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by Nelly on 10 Less Known Facts about the UPCAT

What are the Best Snacks to Bring to College Entrance Exams?



Taking and finishing an entrance exam is demanding mental work.  You’ll need some fuel reserves in order to go the distance, so make it a point to bring snacks along every time you go for a test.  Don’t just bring any snack, though—look for healthy forms of sustenance that can fortify your body and enhance your brain power.  Here are a few suggestions.


Fruits and vegetables are good due to their minerals, antioxidants and high fiber content.  Carrot sticks, for example, are easy to store, and make for great snacks.  Broccoli flowerettes are also worthy of mention.  Apples are great for keeping hunger as well as doctors away, as are raisins, grapes and other members of the berry family.


Bananas are also recommended, since they contain a lot of potassium that your body needs to function properly.  They are best taken in combination with water.  If possible, go for the saba variety, as it has a significantly greater concentration of potassium than others.


Nuts are also good snacks for entrance tests.  In fact, a handful of them provide a good amount of healthy fats and other nutrients, plus they can also decrease your appetite (which is why they’re often recommended before a meal).  Avoid the salty, greasy types, though.  Go for the raw ones instead.


Incidentally, you don’t need to go to the movies in order to enjoy popcorn.  In fact, you may even want to bring it to your college entrance exam.  Two words of warning, though: one, go for the healthier plain, air-popped variety, not the flavored, oily stuff; two, you may want to munch on these in between exam periods, as any excessive crunchiness may distract other test takers.


In closing, I leave you with this general principle: the closer food is to its original state, the healthier it is.  Bring nutritious, filling snacks with you for best results.  You can temporarily break your diet and celebrate after the exam is over.  If you’d like a more detailed discussion of brain food, kindly take a look at this article.

Brain Foods for Students

Whether you’re studying or taking exams or solving difficult problems, your brain will require an adequate amount of fuel in order to function effectively.  Sources of fuel for the brain have come to be known as brain food.

While any type of healthy food may be classified as “brain food,” the fact remains that there are certain forms of sustenance provide more and better nutrients than others.  Let’s take a look at some of them here.

Bloom where you’re Planted

I once thought that vegetarians were strange, yet now I understand the benefits of their lifestyle choice.  While I’m not advocating a purely plant-based diet, the fact remains that fruits and vegetables are good for your health in more ways than one.

For instance, citrus fruits, green veggies, seeds, nuts, beans, herbs, whole grains and anything with organic and plant oils are all conducive to concentrated cognition.  All the foods I’ve just mentioned contain much-sought-after nutrients like isoflavones, choline, folate, glucose, vitamins and minerals—all of which are essential for proper brain function.

As an aside, you may also want to include some sage and curry in your diet.  The former aids in the breaking down of acetylcholine (another enzyme the brain needs to function at its best), while the curcumin found in the latter helps rid the brain of its own form of plaque.

Something Smells Fishy…

They may smell funny, but cold-water fish such as anchovies, tuna and salmon help your brain cells communicate better with one another.  The key component here is Omega-3, a fatty acid which makes up one of the primary components of your brain.

Long story short, Omega-3 is bundled up in a package deal with memory power, problem-solving and learning.  Alternatively, you could also take fish oil supplements, but they’re not quite as appetizing as, say, steamed salmon belly with garlic.

Life is Like a Box of…

Here’s a secret taken straight from prodigy Roselle Ambubuyog:  one of her favorite techniques in school involved munching on chocolates while studying her lessons.  Moderate amounts (and I do mean, moderate) of chocolate do boost your cognitive abilities.

Besides encouraging the production of feel-good endorphins, flavanols in chocolate ensure that the brain gets enough blood to work with.  Go for the healthier, darker confection in this case, even if it’s not Valentine’s Day.

Brain Beverages

Some people prefer to drink coffee when they feel sluggish.  While there’s nothing wrong with that, I personally recommend green tea.  The catechines in the beverage will give your brain the Batman-like ability to be relaxed, yet alert and sharp at the same time.

And last, but not least, remember to drink lots of water.  A former classmate made sure he had a good amount of the element that gives life, especially during those times when he had to burn the midnight oil.  The reason:  he wanted to avoid having his brain’s dendrites shrunk by cortisol, which is a product of dehydration.  If that sounds like a good idea to you, then by all means, drink up.

Finally, I leave you with this:  remember the old adage “garbage in, garbage out”?  The same is true with what you eat and drink.  Feed your brain with the nutrients it needs to function well, and it, in turn, will serve you well.