Believe it or not, but what you eat makes a lot of difference in how active you stay throughout the day. And with the exams nearing, you need to be particularly careful about your diet to ensure your memory and concentration get the necessary boost.
Go easy on burgers, pizzas and colas to be able to concentrate better, warn health experts.
“Switching to healthier options such as fresh fruits and vegetables helps a great deal in reducing overall stress levels. If you must binge, go for grilled and baked items instead of the fried ones,” said nutritionist Neha Arora.
“There is nothing as stress-free diet per se, but there are certain food items that help in improving concentration and combating stress better.”
The mantra lies in not just what you eat, but also when you eat and how you eat.
Breakfast— important meal of the day
Breakfast must not be skipped at any cost. It is important to provide the body energy after eight to nine hours of fasting. And it must have a good mix of carbohydrates and proteins; however, white bread and sugar-rich items such as biscuits must be avoided completely as they are instant energy boosters that affects body metabolism adversely.
A glass of milk is a must as it contains tryptophan, a mood stabilizer that helps in reducing stress.
No heavy meals
Eating heavy meals during stress can lead to irritable bowel syndrome that can affect your concentration.
Six meals in a day are ideal; with three major meals and three small meals in between. Lunch should comprise roti, dal, vegetable and curd. For non-vegetarians, chicken and fish are a good source of essential protein. Dinner should have at least one protein-rich item, but must be the lightest meal of the day. Curd is a must have, as it improves nerve impulses and neutralizes acidity.
Fruits should be taken as fillers in-between meals. The high-fibre content found in fruits and vegetables helps relieve constipation, which is one of the side-effects of stress. Carrot in particular is rich in vitamins necessary for reducing stress, and is readily available during this season. One can also opt for sprouts that are full of essential nutrients and are easy to digest, so one doesn’t feel lethargic after consuming sprouts.
It is essential for the body to stay hydrated. When the body does not have enough fluids to work efficiently, it can develop muscle cramps, dizziness or what is called lightheadedness. Not just water; one should have fluids in the form of fresh lime water, coconut water, buttermilk etc. to meet the body’s requirement and to maintain electrolyte balance.
Avoid unnecessary medicines
There is a variety of memory enhancers available in market these days, but experts do not recommend popping in pills randomly. “At such young age, you do not really have memory issues. Their problem is more to do with stress and anxiety. For them, the focus should be on better managing stress and anxiety and not resort to medicines,” says Pulkit Sharma, clinical psychologist at Imago- Centre for Self.
“No matter what the label says; one must keep it in mind that all medicines have an impact on the body. There is a huge market of nutritional supplements but you must not take them without proper medical guidance, even if those are labelled as herbal.”