Can eating specific foods or taking B vitamins improve your learning abilities? Here’s some information and sources we found for you. This is a frequent question. Keep in mind that walking, yoga, tai chi, etc, getting enough sleep and reducing stress can also help both your mind and body.
Throughout the years we have told people to watch those carbs during lunch so they are not too sleepy during class. We encourage them to walk around during breaks and drink coffee and tea to stay alert. Some people like hot chocolate and others use coffee or tea to stay awake too. Paying attention to various foods such as some of those mentioned below may also be a great idea to boost your cognitive thinking and learning stamina, besides your health. Some people like to take B6 and B12. Blood flow to the brain means oxygen to the brain, which means improved brain function.
The Huffington Post recently updated an article on the healthiest foods and it quotes various resources (updated on 2/23/15 – I put their sources in brackets). I put the information pertinent to learning - some of the effects are over time; however drinking water to avoid dehydration can have immediate affects, for example. Just make sure you don't overload on fluids if you are taking an exam, because exam time doesn't stop for breaks.1. Water:
Dehydration can cause brain tissue shrinkage. Drink plenty of water for short-term memory, focus, and cognitive thinking (Psychology Today)
provide a good source of choline which boosts memory (Shape)
improve blood flow to your brain (Shape)
and olive oil
also provide improved blood flow due to monounsaturated fats (WebMD)
is rich in lutein and prevents your cognitive decline over time (Tuft); Harvard's study showed all cruciferous vegetables do
improves mental acuity (See Truth about Food – a UK source)
7. Fatty acid fish
– sardines and salmon - contain DHA and rich Omega 3 which boosts brain power. DHA according to NIH’s quoted research may show that some foods may expand your brain (see comment below)
A diet high in blueberries, strawberries and other berries decrease memory declines and decline in focus (TIME’s Alice Park)
promote blood flow which allows for efficient delivery of oxygen to the brain (See Huffington Post Healthiest Food list). Eaten regularly improves memory and learning (My Health News Daily)
See - See Huffington Post Healthiest Food list
Another good source for information is the NIH:Avoid too much saturated fats
There even seems to be a direct relationship to food and brain size. This article talks about the importance of DHA and Omega 3. Foods rich in saturated fat reduce cognitive processing. NIH article.
Some research sites say that the amino acid, Taurine, may even help to increase brain cells, even for people over 50 and that it increases cognitive thinking. We understand there are a number of supplements now available for cognitive thinking. So if you think you're may need help here it may be a good idea to seek some professional assistance.
Always ask your health professional what's best for you.