Beating the Exam Blues

Exam time is a stressful time for both parents and kids. And parents normally come to dieticians with the complaints that the child is not eating properly due to stress of studies and exams.

What then should be an ideal diet during exam time?
A diet rich in vitamins and minerals, increased fluid intake and concentrated in nutrients is ideal during this period. Which means lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, juices, lemon water, buttermilk, milk shakes, almond milk etc.
Parents need to ensure that the intake if tea/coffee and other caffeine rich beverages is kept to the minimum.

Can Having proper-on time meals effect the performance in Exams?
Having meals on time improves concentration. Research also proves, that eating proper meals during studies, improves child’s memory and retention power.
This could be explained by the fact that brain uses glucose as fuel for it to function properly. If the children eat properly on time, then glucose from the diet is utilized for proper brain function and the body does not have to generate glucose in the body.
Also, the fluids, vitamins and minerals keep the child hydrated and helps maintain electrolyte balance. They also improve immunity.

What should parents keep in mind about the wholesome diet?
Meals should be small and frequent and all food groups should be included in a day’s meal, such as milk, cereals, pulses, nuts and dry fruits, fruits and vegetables and fats and sugars. Care also needs to be taken to include sufficient liquids in the daily diet.

What should parents keep in mind about the wholesome diet?
Meals should be small and frequent and all food groups should be included in a day’s meal, such as milk, cereals, pulses, nuts and dry fruits, fruits and vegetables and fats and sugars. Care also needs to be taken to include sufficient liquids in the daily diet.

Are there any Foods that would improve memory and concentration?
Some foods are better than others to improve memory and concentration. Relative abundance of specific nutrients can affect cognitive processes and emotions.
Several gut hormones or peptides, such as leptin, ghrelin, glucagon and insulin have been found to influence learning and cognitive processes. Diets rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids , vitamins and minerals and water have been found to be beneficial.
For these nutrients have plenty of fresh fruits (berries are excellent), vegetables specifically green leafy vegetables, salads (beets are the best), fresh juices, oatmeal, cornflakes, banana, eggs, yogurt (fruit or plain), fish (especially sea fish), nuts (mainly walnuts and almonds), dark chocolate and green tea.

Any Particular Nutrient that the students need the most?
Glucose is one nutrient that children need the most during study time, as the brain consumes an immense amount of energy relative to the rest of the body. So, foods rich in carbohydrates especially complex carbohydrates need to be included in the diet of the students, such as fresh fruits and whole cereals.
It is, however, best to avoid sugary drinks or foods which provide empty calories, without providing any other useful nutrients.

Any foods that need to be avoided?
Foods that are high in fats or concentrated in calories must be avoided, examples are, fried foods of all sorts, potato wafers and other fast foods, foods loaded with butter and cheese. Tea, coffee and all carbonated beverages need to be avoided because of their caffeine content.
At times chocolates and candies are good to relieve the stress but need to be consumed with caution.

Why do children feel sluggish and sleepy after eating certain foods?
After we eat food, it goes for digestion to the stomach, and all the blood flow gets directed towards the digestive system. As during study time more blood flow is required towards brain for its proper functioning, this diverted blood supply leads to sleepy-ness or sluggishness. This is because of this reason that proper supply of oxygen and nutrition is not maintained to the brain.
Also, some foods increase the release of the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. These foods will normally be those containing lots of fats and also high on proteins.

Meals that are too heavy, that is loaded with calories and which have more simple sugars will also have similar effect, as they will remain longer in the system. Also, these cause peaks and troughs of sugar levels in blood, leading to further sluggishness. The foods that normally cause these effects are:

1. Fried foods- as they take longer to digest and remain for a longer time in the gut leading the blood to flow towards the digestive system.
2. Foods high in proteins and also have a similar effect and also cause the release of melatonin.
3. Foods that are high in sugars cause the blood sugars level to increase immediately and then to reduce fast causing peaks and troughs of sugars in blood. It causes alternate wakefulness and sleepy feelings.
4. Caffeinated drinks initially cause a feeling of wakefulness and then later on cause sluggishness because of their effect on the central nervous system.

Many foods help to keep the brain healthy, some foods like fruits and vegetables top the list due to their high antioxidant content, others like nuts and eggs have nutrients that support brain development, boost memory and improve mood and alertness.

Take small breaks during study time, get out and get some fresh air, get enough sleep, eat 6-8 small frequent meals and keep yourselves properly hydrated to improve performance in the exams.

Book Free Consultation with : Best dietician in delhi

HAPPY LEARNING

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