Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
Brain Food at Exam Time
Exam time is a very stressful time for people, not just the person actually sitting the tests but for the household in general. Though the pressure is on the student to prepare, the support they get around the exam time is also crucial. Food can play a big part in this. So if you want to help a family member, consider helping them to make the right food choices.
Tensions run high close to exam deadlines and anxiety and stress can play tricks on the appetite. Experts say that the correct nutrition during exam time actually does effect exam performance. The grueling schedule of exams means that students are going from one exam to another with very little downtime in between. A long exam can be a bit of an endurance test or if you like, a mental marathon.
The experts and nutritionists advice that healthy food and the right choices of food can actually enhance the brain power in the long and short term. Feeding the brain with the right ‘power foods’ during exam times can play a crucial role in the stamina of the brain. The wrong choices can raise blood sugars too quickly, leaving you tired an sluggish as a result which can easily make the mind loose focus. Here are our top foods tips to maximise brain power and focus throughout exam time;
Dont Skip Breakfast
Students will be nervous, and probably won’t be that keen to eat breakfast. But it will actually be the most important meal of the day. Try to get some good protein in at this time. It would be a shame to have all the work put in doing all the studying and then not have the strength to perform efficiently at exam time. Good breakfast combinations might be whole-grain cereal with milk, eggs and toast, porridge, oatmeal, or muesli.
Some foods are scientifically proven to actually be brain fuel as they are good for brain function. These include fish, walnuts, blueberries, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, bananas, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, raw carrots, spinach and dried fruits. blast as many of these as you can into a smoothy for breakfast or at snack time.
Avoid Sugary Food
There are other foods that are considered to use up more energy to digest them and therefore will make you tired and sluggish after eating them. This is often referred to as a ‘sugar crash’. These foods include cakes, muffins, chocolates, fizzy drinks and any other foods that contained high amounts of refined sugars. They may give you a kick of energy in the short time but your focus will be compromised.
Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink some water. By then its too late – you are already a little dehydrated. Try to keep a steady flow of liquids going into your body, especially in the hot weather. Again, avoid drinks with high sugar content as they will require extra time and energy to break down in the body. Fluids will also help you to break down the food more, allowing it to convert into fuel that the body needs.
Try to eat small amount often to keep the energy levels sustained. Healthy snacks include granola bars, fruits, nuts, crackers and cheese. Smaller portions of left-over dinner can work well as snacks throughout the exam period. So if you are preparing a healthy meal, consider making a little extra that can be reheated for snacking on study breaks.
Here is a simple chart that can guide you.