What to Eat Before an Exam

What should we eat before an exam is a question that parents and student often wonder about. During exams period, stress can be very high. Therefore, students in order to manage with their stress level they should pay attention to other factors apart from reading. To be able to increase their productivity and their level of alertness they will need to pay attention to their nutrition and physical fitness as well. Nutrition is a key success factor, for achieving better test results. Therefore, as recommended by nutritionists throughout the period of exams their nutrition should be balanced.

Breakfast and its Importance for Studying

In the preparation of a student for the exams, breakfast plays a very important role. A full breakfast increases energy and improves the mood so as to cope with the difficulties of reading and other obligations of the day. Moreover, it reduces the feeling of hunger during the midday hours, which puts off overeating at noon and prevents sleepiness and bad performance. A good breakfast can include some dairy products (milk or yogurt or cream), a starchy food (breakfast cereals, bread or toast, homemade cakes), fruit or juice, honey or jam.Snacks are equally important (after breakfast and in the afternoon), because they decrease the feeling of hunger and provide extra energy during the most important hours of reading. Some ideal snacks for these hours are fruits, sweets, dairy products and grains.

The Need for a Balanced Diet

Throughout the year, but especially during the exams periods, the student’s nutrition should include foods from all the groups in appropriate amounts with a special focus on fish and seafood, dairy, fruits and vegetables, which usually have a small part in their daily diet. Having all the food groups in the daily nutrition can cover all the needs of the student in macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), without requiring any supplements. Moreover, it should be noted that, during the examination period, students must NOT follow any kind of strict slimming diet. Balance in the selection of foods and eating in moderation contribute significantly to student performance in reading, and the proper distribution of meals helps to better mood, memory and concentration. Eating small frequent meals help students to be alert and increase productiveness. In contrast, large meals cause drowsiness and reduce concentration and thinking ability. Thus, it is preferable to consume smaller amounts of food (in the form of snacks or main meals) every 2-3 hours.

Top Nutrition Tips for the Day before the Exam

The day before the exams, is very important. It is preferable, during that day to include some familiar and enjoyable food that you will eat with pleasure and will help you get into a good mood. The choice of food is better to be done by the person taking the exam, but attention must be paid, as it is important to be tasty yet not too spicy and heavy, in order to avoid possible stomach problems. Under no circumstances should the day before the exam consume any food that causes discomfort while it is better to avoid any food that you have not tried before, as there is a risk of food intolerance or of an upset stomach, especially because of the increased stress level. Greater attention should be paid to the dinner, as a heavy dinner can affect the relaxation and the rest of the student and hence its performance the next day. The day before the exam, drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages, especially during the evening hours should be avoided. Finally, on the day of the exam, in no case should the student start the exam on an empty stomach, because they may feel dizzy and will not be able to perform at their best level.

Ten Super Foods for Women

Super foods are basically called super because of the nutrients that contain that can protect us against various diseases and strengthen our immune systems. Here is a list of 10 super foods that we feel every woman should have in mind.

1. Parmesan: for strong bones. Adequate intake of calcium is necessary for the prevention of osteoporosis (especially if you are in your 20s). Milk and yogurt help, but who wants to have them 3 times a day? Integrate parmesan in your diet as it contains 340mg of calcium per 30g – compared with 200mg in cheddar cheese or Swiss cheese – this will help you to get closer to the target of 1000mg calcium required daily.

2. Apples: to strengthen the immune system. Another reason why “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is the fact that apples are a rich source of quercetin, an antioxidant that protects our brain cells and enhances the body’s ability to fight diseases. When you eat apples you should also eat their skin since quercetin concentration is the highest in it.

3. Avocado: Flat belly. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been proven to help reduce weight, including in the waist. In a study, those who consumed more monounsaturated fat (about 23% of daily calories) had about 5 pounds less belly fat than those who followed a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fat.

4. Black chocolate: for stress management and disease control. Researchers in Europe discovered that people who ate 40g of dark chocolate (which contains approximately 200 calories) on a daily basis for 2 weeks resulted into a producing a lot less of the stress hormone called cortisol and did not feel fatigue and act also as a female libido enhancer. Cortisol has the ability to increase blood pressure temporarily. Consistently high cortisol levels increase the risk of depression, obesity and heart disease.

5. Potatoes: Healthy carbohydrates. Potatoes contain a compound against fat storage called resistant starch and which can assist in keeping your weight under control. A medium potato with skin has only 100 calories, and more potassium than bananas, potatoes also help fight heart diseases, and keep blood pressure at a low.

6. Broccoli: to combat wrinkles. One cup of broccoli provides 100% of the vitamin C you need – necessary for the synthesis of collagen, which is the substance responsible for elasticity of our skin. It is also rich in beta-carotene, which is converted by the body into vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to replace the old cells with new cells.

7. Sardines: to fight heart disease. Sardines have been found to be a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation which can lead to clogging of the arteries. They also prevent blood clots which in turn can cause heart attacks and strokes. Note that, 90gr sardines have about 1.3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids with the daily recommended intake being around 1 gram.

8. Lentils: for iron. Lentils ‘build’ your stocks in iron. One cup of lentils has about 30% of your daily iron intake. Approximately 12% of young women have low iron levels which in extreme cases lead to anemia. However, a study found that even women who were iron deficient (not anemia) had lower performance on tests of skills than people with normal levels. Lentils are a good source of iron, but very little is absorbed by our body. The absorption of non-heme iron increases the vitamin C and animal protein contained in red meat, poultry and fish. So to increase significantly the absorption of iron from lentils, include in your meal, a little animal protein (eg fish, poultry, red meat) and foods that are rich sources of vitamin C, such as oranges, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green peppers, grapefruit, lemons and strawberries.

9. Spinach: concentrated with essential nutrients. It is rich in vitamin C and also contains magnesium and calcium – a combination that can help slow the breakdown of bone that occurs as we age – as well as folic acid, which helps prevent birth defects.

10. Mushrooms: with antioxidants against cancer. One study showed that women who ate just one third of a serving of mushrooms daily had a 64% reduction in the risk of breast cancer. Other research suggests that mushrooms reduce the effects of aromatase, a protein that increases the production of estrogen – an important factor for some forms of breast cancer.