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Exam time can be very stressful for everyone in the family. As a parent, it can be hard to watch your child struggling with all the revision and coursework involved. The most important way to support them is just being there and encouraging them to talk about their feelings and fears. To prevent the tension in the household going through the roof, we have listed 5 tips on how you can nurture your child and turn exam stress into exam success.

1. Water

A recent study by the University of East London and the University of Westminster found that keeping hydrated can boost attention by almost 25%. ‘We found that drinking even a really small amount of water (25 ml) resulted in improved performance on a test of attention,’ says Dr Caroline Edmonds, who co-authored the research. Drinking 300 ml improves memory performance and can improve mood too.

2. Vitamins and Nutrients

The following vitamins and nutrients are thought to have positive effects on brain health and cognitive abilities:

• Omega 3s – found in oily fish, eggs, walnuts, and seeds – are considered to be essential fatty acids, as they are necessary for health, but the body cannot make them itself. The brain is partially composed of omega-3 fatty acids, and they play a vital role in neuronal structure and function.

• B vitamins are essential for the proper function and development of the brain and the nerve cells within. Vitamin B12, or cobalamin is especially important, as low B12 levels can cause neurological problems and cognitive impairment. Sources of B12 include meat, fish, fortified cereals, or milk, or you can take a vitamin B complex supplement to ensure you are getting all the B vitamins you need.

• Iron is found in dark leafy green vegetables, sunflower seeds, nuts, beans, beef, lamb and tofu. An iron deficiency, also known as anaemia, can result in impaired cognitive ability and has been associated with scoring poorly on maths and language tests. Good iron levels during teen years are thought to contribute positively to brain health in adults, so it’s good for long-term benefits too. If you are worried about your iron levels, visit your GP.

Recommended products in store:

• Solgar Wild Alaskan Omega ( contains Omegas 3,5,6,7,9, Vitamin D3 and Astaxanthin )

• Viridian High 12 B Complex

• Viridian High 6 B Complex

• Wild Nutrition B Complex

3. Regular Exercise and Breaks

An analysis published in British Medical Journal reviewed 19 studies involving over 500 children, teens, and young adults and the findings were incredible. Just by doing a 10 to 40-minute burst of exercise, you can immediately boost your concentration and improve mental focus. In other words, simply walking or cycling can set you up to mentally perform better throughout the day.

So, even if it’s just for 20 minutes a day, it’s important to remember that staying active during exam period will help improve concentration and make revision sessions a lot more effective.

A good multi-vitamin is always a definite yes for anybody exercising. Solgar Kangavites, Viridian Virikid, Wild Nutrition Teengirl or Teenboy are our most popular multi-vitamins for children, teenagers and young adults.

4. Nuts and Seeds

Another handy snack, nuts and seeds are fantastic to boost energy levels as they release energy slowly and steadily over a period of time. Like fish, they are also a brilliant source of ‘good fats’ and vitamin E which has been proven to enhance your ability to make decisions. There are a huge variety of nuts and seeds to choose from making it easy to find a snack to enjoy.

Just a handful of pumpkin seeds a day is all you need to get your recommended daily amount of zinc, vital for enhancing memory and thinking skills. Zinc also helps boost your immune system which is very important during exam season, when a cold or flu can really impede your performance.

Sunflower seeds and other seeds, like pumpkin, contain a rich mix of protein, omega fatty acids, and B vitamins. These seeds also contain tryptophan, which the brain converts into serotonin to boost mood and combat depression and stress.

Recommended products in store:

• Infinity Nut Mix (contain Almonds, Brazils, Walnuts, Cashews and Hazelnuts)

• Linwoods Milled Flaxseed with bio cultures and Vitamin D (Vitamin D plays a critical role in many of the most basic cognitive functions, including learning and making memories)

• Linwoods Milled Flaxseed, Sunflower Seeds and Pumpkin Seeds.

5. Sleep and Rest

Magnesium is well known for its ability to relieve insomnia. One study found that it helps decrease cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’ that can keep you up at night. It also helps muscles relax, to give you that calm ‘sleepy’ feeling and help you unwind after a long day.

Some recommended products in store:

• Solgar Magnesium Citrate – 2 a-day

• Wild Nutrition Magnesium – 2 a-day

• Pharma Nord Magnesium – 1 a-day

CBD Oil, over the last few years several important studies have been published within the scientific and academic communities, showing that CBD for sleep is, in fact, a reliable – and efficient – treatment option.

Recommended products in store:

• Love CBD Liquid 300mg/800mg/1400mg/2000mg strengths and capsules in 400mg/600mg

• Kiki Health CBD Liquid – 500mg

• CBD Life Liquid – 400mg and Capsules in 300mg/750mg

Please ask for more help and guidance when you’re in store.