Tips to curb exam stress with a healthy diet

Well, it is that time of the year again when exams are just around the corner. It can be a pretty unnerving experience for kids and parents. Long studying hours mean improper eating pattern, no activity and ultimately ill-health of the child can be quite stressful. Studies have shown following a Healthy lifestyle keeps Stress at bay and helps in improving focus.

Here are 10 tips to make sure your Kids stay active during their exam.

Tip #1: Small Frequent Meals
Have light meals throughout the day for a continuous supply of energy to your brain. The food you eat breaks down to smaller units. The brain is particularly dependent on glucose for energy and small meals every couple of hours work wonders for the brain. You can choose a masala roti, khakhra, egg, salad, soup, sprout chaat among others options.

Tip #2: Never Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day to keep you going, especially on exam days. Research proves that productivity is higher when one consumes a good complete breakfast with carbohydrates, proteins and fats. For instance, a glass of milk with a ragi roti or paneer paratha with curd or vegetable poha with a glass of thick buttermilk make for a wholesome breakfast.

Tip #3: Protein Power
Protein is your best friend. Choose an egg, milk, curd, paneer, cheese, soya, sprouts, pulses, dals in every meal you eat. Protein keeps you stay satiated and alert.

Tip #4: Stay Hydrated
Drink sufficient water for the brain to work at its optimum capacity. It also prevents headaches caused due to dehydration. Often we choose caffeinated beverages that can dehydrate us as they are natural diuretics. In addition, though caffeine may stimulate the brain for a bit and elevate your metabolism, once the effect wears out you need another cup again, making it an addiction that hinders the circadian rhythm of the body. So drink water, buttermilk, lime juice, coconut water, soups and stay well hydrated to perform better in your exams.

Tip #5: Minerals for Memory
Get your daily dose of iron and zinc from meat, eggs, nuts, dairy, whole grains, sprouts and pulses as these nutrients have a crucial role to play in memory.

Tip #6: Snack Right
Eat when you are hungry but choose healthy options. Whether it is in the wee hours of night or during the day, avoid wafers, chips, bhajiyas and other deep fried options that make you sluggish. Instead choose fruits and vegetables as these are light on the stomach, easy to digest and loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre that help counter stress-induced inflammation.

Tip #7: Counter Anxiety with Tryptophan
Tryptophan in dairy, meat, banana, sweet potato etc. has a soothing effect and relaxes the mind
as it gets converted to serotonin. This is exactly why most people find it easy to sleep after having a glass of milk before bed.

Tip #8: B Positive
The B complex family of vitamins have been associated with memory. More importantly, they function as co-factors in various metabolic pathways that regulate day-to-day functions of the body. So feast on legumes, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, meat and whole grains.

Tip #9: Healthy Essential Fats
Walnuts, flaxseeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help the brain to function effectively and have even been associated with memory.

Tip #10: Stay Low on Processed Foods
Keep sugars and highly processed foods at a minimal as these provide spikes of energy and then there is a lull. Choose whole grains like barley, buckwheat instead of simple carbohydrates so that your charged up throughout your preparation.

Along with eating right to stay healthy and focused this exam season, exercise to calm your nervousness and to get a break from long hours of sitting and reading. Give your mind, eyes and body the much needed rest. Make sure to get adequate sleep to provide your body the rejuvenation it requires to focus and have a clear line of thought. Stay cool, calm and collected with a positive attitude as you take a step closer to your goal.

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