Ace exams with protein-packed foods.

It’s true—what you eat before taking a test can actually improve your performance and score. No matter which meal precedes your exam, follow one simple rule: Pack it with protein. Studies show that the nutrient directly stimulates brain cells for long-lasting concentration, so it’s a must-have before any test-taking scenario.

If you’re weighing breakfast options before a morning exam, go for scrambled eggs and whole grain toast (you’ll get bonus points if you order a veggie omelet or a side of fresh fruit). For a protein-powered afternoon snack, make what I call a “smart smoothie” by blending 6 ounces of flavored Greek yogurt, 3/4 cup of skim milk, 1 cup of fresh or frozen berries, and a handful of ice cubes.

As for pre-exam lunches and dinners, some of my favorite suggestions include turkey burgers, chicken or shrimp stir-fry (or kebabs), and hearty soups like black bean or lentil. I’m also a big fan of any fish entrée that’s filled with omega-3s, like salmon. As you may know, it’s considered “brain food,” so your noggin will stay nourished long after you burn your books.

Smart Snacks

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