|Exam season is quickly approaching, and students are surrounded by late-night library sessions, insufficient sleep, stacks of marked study materials and textbooks – there’s so much going on that it might be tough for students to prioritise good habits. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the examination can help students obtain the highest performance in their exams!|
When students are preoccupied with their revision, fueling their body and mind will be the last thing that comes to their mind! There are plenty of questions asked by students. Can I gain an advantage just by eating particular foods? Is it true that drinking lots of water improves getting good grades?
This article will guide students with all the benefits they get by following a proper healthy and balanced diet.
How can a healthy diet help students score high grades in exams?
|Healthy and Vitamins & Minerals Rich Diet = Improved Concentration = High Grades|
Exam season is here. During the examination season, students study for longer than normal. A balanced diet is vital for improved concentration. The food students eat directly influences their body’s functioning in various ways. Therefore students need to remain fit during exam season to perform effectively. A balanced and healthy diet helps in maintaining good health.
According to a renowned dietitian, eating the right foods during the exam helps increase memory and helps maintain calm in difficult situations. Here are a few nutritional advice and benefits of eating healthy foods that can assist students in scoring good grades in their exams.
Here are a few rules which students must follow to attain and live a healthy lifestyle around exam time, which can help them score high exam grades:
Rule 1: Never skip the meal
Students may feel inclined to miss a meal to complete the revision of one more chapter, but they forget that ignoring their hunger or skipping a meal will ultimately prevent them from getting high scores in exams!
For efficient working, the brain requires sufficient glucose, not the rapid sugar which students can get from sweets that can spike their glucose levels and then rapidly collapse. Students should consume complex carbohydrates that ensure sustained glucose supply in the brain for efficient absorption of the learnings. A steady supply of glucose will allow students to focus on their studies without feeling hungry all the time. Thus enhancing the concentration level of students and enabling them to study for long hours without any disturbances.
Students must include the following foods in their meals: at least half a plate of veggies, a quarter plate of carbohydrates, and a sufficient amount of proteins. Students must have a proper meal to keep their minds focused and engaged. Some of them are as follows:
Carbohydrates: Whole grains foods such as whole-grain toast, brown rice, quinoa, and wheat are good sources of glucose. Students can include sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and gourd( examples of starchy vegetables) in their daily carb intake.
Vegetables: Each vegetable has its benefits. Therefore, students must include all forms of vegetables (move more towards non-starchy vegetables and avoid potatoes) in their diet.
Proteins: Seafood and oil-rich fish are beneficial to brain health and concentration because of their ‘long-chain Omega-3s’. According to experts, “Omega-3 fats make up around 8% of the brain” therefore, students should eat a portion of Omega-3-rich meals at least twice a week. Students must include lean meats (low-fat meats) in their meals, such as fish, chicken, tuna, turkey, and lean red meat.
Rule 2: Take regular intervals for snacks to improve brain functioning
When students are stressed or tired, they may crave something sugary or salty, such as chips, candies, or cookies. Eating a lot of salt and fat will give students extra calories (no beneficial calories), making them hungry soon after. Therefore, students must plan regular study breaks to consume a snack to maintain their blood glucose levels and power requirements.
According to several studies, nutritional intake directly impacts the mental capacity of young students. For instance, iron deficiency can reduce dopamine transmission, affecting the intelligence level in the early stages of students. There are plenty of minerals and vitamins, particularly vitamin E, thiamine, vitamin B, zinc, and iodine, which have been proven to enhance students’ cognitive ability and mental attention. Supplementing these micronutrients with amino acids and carbohydrates can also help students enhance their awareness, reasoning, and understanding abilities. Research shows that nutritional intake can improve students’ cognitive and intellectual capacity in preparing for their exams.
Carbohydrates are the brain’s main energy source; students should consume high fibre snacks such as fruit salads, whole grains, and vegetables for long-lasting energy. And must pair it with a protein-rich dish like paneer, nut/seed butter, yoghurt, or bean dip. It will keep students fuller for longer and save them from feeling collapse between studies.
Rule 3: Well-balanced Diet = Balanced Behaviours and Learning Environments
Students who eat well arrive at school ready to study. Because a better diet makes students healthier, they are more likely to miss fewer classes and regularly attend them. According to research, hunger causes negative behavioural issues, adversely affecting their exam performances.
However, students can avoid these issues by consuming a well-balanced diet rich in macronutrients such as complex carbohydrates, proteins, fat, and fibre. By following a properly balanced diet, students will regularly attend their classes, resulting in fewer interruptions throughout the school year. Furthermore, students’ behaviour may improve and cause fewer disturbances in the classroom, resulting in an enhanced learning environment. All these contribute towards better performance of students in the exams.
Rule 4: Reduce Caffeine intake
Are you looking for a caffeine drink to help you get through your stack of study notes? If yes! Then this one’s for you. Caffeine can act as an energy booster for a brief period, and students prefer to consume caffeinated drinks, particularly during their exam periods. Still, it can also leave students feeling nervous, tense, and restless at the very same time. Furthermore, consuming too much caffeine can make students feel uneasy and fatigued, negatively affecting their performance in examinations.
Therefore if students prefer to drink caffeine, they must minimise its consumption during the day. Alternatively, students can choose from water, fresh fruit juices, sparkling water, herbal teas, or cold brew coffee. Students can begin reducing their caffeine intake by drinking a half-decaf coffee and gradually reducing the caffeine!
Also, students must remember that they need to get enough rest before the exam, and excessive caffeine consumption may cause an inability to sleep the night before. Thereby affecting their performance in exams.
Rule 5: Drink plenty of water to hydrate the mind
Students must drink at least 1.5L of water per day.
Students often forget to drink water between their learning sessions, resulting in mind dehydration. This dehydration can creep up, causing students to feel pale and even suffer headaches. Therefore students must carry or keep a water bottle on their study table to serve as a reminder to drink water all through the day as a hydrated mind can absorb learnings more efficiently. While simple water is the most common way to hydrate, students can consider the following ways of increasing daily fluid intake:
Tea: Vegetables, fresh-cut fruit, or herbs can be added to infused water. Cucumber, oranges, lemon, and mint leaves are just a few examples.
|Try a fresh, unsweetened, brewed iced tea with citrus fruit flavouring (lemon, oranges, grapefruit). It will refresh students’ minds and will make them feel more energetic!|
Vegetables and fruits: There are plenty of fruits and vegetables high in water content and can help students enhance their fluid intake. Melons, cucumbers, citrus fruits, and celery are some of its examples.
1. What is the healthiest breakfast to have on exam days?
According to research, students and children who eat breakfast score higher in exams. Students must consume slow-release carbohydrates. The food items that include these carbs are whole rolled porridge oats, low-sugar muesli, or whole grain bread, all these options slowly release the energy, making them the best choice for the student's breakfast. Add a protein-rich item, such as milk, eggs or yoghurt, to feel fuller for longer periods during examination times. Students must include a portion of a food high in long-chain Omega-3 fats, like smoked mackerel, on exam day, as they are thought to have brain-boosting effects.
2. How might drinking water help students get better grades?
Staying hydrated is one of the best techniques to improve the overall focus. Even slight dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, decreased awareness, and decreased focus.
Students must bring a bottle of water into the exam if permitted; a survey of university students indicated that those who took refreshments, particularly water, performed 5% more than those who did not have refreshments.
Students must begin their day by drinking a glass of water or fruit juice. Every student must consume at least 1.5 litres of water each day. That equates to eight to ten 200ml glasses. Water is the best option, but students can alternatively drink milk, small amounts of fruit juices, and herbal teas to increase their fluid intake.
Tea and coffee are also acceptable, but they contain a lot of caffeine. Therefore, students should consume it within limits. It's better to avoid high-sugar, fizzy and energetic drinks, which will cause sudden highs and lows of energy.
3. What food should students eat to have a good night's sleep before exam day?
Sleep deprivation can impair memory and reduce reaction speed. According to experts, memory neurons, which are responsible for transforming short-term memories into long-term ones, are thought to perform best when sleeping. There is proof that students who take seven hours of sleep at night score 10% higher than those who sleep less.
A big meal too right before bed might disrupt sleep, so students must aim to have their dinner at least 3 hours before bed. Then, shortly before night, consume a light snack, such as a bowl of high-fibre cereal like porridge. If students need to sweeten the cereal, use dried fruit instead of sugar.
Caffeine-containing meals and beverages, such as tea, coffee, cola, and chocolate, should be avoided at least four hours before bed. Students might feel caffeine's effects up to 12 hours later in certain extremely sensitive persons. A glass of warm milk can help students sleep better.
4. Suggest some healthy snack items during exam times.
To keep one going throughout the day, choose healthy snacks like popcorn, fresh fruit, fruit salads, dried fruit, yoghurt, or nuts. These are better options than cakes, cookies, chocolate, and sweets, which are heavy in refined sugars and provide a 'sugar rush' after consuming and leaving one feeling flat and tired immediately afterwards.
Students who study all the time may become bored. It also exhausts and stresses them out. As a result, appropriate sleep and balanced nutrition are required to ensure that students can recall the content they have been studying on. It will assist them in learning and absorbing the new information that they have read. Students must give themselves time to unwind before going to bed. Students should avoid caffeine-containing beverages late at night. Students should go for a walk, swim, exercise, or even stroll to their local store.