Eating well during revision and exam time

During exam and revision time, you may find yourself studying late in the library and you could be very tempted to grab something quick and convenient from the vending machine or café to calm your stress levels and get a quick sugar fix. This can burn a hole in your pocket quickly, but more importantly it’s not great food for your brain!

Nutrition revision.

Healthy eating during exam time is critical to brain and body function. Here are some top tips to help you stay focussed and alert through this stressful time as well as stress management

During exam and revision time, you may find yourself studying late in the library and you could be very tempted to grab something quick and convenient from the vending machine or café to calm your stress levels and get a quick sugar fix. This can burn a hole in your pocket quickly, but more importantly it’s not great food for your brain!

So, here is some information to help you eat the best food whilst your stress levels are shooting through the roof, and to keep you on track with the long stints of revision.

It is no surprise that eating the right food, will help fuel your brain and to help keep you motivated and if you are smart about it, you could be saving yourself a small fortune too!

Fresh veggie sticks

These snacks are ideal and as well as being easy to carry the initial biting into them, works off a bit of stress itself. Just make sure they are fresh, so that when you bite into them you get that ‘crunch’ sound.

Handful of nuts

Nuts are full of good essential fats for brain function, but also contain high levels of magnesium which help keep your stress levels (cortisol) down. One nut in particular, which is shaped like a brain (walnut), can improve brain memory as they are loaded with omega 3.

Fruit

Banana – These guys are amazing, they are packed full of vitamin B6, which helps produce your happy hormone (serotonin levels). They also keep your blood sugar levels stable too, so keep calm and grab a banana.

Berries – These are packed full of vitamin C, which is good for a number of reasons, particularly reducing stress and keeping your immune system strong and fit.

Homemade oatmeal flapjacks

Oats are naturally high in magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6, which all help with combating anxiety. Try adding natural sweeteners such as stevia or Manuka honey. Use these as a sweet slow-burning treat

Drinks that won’t make you crash

When revising, students think that necking energy drinks such as red bull, monster, rock star or mountain dew is good...wrong! The only thing these drinks will make you have, is the worst sugar crash! Keep it simple; drink your 6—8 glasses of water daily, this will help your brain healthy.

Tea lovers...black, green or oolong are great, as these contain the right amount of caffeine, they also contain theanine, when combined with caffeine help improve your focus.

Eating proper meals

Having healthy food to fuel-the-brain will not only help your concentration levels, but it will also keep your hunger locked. It doesn’t take long to whip up something healthy for yourself.

Why not try a couple of these healthy snacks:

Chicken Pesto Salad

Cook up some chicken, in a frying pan using a little bit of oil or coconut oil (you could also just buy a pack of pre-cooked chicken from the supermarket (if it’s cheap). After, add pesto to the chicken (red pesto goes brilliantly with chicken) and wait for it to cool overnight. In the morning, add it to a bed of leafy green salad and cherry tomatoes. This will combine the freshness of the salad with protein, which is a slow energy releaser so good for keeping you focused for longer periods of time!

Potato Salad

Boil up some new potatoes for around ten minutes, add mayonnaise or butter or even mustard (if you like it), a few freshly chopped chives or spring onions. Crack lots of black pepper on top, there you have it, a quick and delicious dish which will slowly release energy throughout your studying.

Add some greens to your potatoes for a bit of fibre (and colour!). An easy pleaser is to throw a handful of frozen peas in with the boiling potatoes about a minute before they’re done. Add some asparagus if you’re up for some vitamin B6! Just cut off and discard the rough, woody ends and throw them in with the potatoes about two minutes before draining them, then chop and add to the salad.