Practicing as a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) can be rewarding. However, it takes a lot to become certified in the pharmacy field. To get into the field, you’ll need to complete a training course and pass a PTCB exam before you call yourself a certified pharmacy technician.
The PTCB exam can be highly demanding and, thus, requires excellent preparation. But then, one area candidates overlook when preparing for the PTCB is nutrition. The truth is that proper nutrition can improve your focus and memory, making it easy to ace the exam.
This article is the ultimate nutrition guide for PTCB exam candidates. Ensure you read it to the end for the best dietary advice. So, let’s get started.
The Brain-Diet Connection
There’s a massive connection between the food we eat and our brain. The brain is one of the body organs that relies heavily on your nutrition to function optimally. Thus, achieving the full potential of your intelligence when preparing for exams depends on the foods you eat.
According to Havard Health Publishing, the brain performs perfectly when we eat nutritious foods. Nutrients nourishing the brain include minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, and antioxidants. You can get them in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, etc.
Conversely, processed and refined foods deprive the brain of essential nutrients. Refined sugars are specifically detrimental to brain health. They can slow down your thinking and affect mental clarity and performance. Thus, they should be avoided when preparing for an exam.
Besides diet, other factors will determine your brain functioning. How you sleep, manage stress, and exercise matters. You should sleep adequately, exercise regularly, and do stress-relieving practices that will help you improve your brain.
It is also vital to measure your progress while at it. Taking a free PTCB practice test can help you assess your performance. You can use such tests to know if your steps are leading you in the right direction. That will ensure you get good results during the main exam.
Foods that Boost Brain Power
Being mindful of your food choices when preparing for a PTCB exam is vital. However, knowing which foods will positively impact your cognition, focus, and memory can be tricky.
In this section, we recommend a few foods that will boost brain power if incorporated into your diet.
Adding berries to your diet can help you improve brain functioning. Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries all contain anthocyanins. These compounds act as antioxidants that help protect brain cells from damage, improve neuron signaling, and prevent inflammation.
- Nuts and Seeds
Adding nuts to your diet can improve your cognitive function and memory. Nuts and seeds can also better your mood and reduce the risk of depression. They contain healthy fats, fibers, and plant protein. They have copper, iron, and zinc that boost neural functioning.
- Fatty Fish
This is the most significant source of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids essential for brain development. Two 3-ounce servings of salmon or tuna per week can provide these nutrients. They’ll sharpen your memory, boost brain cell membrane fluidity, and improve your mood.
Healthful unsaturated fat is vital for brain development and functioning. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fats, which keep blood pressure low, preventing cognitive decline. Besides this, avocados help reduce inflammation and can also prevent oxidative stress.
- Green Leafy Vegetables
You can’t go wrong with leafy greens when preparing for a PTCB exam. They contain lutein, folate, vitamin K, carotenoids, and phylloquinone. A daily serving of leafy greens can help you slow the decline in cognitive abilities and may also improve general brain functioning.
There’s a host of healthy nutrients that you can get from eggs. Choline, found in egg yolks, is one of the most popular – It improves memory and reduces inflammation. You can also get vitamin B12 and selenium, which helps improve cognitive health and support nerve cell health.
You won’t go wrong with adding cocoa or dark chocolate to your diet. These two contain stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, which are known to increase blood flow. They can help increase blood flow into the brain, which eventually helps activate it and improve clarity.
These are some of the essential foods that will help optimize brain functioning. With these, It can be a good idea to take them when preparing for an exam that requires intense preparation, like the PTCB exam. On the whole, it will help increase concentration, enhance memory, and boost energy levels.
Dietary Recommendations for Exam Prep
Preparing for a PTCB exam requires prioritizing healthy eating habits. This section provides some health and dietary recommendations for the best result possible.
- Taking Antioxidants – We already mentioned leafy greens and berries as good antioxidants. They can help boost your memory and focus during your PTCB exams.
- Eating Healthy Proteins – There are various protein sources, but focusing on healthy sources is vital. The best examples of these sources are fish, beans, and eggs.
- Eating Healthy Fats – Refined fats are saturated and don’t give your body the desired nutrients. Instead, you can get healthy fats in nuts and seeds that will improve your health.
- Stay Hydrated – Always keep yourself hydrated when studying for your PTCB exam. It would help if you also avoided or limited sugary drinks, which can affect brain performance.
- Manage Stress – It’s also vital to manage stress while preparing for an exam. Avoiding processed foods, caffeine, high-sugar foods, and alcohol can be helpful too.
- Take a Multivitamin – Sometimes, you might miss a few essential micro-nutrients that help support brain functioning. If you’re not sure which one to get, you can get a variety of multivitamins with different nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin D.
- Eat Omega-3 Fats – An omega-3 fats-rich diet can help you improve your brain functioning. We already mentioned fatty fish as a great source of omega-3 fats.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What foods can improve brain functioning right before a PTCB exam?
Snacking before an exam is good. However, you should limit snacks to berries, bananas, and nuts. You can also take eggs, plain yogurt, vegetables, and whole-grain crackers. Also, avoid greasy and heavy foods that could cause brain fog.
2. What foods or drinks should I avoid on the exam day?
Sodas, energy drinks, sweets, and other foods or snacks that cause sugar spikes aren’t good for the brain. Also, avoid alcohol and limit caffeine to avoid sleep impairment and jitters.
3. What if I am restricted from eating certain foods?
You can work with a nutritionist to develop the best diet plan if you are restricted from eating certain foods. You should ensure your meals include many proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
4. Is taking diet supplements a good idea?
Yes, taking multivitamin supplements can help you increase your brain functioning. You can use supplements to fill nutrition gaps and ensure your brain gets the desired nutrients.