Monday, November 9th, 2009

Eat smart to study hard

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Exams involve stress. This time of the year is heavy with the anxiety of students cramming for their forthcoming class X and class XII exams. Obviously, students are frazzled studying for their exams and nutrition takes a backseat. This is the time when nutrition becomes more important than ever. Guardian Health Chronicle shares tips for fuelling your body and brain during exams.

Do not skip breakfast. Quick healthy options include–
Whole grain cereal/ wheat flakes, milk and banana
Instant oatmeal with raisins and milk
Vegetable upma or poha
Mixed vegetable porridge with boiled egg
Missi roti /Stuffed Parantha with buttermilk

Re-fuel every 3-4 hours. For long lasting energy, start with a fruit or vegetable; add a grain product and some protein (milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, eggs, fish, beans, nuts, seeds or peanut butter.) Plan study breaks and include a light meal or snack to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable.

Have healthier snacks available. High fat, high sugar snacks provide little brain fuel and can cause unwanted weight gain. Have healthy options in your reach. The season offers many healthy options like—raw carrot with lemon juice, roasted almonds or walnuts, chocolate milk, steamed corn to name a few.

Cut down on caffeine. While caffeine can give you an immediate energy boost, its effects are short-lived. Overdo it and you’ll feel—jittery, restless, irritable, and unable to relax. Limit your caffeine intake to 2 small cups of coffee per day and try lower-caffeine beverages like green or herbal tea or decaf coffee.

Hydrate yourself. Not drinking enough fluids can leave you with a headache.

Avoid mindless munching. It’s easy to polish off a bag of chips or savoury snacks while you’re concentrating on your notes or reading, so don’t bring snacks to your study spot. Eat only in the kitchen or away form your desk. Take regular study breaks and look for true hunger signs.

Use non-food stress busters. Learn to decrease stress without turning to food. Get some fresh air, take a walk around the clock, call a friend, put on your favourite music, take a 15 minute nap, play a game of solitaire, or try some yoga, deep breathing or meditation.

Or better yet, make a list of some nice things to do for yourself when your exams are finished!

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Category: Exam Stress
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