Over 796 000 matriculants in South Africa are in the thick of their final exams, with government schools halfway through their exams and IEB schools just starting their main exams. A daunting time for most, the upcoming weeks are likely to have them feeling stressed and focused on channelling their brain power for good results.
If you are a parent, concerned about your teen’s concentration, or in matric hoping to do your best, Patrick has some guidelines you can follow keep the whole family mentally “fresh”.
Essential brain boosters
- Balanced glucose levels
- Healthy fats
- Amino acids
- Vitamins and minerals
- Complex carbohydrates. The brain consumes more glucose than any other organ. Include unrefined carbohydrates for a steady release of glucose, such as whole-wheat, wholegrain and unprocessed foods. Fibrous grains, lentils, beans and dark green, leafy and root vegetables are all slowly digested.
- Have five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
- Dilute fruit juices with water.
- Avoid foods containing sugar; including anything with glucose, sucrose, dextrose, malt sugar or honey on the label.
- Eat seeds like flax, hemp pumpkin, sunflower and sesame, and nuts.
- Include three to four servings of cold water carnivorous fish in your diet. Herring, mackerel, salmon or tuna are good options.
- Use cold-pressed seed oils for dressing and cooking.
- Eat plenty of free-range, organic eggs.
- Choose vegetable proteins like legumes, quinoa, tofu and ‘seed vegetables”. If eating animal protein, go for lean meats and fish.
- Supplements are necessary to ensure that you are getting enough of the essentials.
The brain requires B Vitamins, Folic Acid, Magnesium, Manganese and Zinc in specific amounts. Patrick Holford’s Brain Food Pack is your four-in-one dose of vitamins, minerals, Omega 3 and 6, amino acids and phospholipids, and is available at leading pharmacies, Dis-Chem stores and on Takealot.com.