Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Cliché? Yep. True? Absolutely. You may think your morning routine doesn’t leave any time for breakfast, but it’s the one meal you don’t want to miss. A healthy, balanced breakfast fuels your body, balances your blood sugar levels, and revs your metabolism. To function optimally, your brain needs water, fat, glucose, and vitamins. An iced coffee, donut, or energy drink isn’t going to cut it.
For a four-hour standardized test, you’ll need sustained energy. Your brain controls your processing speed, focus, and sustained attention – so nourish it for optimal performance!
So, what to eat for breakfast the day of the exam?
For an effective breakfast, include slow-release carbohydrates, like whole rolled porridge oats, whole grain bread, or low-sugar muesli, as they provide slow-release energy. Add a protein food, such as milk, yogurt, or eggs to keep you feeling full. These protein-rich foods can lead to greater mental alertness.
Healthy food choices on exam day include eggs, nuts, yogurt, and cottage cheese. Good breakfast combinations might be whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, eggs and toast with jam, porridge, oatmeal, or sugar-free muesli.
Here are the top 3 options for what to eat for breakfast:
Menu 1: Whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, topped with fresh fruits.
Menu 2: Eggs and toast with a side of yogurt or cottage cheese.
Menu 3: Oatmeal or porridge topped with fresh fruit and low-fat milk.
And why – for all you science lovers out there:
- Whole grains provide essential dietary fiber and nutrients that your body needs to produce long-lasting energy. These essential nutrients fuel your brain, helping you to concentrate and stay focused.
- Eggs provide you with up to 100 milligrams of the protein choline as well as the essential omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain needs high concentrations of these healthy fatty acids for good memory, focus, and cognitive function. Eggs also give you essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin D, iodine, and iron.
- Oatmeal is a protein and fiber-rich grain that helps balance your blood sugar levels and keeps you from feeling hungry shortly after eating. Stable levels of sugar in your blood provide your brain with a continuous supply of fuel to help you stay focused. The soluble fiber in oats also helps to lower high cholesterol levels, while low-fat milk adds calcium and vitamins A and D. Top your oatmeal with a banana or dried apricots for an added boost of fiber and potassium.
- Low-fat yogurt topped with fruit is a balanced, energizing easy-to-go breakfast. Yogurt, particularly Greek-style, is rich in protein, which your brain needs to focus. Your body needs protein from foods to make brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, which help you to concentrate. Yogurt also contains nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium.
And remember, get a good night’s sleep and pack snacks to refuel your brain during your break!
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