Eating Right during Exams

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Exam jitters??

Examinations are a time of anxiety and nervousness — not only for the students but also the parents.

To sail through exams with flying colors, it is necessary to work hard and burn the midnight oil. But what you also need is to focus on your eating habits, sleep patterns and mental and physical fitness. If you are going to appear for an exam or if your son or daughter is sitting exams, it’s important that you make sure they are eating right and their brains are getting a constant supply of energy. The better the fuel your brain gets, the better you’ll study. So, don’t let good nutrition slides way down on your priority list and make nutrition plan a vital part of your study plan.

Different foods are broken down in different ways and have different effects on the body. How often you eat is just as important as what you eat. Find below certain simple nutrition tips for eating right , being more attentive and sailing through the exam blues.

Here are 10 tips for eating right during exams:

  1. Ensure that you are meeting the daily vitamin and mineral requirements by eating a balanced diet, comprising of at least 50-60% of your calories coming from complex carbs (whole grains), 20-30 % from good lean proteins ( curd, eggs, fish, sprouts)and the rest from good fats ( nuts, olive oil).
  2. Intake of appropriate amount of iron and B-complex vitamins are important to maintain the physical and mental energy necessary to study well. Iron-containing foods include eggs, whole cereals( jowar and ragi), rajmah, sesame seeds( til seeds) and spinach. Foods that contain B vitamins include whole-grains, wheat germ, eggs, soy products and nuts..
  3. When you’re heading for the library, pack whole-food items like apples, bananas, almonds, carrot sticks or dried apricots. An orange contains not only Vitamin C, but fibre, phytochemicals, beta carotene and other minerals — so it can’t be replaced by a pill.
  4.  Eat at regular intervals. Eating meals after every 2-3 hours helps keep nutrient and energy levels more stable, curbing the temptation of empty-calorie snacks and improving your concerntration.
  5. Big meals keep on turning … in your stomach. You might find that eating the standard three-big-meals-a-day slows you down mentally and physically. So, it is advisable to consider 5 or 6 well-balanced and energy dense snacks like wheat bread toast spread with peanut butter, curd with sprouted beans or a piece of cheese with fruit.
  6. Never skip meals, especially breakfast– While much is said about the importance of eating breakfast to fuel your energy stores, less known are the correct breakfast options. Coffee and a burger or doughnut just don’t cut it. The idea is to get some protein, calcium, fibre and a piece of fruit or a vegetable in there. So, a bowl of cereal with milk and a piece of fruit would do the trick. Or try a wheat bread sandwich with scrambled egg or cottage cheese.
  7. Go bananas. Fruit ranks high among the best eating choices or in between snacks for your brain. Fruits like oranges, strawberries, apples, bananas, pears and custard apple get a lot of attention because they contain powerful antioxidants and other nutrients. The presence of natural sugars in fruit offer clean energy, so you don’t experience the crash or blood sugar fluctuations that follows consumption of refined sugar.
  8. Choose green and brightly colored vegetables. Not all vegetables are created equal. The darker the color, the higher the concentration of nutrients. For example, carrots and spinach has more to offer to brain than cabbage or cauliflower. Other great vegetable choices include tomatoes, beet root, capsicum, broccoli and sweet potatoes.
  9. Smart snacking can enhance studying- Snacking smart will help you to retain more. Try to get two food groups into your snacks to balance the nutrients and keep your blood-sugar level stable. Some smart snack examples are banana with peanut butter, a couple of idlis with sambhar, stuffed paranthas with cottage cheese, fruit juices or a cup of curd with fruits. Gather simple recipes for nourishing foods. It’s easy to feed the brain well. You don’t need to be a chef or to spend hours in the kitchen to churn out healthy recipes for brain.
  10. Stay well hydrated. Choose your beverages well by keeping cups of coffee or cans of colas to minimum. Since too much caffeine can make you jittery, try to drink not more than a couple of cups a day and replace it with preferred drinks like buttermilk, fruit juices, lime water, milk shakes or green tea. The plain water ( at least 8-10 glasses a day) remain the beat way to keep you rehydrated.

Hope you will be able to follow the guidelines and will be eating right during exams. Good luck!



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