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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Eat frequent meals to stay alert during exams

Astha Saxena, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 16, 2014
First Published: 02:41 IST(16/2/2014) | Last Updated: 02:43 IST(16/2/2014)

‘Eat small, frequent meals during exams’, this piece of advice comes from nutritionists for students who are stressed due to board exams.

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 Many students slide way down good nutrition from their priority list while preparing for the exams. Just as consistent study habits produce the best test results, the best way to ensure mental acuity is to eat a healthy diet every day.

 Breakfast is considered to be the healthiest diet and children should not skip it.

“Students should have a breakfast rich in micro-nutrients. It will helps in proper functioning of the brain. Eating something  every two hours will help. The right food is directly related to the concentration level of the brain,” said Ritika Samaddar, chief dietician, Max healthcare, Saket.

Having three big meals may slow you down mentally and physically. Eating a hearty meal may make you feel like you are in serious need of a nap afterwards. To maintain the level of blood sugar and glucose in the body, one should go for a healthy diet. Green leafy vegetables, fish, chicken and egg contribute in building a strong immune system.

 “Eating right amount of food will increase concentration level and lower anxiety in a student. Meal management is extremely important during exams,” said Dr Umesh Kapil, professor, public health nutrition, AIIMS.

Also, one should avoid coffee and opt for juice instead. Coffee does not qualify as a meal. The caffeine may help you to stay up and stay alert, but it can also trick your body into thinking it’s not hungry which it actually is. A good beverage choice is anti-oxidant-rich green tea.

“One should go for at least two litres of water every day. Lack of water leads to dehydration,” said Dr Kapil.

Avoid taking any supplements or tablets. Although you may find that your body is very much awake, without food, the mind becomes groggy and unable to absorb very well. Don’t rely solely on supplements or vitamins. Paired with food, these are great, but the body needs actual food.

B-complex vitamins are known as anti-stress vitamins but one should try to get them through natural food. Instead of supplements, opt for food rich in B-complex vitamins like dry fruits such as almonds, wholegrain cereals, milk should be taken to reduce stress level. Yogurt is very healthy for the body and it helps maintain the digestive system.

Say no to junk food. One must totally avoid eating junk food and aerated drinks during exams.


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