Diet For Exams
DIET DURING EXAMS
As the days of exams come, parents and kids come to an alert position. Everything related to exam is being prepared carefully nowadays. Still, one important aspect of achievement is under-rated, the diet.
A child’s diet is one of the most neglected aspects during their exams. It has been observed that even kids who usually eat healthy end up eating a lot of junk food and drink pots of coffee to stay awake during exam times.
Sometimes, this unhealthy food can cause adverse effect on mental and physical health leading to wastage of precious preparation time.
Plan out your kids’ exam diet in advance, discuss it with them and explain benefits of taking and avoiding some foods.
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 exams a little modification in lifestyle is needed.
PSYCHOLOGICAL & PHYSIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF EXAMS.
Working towards exams can create feelings of worry and being under pressure.
Stress is relieved by certain water soluble vitamins like vitamin C and B complex.
Vitamin C in the body varies greatly with the physical and emotional stress. It dips significantly with increased stress.
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 demands of certain nutrients like vitamin C, B5 , B6, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and the protein tyrosine shoots up.
These nutrients required for the generation of adrenal hormones or the stress fighting hormones.
So, now would you still allow your child to give in to the temptation of eating junk food?
So, what are the best foods to eat when studying for exams?
Remember the saying ‘ You Are What You Eat’.
So, if your child is fed with easily available low nutritive junk foods, then their brains will perform poorly.
Good foods includes……
High protein foods like – sprouts, nuts, lean meat, fish , eggs, dairy products, pulses.
Fruits and vegetables.
Whole grains like oats, brown rice, quinoa.
Nuts and seeds
Plenty of water.
Memory enhancer foods includes –
Green leafy vegetables
- There are so many nuts and they are all good for you. Packed with nutrients, fats, and a tiny bit of carbs, these foods are nature’s energy packages. They are easy to eat, easy to incorporate into other healthy foods, and easily portable.
Here’s just one exception: The Peanut. This food isn’t a nut, it’s a bean or legume. It does not contain many nutrients, although the fats are one of the best for cooking.
- Apples contain high levels of acetylcholine, increasing movement and sensory perception. Apples also reduce anxiety.
- Yogurt contains billions of good probiotics that replace some of the bad bacteria in our gut.
While yogurt alone won’t give you a brain boost, it helps to fix problems and is a great carrier for other brain foods like…
- Turmeric is a powerful anti-oxidant that has been widely recognized to help just about everything from fatigue to cancer. Several recent studies show it is a neuroprotective agent. So, it is definitely helpful for students.
- All dark greens are packed with Vitamin K and nitrates.
Naturally occurring nitrates are bound to other vital nutrients and are healthy for our systems. Chemical nitrates, like what are found in preserved foods, actually destroy the blood-brain barrier and cause ‘leaking’ into the brain. Not something you want.
The Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting, It’s also one of the vital nutrients for the formation of new neuropathways. You are physically able to learn when you have enough vitamin K in your system.
- In addition to B12, You also get a huge influx of vitamins, minerals, and fats in one single egg.
- Natural foods contain what we need when we need it.
- Don’t rely on any particular food on this list. Keep switching out different ones so you get the best of all the nutrients. Try new foods, different vegetables, and different combinations.
- Go with your taste buds. When you are studying, we often seek out sweets and stimulating foods. By using the foods on this list, you provide your body with healthy choices that really nourish you.
THE WORST BRAIN FOOD ON THE EARTH ARE…
If you notice on the list above, there isn’t a single processed food, pill, or artificial ingredient. So far, man has not met the perfect of nature. We just can’t figure out how it all works together to get something that nutritious in such a delicious package.
So, we say the worst brain food is anything packaged. If it’s in a package, it’s not food, it’s a food-product. It’s a subtle difference, we can eat food-products, we just can’t get nutrition out of them.
SMART EXAM DIET TIPS
- Smaller meals and frequent snacking is also good for studying. You don’t want to fill your stomach, because this causes your body to release hormones that cause drowsiness. You also don’t want to be hungry because that causes hormones that take your attention away from studying.
- Breakfast is compulsory to increase alertness of brain and to fulfil energy needs.
- Omega 3 fatty acids – they play an important role in improving memory, concentration and even relieving depression.
- Our body cant make any of them. Food sources include ..
Seeds of – flax, chia, melon, sunflower. You can make powder of seeds and sprinkle it over soups, dal, salad, flour etc.
Fish like salmon, tuna
- Water – do you recollect how you felt when you were thirsty? Irritable, listless, unfocused? Right. So, consume at least 1.5 litre water if not more.
Also add coconut water, buttermilk, milky drinks, some special teas like chamomile to help meet the daily fluid intake and also provide nutrients and energy. It also provide a sense of calm.
- Too much tea or coffee can lead to ultimate dehydrating effect after initial boast. It also can cause heart burn / acidity.
Diet chart ;
Early morning ;
3-4 soaked almonds + 3 walnuts + 2 black raisins
1 glass of milk/ milk shake without added sugar / jaggery, sweetened oats with seeds, fruits, nuts, cornflakes with milk.
1). Colourful fruit platter
2). 2-3 dryfruit or til laddos
2 roti + vegetables + salad + buttermilk with flex seeds
Here are few options to choose from.
- 1 bowl fruits and nuts with milk /
- Sprouted mung /
- Vegetable pauha /
- Multi grain upama
- 1 bowl brown rice pulav + 1 small bowl mix veg raita
- Multi grain veg sandwich
1 glass haldi mix milk.
If required add – til laddo, healthy khakhras, nuts, fruits in between.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES ;
- Take a break and walk around.
- Study with walking.
- Sit in sunlight for a while.
- Don’t sit in front of computer or see mobile when you take a break. Prefer doing exercise while watching tv.
BENIFITS OF EXERCISE
- Cognitive benefits
- Improves will power
- Helps to control emotions
- Sharpens the short and long term memory
- Makes you think faster
- Increase your focus
- Improve academic performance
- Psychological benefits
- relieve the stress
- reduce anxiety
- fights depression
- improves your mood
- improve self esteem
- makes you happier
- Neurological benefits
- Increase energy
- Reduces fatigue
- Slow down brain atrophy
- Generate new brain cells
- Increase high quality of sleep
SLEEP AND EXAM ;
- Sound sleep is very important.
- No mobile, ipad or other gadgets before sleeping.
- Allow yourself 30 minutes power nap during daytime to relax mind and body, to rejuvenate and prepare for the next session of study.
TIME IS PRECIOUS ;
If you aren’t staying at home and have only yourself to rely on for meal preparation, try to avoid high fat, nutrient poor food choices like frozen dinners and take away meals, just because they are convenient.
Try these super easy suggestions.
HOSTEL STUDENT’S DIET / AWAY FROM HOME DIET
- Milk + cereals + orange juice
- Apple slices with peanut butter.
- Bread toasted + chopped banana.
Multigrain bread with an apple and yogurt. Eggs item ( scrambled egg or boiled egg). Baked potato
Dinner ; salad + soup
egg omlet. Veg uttapam.
Fresh fruits, popcorn, dried fruits. Nuts, yogurt.
Say “ no” to cakes, biscuits, chocolates, & sweets.
Keep hydrating – dehydration make you lethargic , irritable and tired. It also affects on concentration which may make it more difficult to study and perform to your best. Have some fruit juice, herbal tea and plenty of water.
Try to reduce your intake of drinks that contains caffeine such as tea, coffee and colas which also have diuretic properties, causing loss of fluids and increase the need to use washroom frequently. Green tea is better alternative.
Specific vitamins and nutrients can boost brain power in various ways.
- ZINC and IODINE – normal brain cognition.
zinc – legumes, spinach, broccoli, garlic, nuts, seeds, cereals, dairy, meat and fish.
Iodine ; cod, tuna, eggs, yogurts, strawberries.
- Vitamins B6, B12, and folate – help to prevent fatigue,
Sources of vitamin b6—- pork ,chicken ,fish ,bread, eggs ,peanuts ,milk , cereals, vegetables
Source of vitamin b12—-meat ,fish ,dairy products ,cereals
- Omega -3 and other essential fatty acid ,DHA –help to function correctly vital part of learning
Source of omega -3 —–fish , nuts seeds ,egg yolk.
Wish you all the best for your studies and exams.
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