The Christmas Leftovers That Can Help Power Your Brain



Christmas - a time for indulgence, treats and family time. Only this can become overshadowed by the upcoming January exam period, with students often becoming more wary about what they’re eating in order to keep brains ticking and concentration at an optimum. And with 32% of parents saying they expect their kids to revise up to six hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, many students will feel as if their Christmas has been taken over!

The good news is that Christmas is not over - and your child does not need to forgo their favourite festive feasts in order to perform their best. 

Ingredients typically associated with Christmas such as roast vegetables, such as red cabbage, kale, broccoli and everyone’s favourite – brussels sprouts are in fact top brain boosting foods! These can be great as leftovers blended into a soup or packed into a sandwich with the leftover turkey.

Don’t forget the cranberry sauce in this sandwich – the cranberries provide a source of flavonoids, which support cognitive function.

And the main star of the show is the turkey, which is a rich source of B vitamins, important for energy production and brain health, as well as zinc and selenium, which can help support the immune system.

If you’re wondering how to style out your Brussels sprouts this Christmas, here’s what you can do:

Garlic Brussels Sprouts

For a vegan recipe, try these simple roasted garlic Brussels sprouts:

Ingredients (to make 2 servings):

  • 200g Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed
  • 2 tbsp garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • Heat the oven to 200c.
  • Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthways. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
  • Place on a tray lined with baking pepper and roast in the oven for 15-25 minutes, stirring halfway through, until golden.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Revising at Christmas time can be tough, but by making the most of the period by turning those nutritious Christmas dinner components into festive revision snacks, your child will be fueled and refreshed ready to take the exams when the time comes.

Reema Patel, is a Registered Dietitian and member of the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) & the British Dietetic Association (BDA), working for Dietitian Fit & Co., a team of dietitians offering 1:1 consultations for various health goals

Written by

BDA-Accredited Dietician

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