel sprouts.
Nuts like walnuts, almonds, and pistachios have studies that show how these unsaturated fats have aided in the reduction of age-related brain deterioration, lowering cholesterol, and prevention of inflammation in the brain. For instance, almonds show a strong correlation between memory restoration and cognitive functioning while macadamias have a fatty acid known as oleic acid which can lower blood pressure and prevent stroke.
A study published in Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior discovered that young adults who ingested sage-oil extract did better on cognitive tests than those who did not. That’s because sage has compounds that prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain that partakes in learning and memory. So don’t skip the sage! Sprinkle some on your recipes or grab some sage-oil extract.
So the next time you’re cooking something up or just need a quick snack, be sure to incorporate all of these foods into your diet in order to maximize brain capacity and improve overall physical health! They'll definitely aid in your months of early and late night studying in your already very busy life.