Having snack breaks while you review for the IELTS exam is an excellent way to shake off drowsiness and regain lost mental energy. Most IELTS review center Philippines that offer long study sessions have breaks in between classes. These training facilities, such as IELTS Baguio, acknowledge the need for brief respites to avoid information overload.

The Student’s Diet

Do not eat junk food for your snack breaks. While they may be cheap and easy to eat, they lack the nutrients you need to keep your mind going for the next part of your review.

In fact, studies show that the regular consumption of junk food can cause brain damage and mental health disorders. It also impairs your cognitive functions—dulling your concentration, logical thinking and memory retention—which would put a damper on your exam preparation efforts.

Instead of munching on junk food, switch to eating berries. Not only are these fruits juicy and delicious, but they are also easy to eat. Just pop them in your mouth and get a refreshing burst of flavor. Did you know that snacking on the following berries could boost your brainpower? 

    1.    Blueberries
    Eating blueberries can keep your mind sharp even after a day of mentally draining activities. In a study conducted by British researchers, participants who consumed a blueberry smoothie at the beginning of their day performed better at mental activities compared to other volunteers who drank an alternative beverage. The mental tasks were conducted midafternoon of the same day.

    The blueberry’s high level of antioxidants enhances blood circulation, ensuring that the brain stays sharp with oxygen throughout the day. These sweet fruits are also loaded with vitamins C and E, which inhibit short-term memory loss and boost the immune system.

    2.    Blackcurrant berries
    The blackcurrant berry is the most nutritious in the “currant” berry family. They are rich in antioxidants, which promote extended focus and combat mental exhaustion. A research facilitated in New Zealand showed that volunteers who drank blackcurrant beverages before taking cognitive tests exhibited enhanced concentration and resilience to mental fatigue.

    Blackcurrant berries also contain exceptional nutritional content compared to other fruits. They have four times the amount of vitamin C in oranges and twice the amount of potassium in bananas. Their antioxidants are twice as much as blueberries.

    3.    Blackberries
    Like its other berry cousins, blackberries contain high levels of antioxidants that combat oxidative stress and age-associated brain deterioration. Their vast reserves of anthocyanins, the antioxidant that causes its dark violet hue, make them a reliable preventive measure against heart diseases and cancer.

    If you are watching your weight, this is the snack for you. Though blackberries are highly nutritious, they are very low in calories—one of the main reasons why they are a staple in most weight-loss diet plans. They are also packed with vitamins K, C, folate and manganese.

    4.    Acai berries
    Munching on acai berries can stimulate your cognitive functions by enhancing your brain signals. Scientists classify acai berries as an “adaptogen,” a unique group of healing plants that protects, restores and balances the body. Some of the nutritional properties of this fruit disable the channels of inflammation in the brain that destroy nerve signals.

    The acai berry can also protect you from the negative effects of stress and hormonal imbalance. Like its other berry cousins, it is an excellent source of antioxidants. It also promotes healthy skin, efficient digestion, appetite control and weight loss.

    5.    Cranberries
    A rich source of antioxidants, this brilliant red berry also hosts a multitude of nutrients that stimulate better cognitive performance.  A research conducted in China suggests that the cranberry’s high levels of ursolic acid, a compound that combats cancer, can stave off mental deterioration and brain cell damage.

    Another study shows that cranberries are great at minimizing the devastating effects of stroke. This small and sweet Thanksgiving staple can also prevent dental problems, UTI, cardiovascular conditions and cancer.

Though strawberries and raspberries are also brain-boosting fruits, they did not make it to this list because they are, botanically, not a berry. They are scientifically classified as “aggregate fruits” because they come from a single flower that hosts more than one ovary.

Munching on these sweet fruits during your study breaks in your chosen IELTS review center Philippines refreshes not only your body but also your mind. For instance, eating blueberries, blackcurrant berries and blackberries can maintain and improve your concentration for your class in IELTS Baguio. Acai berries and cranberries are also excellent review break snacks as they enhance memory recall and stave off mental exhaustion. 

Given all the cognitive power-ups that these berries can provide, it is high time you get rid of your unhealthy food stash and move on to beneficial alternatives.

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  • Derbyshire, David. “A bowl of blueberries keeps the brain active in the afternoon.” Daily Mail. September 14, 2009. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1212579/A-bowl-blueberries-day-keeps-brain-active-afternoon.html
  • “Blackcurrant is the New Brain Food.” The Brain Flux. Accessed January 19, 2017.  http://thebrainflux.com/blackcurrant-is-the-new-brain-food/
  • Coila, Bridget. “What Are the Benefits of Blackberries?” Livestrong.com. January 16, 2014. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://www.livestrong.com/article/233747-what-are-the-benefits-of-blackberry-fruit/
  • “Acai Berry: 6 Proven Scientific Benefits, Including Clear Skin + Weight Loss.” Dr. Axe. Accessed January 19, 2017. https://draxe.com/acai-berry/
  • Andrews, Linda. “Cranberries Are a Smart Choice for Your Brain.” Psychology Today. November 11, 2013. Accessed January 19, 2017. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/minding-the-body/201311/cranberries-are-smart-choice-your-brain
  • Ware, Megan. “Cranberries: Health Benefits, Facts, Research.”Medical News Today. February 15, 2016. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269142.php
  •  Livenedu. “60 Brain Boosting Foods For Memory & Cognitive Function.” LiVening Up. September 09, 2013. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.liveningup.com/60-brain-boosting-foods-for-memory-cognitive-function/