Exam time has always been the toughest time for students. They study like they never studied the whole year. It is a time period when most kids feel overwhelmed, stressed, and nervous. The constant stress and anxiety of exams sometimes take a toll on the health of some kids. So, it becomes extremely important for kids to eat properly. A balanced diet is vital for keeping exam stress in check and improving concentration. Plus, a good nutritious diet can help you maintain overall health.
Dietician Sneha Kamat at SRV Hospital, Goregaon, Mumbai shared some diet tips for kids to help them deal with exam stress.
How diet helps kids deal with exam stress?
Not only kids, but studies have also shown that consuming food has a positive impact on your mental health. Dietician Kamat shares that food consumption has a direct influence on the mental ability of young kids. “For instance, iron deficiency can disrupt dopamine transmission, which can take a toll on their intelligence at an early stage. There are several minerals and vitamins that have been shown to improve kids’ cognitive capacity and mental focus, including vitamin E, thiamine, vitamin B, zinc, and iodine.”
Also Read: Yoga for exam stress: Asanas every student should try
Diet tips to keep exam stress in control
Here are some diet tips from the expert to help you deal with exam stress and keep your head in the game:
1. Include carbohydrates in your diet
Not all carbs are bad! So, ensure you add some healthy carbohydrates to your diet, including whole grains like whole-grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, and wheat, as they all are high in glucose, recommends the expert. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and gourd are examples of starchy vegetables that students can incorporate into their daily carb consumption, she adds.
However, make sure you are eating everything in moderation and not loading on too much too soon.
2. Eat more veggies
Don’t underestimate the power of a simple vegetable! Vegetables are loaded with several nutrients that can benefit you in more ways than one. So, the dietician urges kids to include all types of vegetables in their diet. However, you should try to include more non-starchy vegetables and try to avoid potatoes.
Also Read: Steamed vegetables vs raw: What is healthier?
3. Load up on Omega-3s
Did you know Omega-3 fatty acids help you improve your brain health and help you focus? Kamat says, “Kids should consume Omega-3-rich meals at least twice a week because foods high in omega-3s like seafood and fish account for 8 percent of the brain. Lean foods (low-fat meats) such as fish, chicken, tuna, turkey, and lean red meat must be included in students’ meals.”
4. Curd can help
Curd helps to keep your intestines healthy, explains the dietician. With exams here, it is crucial to eat foods that help you avoid stomach disorders and maintain gut health. Curd is a probiotic that promotes good bacteria in the stomach while also stimulating the flow of serotonin, a pleasant hormone that results in regulated stress. The dietician advises students not to skip the ‘Dahi-Shakkar’ before examinations.
5. Maintain a balance
While carbs have always gotten a bad reputation, the dietitian says that carbs along with amino acids can assist kids to improve their awareness, reasoning, and comprehension abilities. “According to research, eating a balanced diet will boost the cognitive and intellectual performance of the students, especially when studying for examinations.
Students must include at least half a plate of vegetables, a quarter plate of carbs, and a reasonable quantity of protein in their meals. Students must eat well in order to be attentive and interested,” advises Kamat.
A word from the expert!
Long hours of studying can drain the student and they may get bored. So, it is essential for them to sleep properly and eat a well-balanced diet. It will improve their concentration skills and help them retain what they have been learning. It will help them learn and assimilate the new knowledge they have read. Before going to bed, students should take some time to unwind. Late at night, students should avoid caffeine-containing drinks. Students should go for a walk, swim, exercise, or simply walk to the shop.