I came across such a great piece of research that I had to share it.
It ties in very nicely with previous blogs we have written about preparing for exams, brain function and what to eat when revising.
The aim of the randomised, placebo controlled study was to explore the eﬀects of a ﬂavonoid rich berry intervention on cognition and mood in young 20–30 years old adults.
Flavonoids are a kind of polyphenol (active plant compound) found in a variety of foods such as berries, tea, cocoa, citrus fruit, and green leafy spices.
There were 40 participants in the study and half were given a berry smoothie and the other half a control.
The results indicate that ‘ﬂavonoid-rich interventions are most eﬀective where cognitive demand is high. The participants in the berry group showed signiﬁcantly faster response time at the 6 hour time point whilst performing the Switching Task, and there was no decrease in accuracy performance‘.
The authors say that this study demonstrates the efficacy of flavonoid rich berries in maintaining or improving cognitive performance across the 6 hour day.
So a berry rich smoothie whilst studying may help to keep those brain cells firing at optimum level!
Here is my recipe for a Super Smoothie to snack on:
WHAT YOU NEED FOR TWO SMOOTHIES
- 1 glass of water, coconut water or milk/mylk of choice
- A handful of berries – pick one or a combination of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries etc (you can use fresh or frozen)
- ½ small avocado pear or ½ banana (banana adds more fructose)
- a small handful of greens such as spinach, baby kale etc
- 1 tbsp buckwheat flakes or rolled oats soaked in water overnight (optional)
- 2 tbsp of plain live yogurt eg Collective Dairy Straight Up or goats/sheeps yogurt (if you don’t eat dairy then you could use an alternative such as coconut CoYo) (optional)
- 1 dessertspoon of milled mixed seeds*
- 1 scoop unsweetened protein powder eg Pulsin’ Hemp protein. This adds a nice protein boost to help you feel full for longer (also good way to get protein and Omega 3 into the diet if you are vegetarian or vegan)
WHAT YOU DO
Blend all the ingredients together in a liquidiser to make a delicious and filling smoothie.
ABOUT YOUR SMOOTHIE
This really is packed with nutrients: vitamin C, zinc, calcium, protein and live beneficial bacteria (yogurt). Adding oats/buckwheat to your smoothie will make it more filling and you will have the benefit of lots of B vitamins which are great for your hair and skin. The seeds add beneficial oils which help dry skin and hair. Protein powder ups the protein content.
* you can blitz your own seeds – any combination – or buy a pre-milled blend. Omega fatty acids will be better preserved if you blitz your own.
- Packs of frozen berries are useful to have in the freezer