During exam time, nutrition and food is hardly on our priority list. It is critical to remember that exam time is a mental marathon that requires a great deal of endurance. The right kind of food can ensure alertness, sharpness and greater energy. Here are some simple tips to help in your basic nutrition needs, help you feel more active and contribute towards making you stay focussed.

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Start healthy

Start your day right with a healthy breakfast. A good breakfast option would be a bowl of porridge with fruits, nuts like almonds and seeds or milkshake with fruits, egg with toast etc.

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Smart snacking

With long hours of studying, one tends to take a couple of snack breaks. Snacking healthy is important as the right kind of snack can ensure energy to keep one going throughout the day. Go for a handful of nuts like almonds, fruits, protein bars, etc as these are better choices than cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets that are high in refined sugar. The latter can give one a 'sugar rush' after consumption but can leave one feeling flat and sluggish shortly afterwards. Prioritize healthier snacks like almonds that have been demonstrated to have satiating properties and lower levels of LDL or bad cholesterol.

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Hydration

Dehydration makes you feel lethargic, irritable and tired. It is also known to affect your ability to concentrate. Keep a large bottle of water by your study table such that you will drink water as and when necessary. Other fluids like fresh lime water, coconut water, buttermilk, fruit juice can be consumed.

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Portion Control

It is advisable to eat smaller and frequent meals to ensure a steady stream of energy. Eating a large amount of food at one go may make you feel sluggish and sleepy. Eat a handful of almonds (23 almonds) daily as they contain healthy fats and can help lower the blood sugar impact of carbohydrate foods that they are eaten with. Make sure you have a balanced diet for every meal.

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Beat the urge to binge eat

Stress and boredom are two factors that contribute towards health issues. After studying for long hours, you may find yourself looking for a snack break. Keep a bowl of almonds handy for such situations, and actively avoid that binge-eat moment.

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Memory boosting nutrients and foods to enhance your grey cells and increase concentration

Studies have shown that nutrients like Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins A, E and C and B1 are good for brain health, aids in memory and learning. According to the findings from a review of ancient Indian texts of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha, almonds nourish the brain and promote intellect.

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Set targets for a treat

Preparation schedules work best when working towards a target. Set goals in your study schedule and treat yourself to a sumptuous quick bite. Ensure that you eat something that can help keep you energised through the day. Almonds can be a good option. Flavour them with your favourite herb or spice for a delicious and a crunchy treat.

Last but most important keep your calm. Stress can have an adverse effect on your appetite and skipping meals would only cause more harm and make you sick.

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  3. Cohen AE, Johnston CS. Almond ingestion at mealtime reduces postprandial glycemia and chronic ingestion reduces hemoglobin A1c in individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism 2011; 60(9): 1312-1317
  4. Gebauer SK, Novotny JA, Bornhorst GM and Baer DJ. Food processing and structure impact the metabolizable energy of almonds. Food & Function. 2016;7(10):4231-4238.