During exams, students spend long hours studying and staying awake. Intake of the right food in small quantities with brain food will keep them stimulated and alert. During exam a little modification in lifestyle is needed.
Good preparation helps crack the board exam, but so does good nutrition – which students tend to neglect under stress and anxiety.
Besides boosting energy levels, Healthy eating sharpens memory, helps you stay in control and improves concentration. So what should one eat during the exams?
1 It’s best to eat light digestible home-cooked food along with fresh fruits and vegetables
2 Energy and fizzy drinks, chips and other junk food are a strict no-no.
Instead, dieticians advise students to munch on dates and nuts.
3 Children should have succulent fruits and vegetables because that will rehydrate the body and provide enrichment of nutrients and will not make them feel sleepy after the meal. Eg: A fruit plate with water melon, musk melon, strawberries, oranges, and sweetlime works well and for a salad plate opt for green cucumber, and zuuchini and salad leaves.
4 Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped
5 Starchy vegetables makes you lethargic and sleepy, so avoid potato, suran, arbi etc.
6 Try to consume light vegetables like bottle gourd or doodhi, Gelki, carrots, methi etc.
7 Instead of aerated drinks try healthy fresh fruit milkshakes, lassi
8 Avoid too much of tea and coffee as they will cause acidity and heart burn.
9 Hydrate your body. Drink lots of water, fresh seasonal fruit juices
10 Eat small meals Small meals will provide a steady supply of energy to the exam fatigued brain. If you feed your child a large meal, then he/she will experience a dip in energy and also the alertness to study for hours on end.
11 Drink lots of water Ideally drinking 1.5 litres of water a day is recommended. Coconut water, buttermilk, milky drinks, some special teas like chamomile tea can not only help meet the recommended fluid intake but also help in providing nutrients and provide a sense of calm.
12 While you may have heard the mention of Omega-3 fats as heart-protective. However, they also play an important role in memory, concentration, even relieving depression. Studies have found omega-3 fatty acids, especially docosahexanoic acid (DHA), has shown to increase the brain volume. The sad fact is that our body can’t make any of the omega-3 fats and hence it has to be derived from the diet.
Sources of omega-3 fats in the diet: Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, halibut, trout; seeds like flax, chia, melon seeds, sunflower also provide omega-3 fats. You can make a powder of the seeds and nuts and drizzle them over soups, dals, salads, chapati flour, and almost anything you can think of.
13 A study found that students experiencing exam stress may have an increased craving for high fat and high sugar snacks. At the same time, the physiological demand of certain nutrients like vit. C, B5, B6, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and the protein tyrosine shoots up. These are the nutrients required for the generation of adrenal hormones or the stress-fighting hormones
Sources of vit. C are fruots like guava stawberries citrus fruits Black currents kiwi etc vegetables like kale cauliflower. Brocolli, peas
Sources of vit B 5 are chicken liver, cauliflower, brocolli, avacado, sunflower seeds, sundried tomatoes, salmon, corn, mushrooms, yogurt etc
Sources of vit B6 are milk, chicken breast, tuna, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, carrots, spinach, green peas, bananas, chich peas, cereals,avocado etc
Sourses of magnesium and potassium are Asparagus, bananas, leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard and kale, cantaloupe, white and sweet potatoes with skin on, citrus fruits, tomatoes, kiwi, papaya and squash
Sources of protein tyrosine are fish and sea foods, lamb, chicken, seeds and nuts, beans and lentils dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese etc
14 – Almonds, walnut, pumpkin seeds, cucumber and watermelon will help in improving memory and concentration. Nuts are full of DHA, which is needed in high levels in the brain and eye for learning and memory.
Now lets see what changes are to be made in our lifestyle and sleep
Know your study schedule: Some people prefer studying in the morning while some others in the night. Know what works for you and get some outdoor time when you know you won’t be able to study! Remember not to do any stimulating activity just before you hit the bed as sleep will evade you.
Key in sleep In your study schedule and make time for it.to
Have a study and activity schedule: You could try to catch some sunshine or outdoor time on every alternate day. A schedule will help you keep track.
Getting a good night’s rest is equally important to acing the exams! It not just helps beat the stress but also helps to study better.
Consecrate bedroom as the peace room: Which means no laptops, books for revision before sleep, TV or even the smartphone is not allowed. Your brain should lull you to sleep the minute you enter the bedroom.
few people prefer studying till late in the night while others waking up as early as five in the morning to complete all their tasks. Hence work and sleep without disturbing your biological clock. Let not your body feel the brunt of your exams.
Ensure you get least six hours of sleep a day. Taking a quick power nap sometime in the afternoon between 1 P.M. and 3 P.M. can also improve productivity levels. However, make sure that you do not sleep for more than 30 minutes
A day before the exam, calls for a good, satisfying sleep of eight hours. It is important to remember that even the most challenging problems can be resolved if the mind is allowed to work to its full capacity, which is possible only if it has received adequate sleep and rest.