At this time of the year with exams round the corner, children and parents come under pressure and stress. A child’s diet is one of the most neglected aspects during their exams. The rules of nutrition are kept aside. Comfort foods replace regular meals. 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.
Remember nutrition during exam is not just counting calories but eating well which optimises ability to concentrate, perform well under pressure and helps body to function at its optimal level.
Nutritionpotli lists out some tried-and-tested tips to help you beat exam stress by following exam specific diet:
Drinking water is very important for proper body functioning including brain. Dehydration can cause headaches and tiredness. Drink minimum of 8 to 12 glasses of water to stay hydrated.
When you have good sleep is when your brain organizes everything what you learnt. So when you are awake it functions like a super computer. The fewer hours you sleep the lesser time brain gets to organize its short and long term memory.
ADD MEMORY BOOSTING NUTRIENTS
Antioxidants like vitamin A, E and C found in natural foods like eggs, carrots, broccoli, fish, nuts, green leafy vegetables and fruits. They reduce the cell damage in the brain.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, mustard oil, mustard seeds, methi, urad dal, rajma, soybeans, walnuts, bajra, and flaxseeds (alsi) enhances brain functioning and memory.
GIVE STRESS – BUSTER FOODS
During stressful times like the exams, the body’s requirement for certain water-soluble vitamins likes Vitamin B complex and C, minerals like zinc goes up. These help in the synthesis and functioning of adrenal hormones that basically are our stress-fighting hormones. Brown rice, nuts, eggs, fresh veggies and fruits can help.
An overdose of caffeine can cause loose motions, palpations and sometimes vomiting and respiratory distress. Common sources of caffeine include black tea,coffee, energy drinks etc.
SMALL AND FREQUENT MEALS
Loading children with three to four large meals in the day could make them sleepy and lethargic as blood is redirected to the stomach instead of the brain. Small, frequent, nutritious meals make sure that they have a constant flow of steady nourishment keeping them alert and awake.
Eat fresh fruits, dry fruits, honey coated nuts, roasted channa , peanuts etc. To prevent swings in blood sugars and cravings.
Carbohydrate are digested quickly whereas proteins provides the much-needed slow burn giving a constant source of energy. A breakfast rich in protein (eggs, poha, idlis, dosa, dhokla etc) increases tyrosine (an amino acid) levels in the blood and brain which help nerve cells manufacture chemicals which keep your kids alert and active.
Avoid junk food as they are hard to digest and such foods divert the blood from brain to digestive system. Your brain needs blood because it brings oxygen with it, which is needed for vital brain functions. So kick the junk out.