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Bananas for IB Exam Brain Food

11 May 2016

Last November, while the rest of the Secondary school was away on Project Week, Year 13s spent the week focusing on the Core aspects of the IB Diploma. Dedicated time was given to TOK, CAS and the Extended Essay as well as a couple of sessions on wellbeing and examination preparation. One of the main themes that was common to both wellbeing and exam preparation was that of diet and nutrition. The banana was introduced and shared with the students. As they munched away on their bananas, the benefits of this excellent brain food was shared.

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  • Bananas

Bananas are an excellent food to eat before an exam because they release their energy slowly, bit by bit, as opposed to say a chocolate bar, where you'll get an instant rush of energy which will soon fade and leave you with less concentration towards the end of an exam. Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. There are many recommendations to eat a banana before an exam. The nutrients in bananas support normal cognitive functioning in terms of focus and memory. They are an excellent source of potassium, which helps deliver oxygen to the brain to keep the mind sharp. The magnesium in bananas promotes proper electrical activity between nerve cells in the brain. Magnesium also helps the brain dispose of the waste by-product of protein metabolism, ammonia. By reducing the brain’s ammonia levels, magnesium improves your ability to focus, according to The Franklin Institute.

Since the bananas provided such a buzz during the Core week in November, it was suggested that perhaps we could embed this idea before each and every exam during the final IB examinations. Our school caterer, SODEXO, stepped in to sponsor this brain boosting snack for the IB students, which have most certainly been welcomed by the students. No doubt, we will see the added benefits in a fantastic set of IB results in July.

Mrs Nicola Howard
Science Teacher and Head of Professional Development