For students, the pandemic has been an emotional rollercoaster. They had to deal with home confinement, missed school, and adjust to online studies. Add to that the stress of studying for exams, whether the internal, board or competitive. While some exam stress is unavoidable, it becomes a cause for concern when it disrupts children’s eating habits and sleeping patterns.
Too much stress disrupts hormone secretion in the body and affects appetite, leading to overeating or undereating.
Anxiety influences food intake because stress and appetite are linked.
While stress causes some children to ignore hunger pangs and refrain from eating for extended periods, others resort to emotional eating and bingeing,” says Shivani Baijal, senior executive nutritionist at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals in Gurugram.
Students must maintain their memory and grasping power while studying, and diet plays an important role. A nutritious and well-balanced diet can help improve concentration while also boosting the immune system. The three main meals a day are convenient, but exam time necessitates a steady energy flow. Therefore, having small and frequent nutritious meals is a better idea; it is critical to avoid heavy meals and stay hungry for long periods.
“Students should avoid skipping breakfast—then it’s the most important meal of the day.” “Include slow-release carbohydrates such as whole grains and protein and healthy fat in milk, yogurt, eggs, and nuts in your breakfast,” says Baijal. Whole fruits, dry fruits, nuts, and healthy beverages such as coconut water, buttermilk, or smoothies must be included in the diet. Staying hydrated is critical because dehydration can cause fatigue, poor concentration, and headaches.
The goal should be to supplement the three main meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—with three small snacks that include “grains and cereals; fruits and vegetables; pulses and legumes; animal-based foods such as dairy products, eggs, fish, and chicken; and healthy fats and sugar alternatives.”
Lunch should be light and balanced, with pulses or legumes, green vegetables, curd, and salad. Dinner should be soft, flat, and eaten at least three hours before bedtime to promote better sleep. A night’s sleep relaxes the body and improves concentration and memory. Emotional eaters should exercise caution when eating because they may consume high-sugar foods, such as cakes, pastries, doughnuts, candies, carbonated beverages, and trans fats. Sugary foods have an impact on the brain’s ability to solve problems. Similarly, trans-fat-rich foods such as chips, burgers, pizza, and fries can cause drowsiness. So, eat well and munch your way through your exams.
The authored article is written by Sejal Wakkar and shared with Prittle Prattle News exclusively.