When your kid studies for exams, he needs a special diet to ease his stress and energise his exhausted brain. The pressure of study may drive your kid to go on a coffee diet as it takes less time to consume and helps to stay up late. But good nutrition should be the part of the study routines as, along with revisions, healthy foods contribute a lot in performing better.
Expert’s recommendation on food preferences during exams :
Add the right fuel to your kid’s brain by including these foods in his daily diet.
Foods high in protein :
The amino acids present in protein stimulates brain functions. Add these protein rich foods in his plate
- Dairy products like milk, yoghurts etc
Omega 3 :
60% of human brain in made of Omega 3 fatty acids. High concentrations of these fatty acids are found in nervous system and the brain. These are essential in promoting new cells formations, stimulating neuro transmissions, forming brain chemicals and reduce inflammations. Omega 3 fatty acids have been proven to improve concentration and reduce anxiety in students.
Include these Omega 3 rich foods in your kid’s diet
- Oily fishes like salmon, mackerel, Tuna
- Nuts and seeds like walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds
Complex carbs :
Our brain functions well with the supply little amount of glucose. As complex carbs takes time to break down in our digestive system, it provides the steady supply of small amount of glucose just enough to get the brain functions going efficiently. Offer him :
- Whole wheat roti
- Brown rice
Vitamins and minerals :
These are essential nutrients for brain as they regulate and create neurotransmitters promoting attention and alertness in your kid.
- Fruits like Kiwi, berries, citrus fruits
- Leafy green and cruciferous vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower
- Beans, avocados, bananas
De-Stress your kid with :
- Leafy Greens : Although praised as rich sources of vitamins and minerals, green leaves can also do wonder to the stress laden mind of your kid. Leafy greens like spinach contain Folic acids, that release mood regulating neurotranmitter dopamine. Folic acids also prevents the decline of cognitive abilities.
- Yoghurt : Yoghurt is good for gut health and a healthy gut promotes healthy functionality of your brain. The probiotics present in yoghurt reduces the level of stress hormone. Wait a second ! Had you never gulped down a spoonful of curd offered by your grandmother, before going for the exam, for good luck? Then simply carry on the tradition. There’s always some scientific explanation behind our age old traditions !
- Banana : The high potassium content of banana reduces tension. The natural sugars and fibres in banana releases slow but steady flow of glucose that again goof for efficient functioning of brain. It also contains amino acid tryptophan that promotes the productions of happy hormone serotonin and sleep hormone melanin.
- Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables : Vitamin c reduces the level of stress hormones and strengthen immunity as well. It also helps our brain in making neurotransmitters. The antioxidants present in most of the multi coloured fruits like oranges, berries also protects brain from free radicals.
- Sunshine : Though not considered as a food, Sunshine is what your whole body absorbs. Even a brief 5 minutes exposure to the bright Sunlight can increase the level of mood elevating brain chemical Serotonin. So allow your kid to have a brief exercise like Suryanamaskar or just walking in the sunshine.
Foods to avoid on exam season :
When chalking out the right diet for your teen, it is equally important to avoid foods that adds to the exam stress. These foods and habits slow our brains down in many ways :
Caffeine : Are you the mom who supplies mugs of coffee to ease your boy’s stress generated by late hour studies ? Then stop immediately. Caffeine , being a nervous stimulant, creates alertness in our brain. But it also adds to the anxiety level. Although it may increase his energy level for a while, but that will surely be followed by a drop of energy, besides dehydrating his body. Replace coffee, tea, caffeinated beverages with butter milk, warm milk with turmeric, coconut water or detox his body with simple lemon water.
Sugar : Sugar promotes hyperactivity and hinders concentration. Excessive sugar intake may leave your teen tired and irritable. Limit foods and drinks with high sugar content.
Outside food : You can have hundreds of reasons to banish junk foods, especially during exams. The toxic additives, artificial colours, sweeteners, trans-fat to name a few. These cause the body to suffer discomforts and prevent the mind to be calm.