Tag Archives: strawberries

Best 6 Brain Foods for Exams: Strawberries

1. The first memory boosting food for your exam is: Strawberries

Most people love strawberries.  They’re sweet, juicy, and delicious. 

Most people don’t know, however, that strawberries are excellent for improving your memory and overall brain functioning. 

Numerous studies have shown the ability of strawberries to prevent or even reverse the mental decline that occurs with aging.

Many of the studies that support this concept were conducted on rats. The rats were put through various mental and motor skill tests and given a diet of only strawberries. The studies showed that the rats had distinguishable gains in both areas.

Further and more specifically, the overwhelming majority of studies found that including strawberries into the rats’ diets showed significant improvement in memory (both short-term and long-term) and improved their concentration. This could be explained because many people would classify the following abilities: motor skills, memory, and concentration as distant (or close) cousins.

Brain Food for Exams - Strawberry

See more research about strawberries at 31 Super Foods for Memory. (open new window)

Some doctors and dietitians point to the high vitamin C content.  Others say that it’s a synergistic effect of the various antioxidants in the strawberries. 

It could also come from the manganese and fiber in them. Manganese is a trace mineral that is essential to the normal functioning of your brain and nerves.

The fiber assists in regulating blood sugar levels.  Fiber also assists in reducing excess cholesterol, which is extremely beneficial for your brain because the neuronal membrane is composed of lipids.  If you have too much dietary cholesterol, the membrane can harden (or lose flexibility) and adversely affect the neurons’ ability to communicate. 

 It’s difficult to tell why strawberries improve your memory and concentration, but the bottom line is that the studies speak for themselves…strawberries are a super brain food.

After hearing about the brain benefits, your first inclination is to eat as many strawberries as possible.

Why not? It increases brain power.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Strawberries

But, you should always consider the amount of sugars, the glycemic index and glycemic load of the foods you eat.  

We know what sugars are…that’s common sense, but not everyone knows about the glycemic index.  The glycemic index is basically a rating scale that reflects the effect that foods have on our blood sugar levels and insulin. 

Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) cause quick spikes in blood sugar and insulin and promote fat storage whereas low GI foods allow you to maintain a more stable blood sugar level and do not stimulate the mechanisms that cause your body to store fat. 

Why do we care about the sugar levels in our food? 

Sugar can greatly hinder your memory and overall brain functioning, so we have to be sure that the foods we’re eating don’t clog up our brains or arteries with nasty sugars. 

Let’s look at the glycemic index scales and how each food is rated:Glycemic Index Chart with Explanation

Many scholars argue as to whether the glycemic index is an accurate way to assess food’s effect on blood sugar.  The argument essentially points to the portions used in arriving at the glycemic index number. 

The criticism is that these foods are not an accurate reflection of what a person would eat in a regular sitting.

Researchers at Harvard accounted for these criticisms and created the Glycemic load.

The Glycemic load is a general evaluation of foods and their effect on a person’s blood glucose level.  One unit on the glycemic load scale is supposed to be equivalent to one gram of glucose in the person’s blood.

Here is a chart that explains the glycemic load ranking system:

Glycemic Load Chart with Explanation

 

Let’s look at the sugars, glycemic index and glycemic load in a cup of strawberries (note: the numbers are an approximation or average from several sources found in the references section):

Exam Brain Food - Strawberries - Sugars, Glycemic Index & Glycemic Load

 

As you can see, strawberries are low in glycemic index and glycemic load.  Thus, they do not pose a substantial threat of drastically increasing blood glucose levels. 

Keep this in mind, but also remember that overindulgence in anything can pose its risks.

Check out the next memory boosting food for examsNext Arrow

Summary of the Best 6 Brain Foods for Exams

6 Brain Power Foods for Focus and Concentration on Exam Day:

6 Best Brain Foods for ExamsStrawberries  

  • loaded with manganese and fiber
  • low glycemic index/load
  • rats fed a strawberry diet showed improved memory

Spinach 

  • helps balance your mood and demeanor
  • does not contain any sugars
  • has tyrosine and folate—both major brain boosters

Blueberries

  • rats fed a blueberry diet showed significant growth in the hippocampal grafts (showing brain development)
  • loaded with antioxidants
  • Other studies show that rats concentration and coordination were enhanced when put on a blueberry diet

Walnuts

  • tons of omega-3 fatty acids from ALA
  • l-argenine (vasodilator) in black walnuts
  • tons of polyphenols
  • showed improved results on cognitive tests
  • leading doctor/researcher suggests a handful a day to help brain health

Salmon

  • packed with protein
  • high in omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA)
  • beware of contaminants
  • eat canned salmon if you can’t get fresh, wild caught salmon

Broccoli

  • loaded with antioxidants
  • sulforaphane which targets bad cells,
  • highpotassium content is good for overall nervous system functioning
  • the precursor (choline) for the powerful memory boosting neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine

Generally, you should always watch your sugar intake, GI levels, and GI load when your trying to eat brain consciously (even with fruits and vegetables).  Here’s a summary of the sugar and GI levels of the foods discussed. 

Sugars, Glyemic Index & Glycemic Load of Exam Brain Foods

Note: remember that the amounts may vary when observing the sugar levels and the glycemic index of the foods in this chart. As such, this chart should only be used as a quick overview of the foods from this article.While I can’t guarantee success on your exam, I can almost guarantee optimal physical and mental conditions for bar prep and exam day.

Go ahead, try it…What do you have to lose?

If you have tried it, and it worked or didn’t work, we’d like to hear your feedback.

By Dan Gabris

Glycemic Load Chart with Explanation Glycemic Index Chart with Explanation

Easy American Fruit Salad & Smoothie


Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Blueberries, Bananas

American Fruit Salad
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of fresh strawberries
  2. 1 ripe banana
  3. 2 cups of blueberries
Directions
Instructions
  1. 1. Wash the blueberries and strawberries. If you don’t buy organic, you can expect that a lot of pesticides were sprayed on them, so you should be cognizant of that and wash them well.
  2. 2. Chop the banana in ¼ slices.
  3. 3. Slice the strawberries in half or quarters, depending on preference and the size of the bowl.
  4. 4. Randomly layer the fruits into the bowl or ramekin and share with friends!
Improve Memory and Increase Brain Power with Food http://SuperBrainDiet.com/
It’s one of the simplest fruit mixes, yet it looks and tastes so delicious and has those beautiful American colors.

It’s also one of the easiest fruit salads you can make but packed with tons of nutrients and antioxidants.

The dish is so simple that it almost requires a nice decorated bowl or a ramekin to add a little flavor.

 

See below for the Nutrition Facts for this recipe:

Nutrition Facts of Fourth of July Fruit Salad A variety of nutrition data sources were used to come up with the above numbers

Because the above recipe is so simple, I figured I’d add another variation into the mix, which will take it up a notch and provide a nice breakfast or snack for you and a friend or two.

There is not much to it–remember the old adage: KISS – keep it simple stupid.

So here it goes:

 

American Smoothie with Spinach, Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, and Coconut Water

American Fruit Smoothie
Print
Ingredients
  1. American Fruit Salad
  2. 2 cups of spinach
  3. 1/2 cup of coconut water
Directions
  1. 1. Place your American Fruit Salad in a blender.
  2. 2. Add 2 cups of spinach.
  3. 3. Add half a cup of coconut water. If you don't have coconut water, purified water will suffice.
  4. 4. Blend the ingredients.
  5. 5. Add some spinach garnish if you're serving to guests.
Improve Memory and Increase Brain Power with Food http://SuperBrainDiet.com/

Fruit Salad Breakfast Cup

Fruit Salad Breakfast Cup -- Power foods to increase brain power, improve memory, increase concentration, increase mental sharpness, increase energy & vigorThis is a perfect recipe for breakfast.  It’s packed with antioxidant-loaded, detoxifying fruits, and the addition of greek yogurt gives you a powerful one-two carb-protein combo.

The pectins in the fiber of the apples work to reduce any deleterious effect that may be caused by the saturated fat in the greek yogurt  (See more at List of 31 Foods that Improve Memory and Increase Brain Power).

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple (any variety)
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 4 Tbsp. Greek yogurt (plain recommended)

Directions:

  1. The fruits should be minced and layered in a cup or bowl. After each fruit is layered, top with greek yogurt.
  2. Restart the layering process (almost like you’re making a lasagna).
  3. If the fruit salad breakfast cup is too simple or boring for you, try adding an orange and throwing these ingredients into the blender.

Notes:

  • I used strawberry banana greek yogurt because its the only thing I had at the time.

Other Fruit Cup Options

Cup 1

Fruits:

  • strawberry
  • banana
  • pineapple

Cup 2

Fruits:

  • watermelon
  • canteloupe
  • honeydew

Cup 3

Fruits:

  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • raspberries

Cup 4

Fruits:

  • apples
  • oranges
  • bananas

Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Blueberries, Bananas

Cup 5

Fruits:

  • blueberries
  • bananas
  • strawberries

Cup 6

Fruits:

  • strawberry
  • kiwi
  • mango

By Dan Gabris

See more Recipes for Foods that Improve Memory and Brain Power just like this.