10 tips to stay stress free and on the ball this exam block!
Food for thought: what you eat can affect how well you study and your stress levels. It’s true; a diet rich in essential fatty acids, fruits and vegetables does wonders for your brain power and stress.
Exam block for most university students is just around the corner and we know how stressful it can really be! Diet plays such an important role in our overall wellbeing and levels of stress so here are some ways to maximise study time with the love of our lives
♥ FOOD ♥
We have been studying day and night trying to prepare for upcoming exams, and we can’t seem to stop eating! It feels like throughout the day we are constantly snacking on something or craving a heavy meal that will only make us feel bloated and want to sleep rather than study!
Concentration is the key when it comes to study; especially when you have limited time to learn 13 weeks of medical physiology lectures (It can be done!). So… what can we eat to make us more alert, concentrate better and stress less, also what should we stay far away from to avoid curling up in bed with the heater on watching Master Chef (we had our catch up session last night only after a BIG day of study)?
1 – FISH– Salmon, tuna, anchovies, sardines and other cold-water fish are your best source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Many studies have shown that Omega-3 fatty acids boost energy and memory power, enhance learning ability, improve problem-solving skills and keep your adrenaline from spinning out of control in stressful situations
2 – NUTS– Almonds are a great stress soother; just a handful will keep your heart from racing when panic arrives. Try a mix including almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and pecans; they are rich in Vitamin E and B6, folate, Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and antioxidants. These will boost your brain power and your mood.
3 – WHOLE GRAINS– The right carbohydrates produce the right results. Oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain breads and cereals, barley and popcorn boost your blood flow to the brain while also have compounds which relieve stress and anxiety. Wholegrain breads and cereals contain Vitamin B6 while wheat germ is rich in memory-improving thiamine.
4 – TEA– This one is our FAVOURITE drink! This will help you improve your memory and focus as well as fighting mental fatigue (worst part of studying!). Our choice is green tea (especially the brand Madura) it keeps you mentally relaxed but keeps your wits sharpened because of the antioxidants it contains.
5 – AVOCADO– Craving something fatty and creamy?? Avocado will do the trick! This little gem will satisfy your craving and work as a nutritional enhancer that helps the body absorb vital nutrients. The potassium and vitamin E in the avocado will help calm nerves.
6 – CALCIUM RICH-FOODS– Studies have shown that tyrosine, the amino acid in yogurt, is responsible for the production in neurotransmitters, along with cheese, milk and other foods with loads of calcium help improve the function of nerves, alertness and memory.
7 – EGGS– Don’t miss the yolk! Eggs are a great source of Vitamin B and lecithin, and provide essential fatty acids to the brain. BUT choline (the basic building block of brain cells) comes from the yolk, so make sure you use it too!
8 – BERRY-LICIOUS– Eat berries for your brain! Berries are high in antioxidants but blueberries especially have the highest amount, this will help with learning and memory. Make sure you eat the berries fresh as heat destroys some of the nutrient content in them. Many of you may not know this but eggplant is classified as a berry with all the antioxidant goodness!
9 – SAGE– it can be as a herb in the food you eat or as a supplement. This little gem has been known to boost levels of the chemical that helps transmit messaged to and from the brain.
10 – H20 – Water- Water is an essential component for functioning of the brain as it is made up of ¾ of water. Dehydration can lead to decreased memory power and can affect mental and cognitive functions.
There you go 🙂 We hope this little insight into food and how it effects your body helps! Make sure you stay away from caffeine, heavy carbs and fried fatty foods.
Goodluck with exams!