It is that time of year again when all parents and childeren are under lot of stress due to exams. It is seen that a child's diet is usually the most neglected aspect during their exams while this is the time to focus on proper nutriton for optimal brain functioning.
There is no magic pill that will boost the child's memory but a healthy diet along with regular exercise and sound sleep will definitely influence his/her concentration.
- fish and egg based diet provides Omega 3 fatty acids and choline, which is the chemical basis for neuro transmitter that speeds electrical pulses between neurons. It is also critical for the development of new brain cells. Having fish 3 times a week can cut your Alzheimer's risk nearly by half. Vegetarians can benefit by including different nuts esp. walnuts.
- The brain's primary fuel is glucose. Like our muscles, our brain also becomes fatigued when glucose levels drop. Avoid refined foods as they convert to simple sugars rapidly that are burned quickly, resulting in mood swings . Instead eat complex carbohydrates like oats, whole wheat grains, whole pulses, fresh fruits and vegetables which provide a steady supply of fuel.
- Include plenty of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables to boost your memory, concentration and improve cognitive functions.
- Have a healthy wholesome breakfast of complex carbohydrates and proteins to keep you going through long periods of study and exam writing.
- Like every other organ your brain needs water to perform its best. Dehydration can result in tiredness and headcahes.Drink atleast 10-12 glasses of plain water.
- Try reducing the intake of drinks that contain caffeine like tea, coffee and cola. These act as diuretics, causing dehydration in body.
- Have small frequent meals to ensure a steady supply of glucose to brain. Avoid long gap between meals.
- A study found that during this time, stress levels are high and children crave for comfort foods ( mostly junk food like chips, pizza,chocolates, fries) .Avoid greasy, oily and high sugar foods as they are harder to digest and divert blood from the brain.
- Avoid fast foods and snacks laden with sugar and fat as they reduce the alertness and the child feels sleepy after consuming these foods.
- Munch on Omega 3 fatty acids rich nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, pumkin seeds, sunflower seeds to improve concentration.They act as super foods for brain.
- For an active brain, focus on relaxation as much as exercise: Go for meditation, a quiet walk, get yourself enrolled in hobby classes or simply listening to your favorite music will help the brain de- stress.
Below is a sample diet plan for children during exams:
Early Morning: 1 glass water + 4-6 soaked almonds
Breakfast: 2 multigrain toasts+ 2 eggs / Paneer sandwich / 2 moong daal cheela+ green chutney / poha with lots of veggies / 2 besan cheela + curd / 2 veg stuffed paranthas( with little oil)
Mid morning: 1 glass buttermilk/ fresh fruit juice/ vegetable juice/ 1 bowl fruit salad
Lunch: Brown rice/ Red rice / 2 multigrain chapatis + 1 bowl daal / chicken/ fish + 1 bowl veg + 1 bowl salad
Evening: 1 glass milk shake/fruit smoothie/ carrot kheer/soymilk
Dinner: 1 bowl veg soup + 2 multigrain chapatis + veg
Believe in yourself, do well, do not stress,stay healthy
Wish you all success in your exams!! All The Best!!