What Can You Eat Before the RD Exam: 5 Brain-Boosting Foods

What Can You Eat Before the RD Exam: 5 Brain-Boosting Foods

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Are you wondering what to eat before the RD Exam? 

So you’re about to take your RD exam! First off, congratulations on getting this far in your RD journey. That is a huge accomplishment on its own. 

With all the studying, it can be easy to forget about fueling yourself properly the week of the exam. 

Performance on the test can be such a central focus that you have to remind yourself that providing nutrition for your body is also important in maximizing your studying.

Here at RefreshExamS®, we understand that the RD exam can be a very stressful time for dietetic students, and we want to support you not only with your academic success, but also your overall wellbeing throughout their RD journey. 

In today’s article, we’ll discuss what to eat the week of your RD exam. We’ll also discuss how you can enhance your optimal cognitive performance and boost not only your nutrition but also your exam success!

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our post on how difficult is the RD exam!

What are brain-boosting foods?

What are brain-boosting foods? RefreshExamS LLC

There are many foods that can help with academic performance. Research supports that by prioritizing these in your diet, you can best support your brain health. 

Today we’ll be covering several including: 

  1. Fatty fish
  2. Blueberries
  3. Leafy green vegetables
  4. Eggs
  5. Nuts and seeds

What are the benefits of these foods?

So, how exactly can these foods help you with passing the RD exam on the day of? Let’s get into it further!

  • Fatty Fish: 

Fatty fish, like salmon, trout, and sardines, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health. Omega-3 fats are connected to improvements in memory and cognitive function. 

  • Blueberries: 

Berries (blueberries and raspberries in particular) are well-known for their cognitive improving ability, so you definitely want to try to eat them around your exam. 

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and have been shown to improve brain function and memory. They also contain flavonoids that can enhance communication between brain cells

  • Leafy Green Vegetables: 

Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli are packed with nutrients, including vitamins K, C, and folate. These nutrients help support brain function and memory. 

  • Eggs: 

Eggs are a great source of several nutrients important for brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and choline. 

Choline, in particular, is associated with memory and cognitive function. Include eggs in your diet as hard boiled, omelets, or egg-based dishes.

  • Nuts and Seeds: 

Seeds and nuts, such as pumpkin seeds, are known to be good sources of vitamin E. Vitamin E is also associated with improved cognitive function and memory.  

Remember, incorporating brain-boosting foods is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Adequate sleep, regular physical exercise, stress management, and maintaining a balanced diet overall are also essential for optimal RD exam performance.

What are some meal ideas for the week of the exam?

The week of your RD exam is stressful enough, and eating might be a forgotten priority. 

Here are some ideas for meals to make your week easier, while also providing your body with the proper fuel to perform. 

You can feel free to modify these recipes based on your food allergies and sensitivities, and dietary preferences. 


Vegetable Omelet

Ingredients: 2 eggs, spinach, onions, bell pepper and ½ cup of cooked quinoa


  1. Prepare quinoa according to package and set aside
  2. In a separate bowl, scramble eggs
  3. Pour egg mix into skillet on medium-low heat
  4. When eggs are almost set on surface but still look moist, cover half of eggs with vegetables. Slip spatula under unfilled side; fold over onto filled half
  5. Cook for one minute then plate 
  6. Add quinoa and enjoy


Stir Fry with Edamame and Brown Rice

Ingredients: ½ cup edamame, 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, ½ cup cooked brown rice,  1 cup of broccoli, onions, mushrooms, red and green bell peppers 


  1. Cook brown rice according to package and set aside
  2. In skillet, saute edamame and other vegetables on medium-low heat with oil of choice (avocado, canola, or olive)
  3. Once vegetables are softened, add pumpkin seeds and cook for one minute
  4. Plate vegetables with rice and enjoy


Grilled Salmon & Veggie Kabobs with Whole Wheat Pasta  

Ingredients: 3-4 oz. of grilled salmon, canola oil, red peppers, zucchini, mushroom, onions,  ⅔ cup cooked whole wheat pasta, and ¾ cup of tomato sauce


  1. Cook pasta according to package
  2. In same pot where pasta was cooked, heat tomato sauce
  3. Once bubbling, return pasta to sauce and remove from heat
  4. While pasta is cooking, slice vegetables to your liking and place on kabob sticks
  5. Cook in oven at 350 for 10 minutes on each side
  6. Grill salmon in skillet on medium-low heat until cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees fahrenheit 
  7. Plate salmon, 1-2 kabobs, and 1 cup of pasta and enjoy

What to Eat the Week Before Your Exam: The Bottomline

As dietetic students, you know the importance of fueling your body with the right nutrients to succeed. Make sure you apply this same concept to yourself with passing the RD exam!

All in all, try to prioritize specific foods to help boost your brain and enhance cognitive performance leading up to your exam. 

Foods such as fatty fish, eggs, and leafy vegetables, are just a few examples of foods you can include in your pre-exam diet. 

How RefreshExamS® Can Help You Succeed!

We know the final week leading up to the RD exam can be a stressful time for many dietetic students. 

But don’t worry- we’ve created a meal plan and grocery guide to take your stress away! Check it out on our website here. 

Check out our programs and services through the programs page on our website and let’s get you ready for your RD exam. 

Ditch the confusion and pass with confidence

Be Part of the Passing Percentage!® At RefreshExamS®, we've been helping dietitians-to-be prepare for the registration exam for over six years. There's not a mistake we haven't seen!

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