Eating Healthy During Exams

Students' physical and mental health are of utmost important. Here are some tips for their overall well-being:

Sheela Krishnaswamy
Sheela Krishnaswamy
Sheela Krishnaswamy is a Registered Dietitian with 38 years of professional experience in the clinical, corporate and communication spaces. She was trained in India and overseas. She is active in national and international dietetic associations. She has had a media presence for the last 25 years. Formerly, a successful nutrition entrepreneur, an editor, a public speaker and a blogger, currently she works independently as Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Advisor, Anchor, Writer and Corporate Trainer.

Preparing for final exams is the time when students pore over their books and fret about it, and parents worry about their children’s health and ascension to the next class. Does the diet have to go for a toss every year before and during exams?  Not at all. 

Here are some tips to help the exam-goers’ physical and mental health –

  1. Eat at regular intervals. Do not skip meals. This helps to keep energy levels steady and helps to reduce temptation for unhealthy foods.
  2. Breakfast is an important meal. Ensure that you get adequate carbohydrates and proteins at this meal. Some examples are idli/dosa with sambar and chutney, bread with egg or peanut butter, poha or paratha with curd, or porridge with milk. 
  3. Avoid over-eating at any meal as this could make you drowsy. 
  4. Vegetables and fruits are super-nourishing foods. A variety of these foods, preferably seasonal and natural, would be the best choice. 
  5. Hydration is important both for the body and brain. Plain water, herbal water, coconut water, buttermilk, clear soup, etc., can contribute to the total fluid intake. Avoid carbonated and sugar-sweetened beverages.
  6. Stay away from ultra-processed, high sugar and high fat foods. Although tempting, these foods do not help much in building health. 
  7. If you are stressed, use relaxation techniques like deep breathing, yogasana, walking, talking to a friend or anything else that helps to divert your attention from food. 
  8. Eat your meals in a relaxed atmosphere. 
  9. Physical activity/exercise/games are important even during exams and study days. This helps to improve blood circulation to the body and brain. Exercise has multiple health benefits including stress reduction.  

Sunshine and sleep are as important as food and physical activity. Adequate sleep of 7 to 8 hours every night keeps the mind fresh and alert. Sleep and sunlight also help to boost immune health. 

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