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Take light meals to improve concentration

Medical expert Dr Anoop Misra, director of the Centre of Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, and chairman, Fortis-C-DOC Centre for Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology, answers health-related queries.

delhi Updated: Feb 13, 2013 01:49 IST

Medical expert Dr Anoop Misra, director of the Centre of Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, and chairman, Fortis-C-DOC Centre for Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology, answers health-related queries.

Vivek Nair: Whenever I pick up a book, I start feeling sleepy. I cannot focus on the subject. My family and school have pinned high hopes on me. Also, I have gastric problems.

Misra: How to increase focus and concentration:
Give yourself regular breaks, but they shouldn't be very long.
Exercise regularly, even if it is for 10 minutes. It improves oxygen supply to the brain. It will also reduce stress levels.
Foods high in omega 3 essential fatty acids are considered 'focus-enhancing foods'. Examples include almonds, walnuts, fish, green salads, etc. Take plenty of green leafy vegetables and fruits. One egg a day will be a good idea.
Form a schedule. Adequate sleep is essential.
Take light meals and have intermittent snacks.

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Settling a queasy stomach
Stress and lack of exercise increase acid secretion, may cause irregular bowel habits.
Take plenty of curd, lassi, non-oily foods, apple and papaya.
Make sure that salads, raw vegetables and fruits with skin are washed properly.
If indigestion is accompanied by acidity, then antacids could be taken as and when required.
Small amount of isabgol may relieve your constipation and regulate bowel movement.

Vaibhav Sachdeva: I feel exhausted by studies. Please suggest some healthy food options. Also, children during this time often take to smoking and energy drinks. Are they useful?

Misra: To decrease exhaustion:
Bask in 15 minutes of sunshine daily
Have adequate salt intake
Have at least two fruits per day
Take sips of fluids with electrolytes all day such as jaljeera, lemonade, chaach etc.
Sometimes vitamin tablets (B12, vitamin D), or calcium become necessary. Let your physician decide that.

Exercise regularly
Avoid burgers, aerated drinks, paranthas, pizzas, omelettes, regular desserts, chips and processed cheese. Instead gorge on grilled vegetable sandwiches, lemonades (preferably salty), vegetable-stuffed chapattis, home-made wheat base vegetable pizzas, poached or boiled eggs, fruits and cottage cheese.

Smoking and Energy Drinks do not relieve stress
Smoking leads to high heart rate and increased blood pressure which can affect your health and decrease concentration

Energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine, leading to rapid heartbeat and sleep disturbance. Avoid them as much as possible. If needed, a small cup of coffee should be enough.