Students often overlook how well they're eating during exam periods and how it reflects with how they feel and function.
It's important to support your brain during stressful times, so get some top tips for eating right during exam periods
1. Eat breakfast every day
A healthy breakfast packed with low GI grains and a source of protein is the best fuel for studying and exam day. These foods will keep you fuller for longer and help you stay focused and full of energy. Try eggs on wholegrain toast, porridge with reduced fat milk and stewed fruit or high fibre cereal with reduced fat milk and banana. On the go? Try a tub of yoghurt and piece of fruit or wholegrain bread with reduced fat cheese and tomato.
2. Enjoy regular meals and snacks
Eating regular meals and snacks is important to keep your energy levels up and your brain ticking over. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits; nutrient-rich protein foods such as beef, lamb, fish and eggs; reduced fat dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese; and wholegrain breads, cereals and legumes to help fuel your body and brain to support concentration and prevent fatigue.
3. Eat nutrient-rich protein foods
Eating beef and lamb 3 to 4 times per week will provide you with essential nutrients, including iron for brain function and zinc for a healthy immune system. Red meat is especially important at this time as low iron can contribute to tiredness and fatigue which may make it difficult to study effectively. Why not use last night’s leftovers such as spaghetti bolognaise or beef casserole for a delicious packed lunch?
4. Go low GI
Low GI carbohydrates are absorbed slowly by the body, so provide you with long lasting energy to get you through your study and exams. Try to include low GI foods such as wholegrain bread and wholemeal pasta, basmati rice or alternatively try adding baked or mixed beans to your salad or sandwich.
5. Stay hydrated
A dehydrated brain may affect academic performance by making it difficult to concentrate and study. Water is the best drink for you, so try and carry a water bottle when studying and during exams. Avoid soft drinks and energy drinks as they will provide a quick fix of energy and then leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued.
Parents and students interested in the Study Diet can download the meal plans from: www.themainmeal.com.au/studydiet
Looking for nutritious recipes? browse our healthy eating recipe collection here.