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Eat your way to exam success

india Updated: Mar 19, 2010 01:40 IST
Prema K
Prema K
Hindustan Times
Dr Nalini Karukaran

Is everyone giving you a different diet chart for the exam season? Did your aunt tell you fish increases your brain power? Were you also told that a mug of coffee will help you concentrate? HT City talks to some experts about what you should eat during exams. Dr Nalini Karukaran advises oats for breakfast. She says, “A light meal comprising meat, eggs or fish and vegetables is okay. Avoid brinjals, very sour and salty food. For dinner, one can have Rice and Moong

Dal Khichdi made with pure ghee.” Bananas are said to be excellent before an exam as they release their energy slowly. Even an orange, carrot sticks or a sweet fruit work in the same manner. It’s also recommended that one has a light and balanced meal a couple of hours before an exam. Nutritionist Dr Harshada Rajadjyaksha says that students require food that increase concentration, enhance memory, boost energy, calm the mind and reduce stress and fatigue. She regards coffee, tea, colas and sugar as energy-fakers.

She explains, “Caffeine is a powerful but temporary stimulant… The boost runs out fast. Too much of it leaves you tense and anxious. Sweets give one a temporary lift followed by a low.” She also advises against eating large meals. Mixing proteins in one meal or a meal with excess salt leads to fatigue. She recommends a balanced combination of nutrients for sustained energy. She says,

“Combine vegetables, whole grain cereals or pasta, fresh fruits, dry fruits and nuts. Drink enough water. Almonds, apples, walnuts along with raisins, grapes, oranges, dates and figs and eggs, milk, soybeans and fish are memory-enhancing food. Calm the mind with honey, milk, oats, wholegrain cereals, nuts and pulses.”

Recipes to rev up those grey cells.

Breakfast
Banana-oats smoothie:
1 cup slim milk + 1 tbsp oats + 1 scoop Neutrilite powder (optional) + 1 1/2 tbsp honey + 1 medium banana. Have with 4-5 almonds.

Lunch/Dinner
Frankie roll: Chapatti rolled with your favourite vegetable filling. The dough can have 2 parts of wheat flour and 1/2 part each of soya, ragi and chana flours.

Quick snacks
Wholegrain sandwiches:Corn and potato filling: Boil potato and corn. In a non-stick pan, sauté onion and tomatos in olive oil. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Toss in the chopped potatoes and corn.
Vegetable filling: Chop cucumber, tomato, lettuce, cabbage and carrot finely. Add a little eggless mayonnaise and 1 tsp curd. Do not use butter, cheese or any other dressing.
Rajmah filling: Soak and cook rajmah beans. Make a dry preparation with onion, garlic, tomato puree, little salt and sugar, and some herbs.
Also have dry fruits, fresh fruits, a slice of wholewheat bread with peanut butter, some chocolate or a glass of milk.

Just chill
Boil 500 ml water and add 1 tsp aniseed (saunf) to it. Cover and keep it for a while. Strain after 30 minutes. Drink 2-3 cups of this lukewarm tea.
— Courtesy Dr Harshada Rajadjyaksha

What’s the good word?

I sampled cognac for the first
time at my uncle’s place last week. Can you tell me the right way to pronounce it?
— Punit Sharma, Rajouri Garden

It’s the ‘g’ that’s tripping you up, isn’t it? The letter remains silent in this French word, which comes from the town of Cognac in France, where this brandy is produced. The correct pronunciation is kone-YAK, with the emphasis on yak.