Hi, today I will be your dietitian based on nothing but a grade 10 Food & Nutrition course I received a 90% in. When we study for our finals, we often forget that we are what we eat and let good nutrition slide under “elective exam” on our to-do list. The time crunch for food preparation fuels the easy habit of chugging 5 coffees/day and gobbling the big-slice take-out. Nevertheless, consuming good food should be an important part of your study plan to help you with those As and whatnot. Remember, your physical self also mirrors your mental well-being.
So, here are 10 tips for eating right during exam season:
Get your vitamins
Doing your best is a lot easier when you’re getting your daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B and Iron are excellent in maintaining steady energy necessary to study well. Foods high in iron include: spinach, red meats, beans, peas and lentils. A good incorporation of this would be chili as it has ground beef and kidney beans in a single serving. Whole grains, nuts and eggs are good sources of Vitamin B. Things like soy and fish can also help boost your brian power!
Punch it out, man.
No one knows stress as much as a university student and yes, eating right helps but you also need to get up and insert a set or two of push ups/crunches between those meals and study notes because gym days may get skipped. This will give you a small break and sharpen your senses. Now get up and give me 10 squats!
Eating according to mealtimes will help stabilize nutrients and re-energize you incase of those all-nighters. It also helps avoid the sugary vending machine munchies. Think of all the change you’ll save!
Portion control on floor 7, please
It’s easy to accept eating one big meal and think it’ll do you for the entire day, but come on, you know better than that. Big meals tend to slow you down and keep turning in your tummy , so try 4-5 smaller, well balanced meals. Check out the list at the end of the page for ideas.
Breakfast, meet Student. Student, Breakfast. Now, date.
There are so many reasons to eat a healthy breakfast, I can go on forever. But the highlight here is that a coffee and donut from Tims in the morning is simply not going cut it. The summary is to get the protein, calcium, fibre and a piece of fruit or a vegetable in there somewhere. Example: cereal with fruit and a glass of milk can do the trick.
Ba-na-na, thats my name
You’ll never look at a banana the same way again after discovering the many health benefits and reasons to add them to your diet. Bananas combat depression, stress, make you smarter, protect against kidney cancer and osteoporosis, and even cure hangovers. You’re welcome. They can also cure mosquito bite itches…
Not all vegetables were created the same
Choose powerful vegetables. The key rule is: the darker the color, the higher the concentration of nutrients. Which makes the equation: spinach > lettuce. Bell peppers, broccoli and sweet potatoes are also some great choices.
Smart snacking can enhance studying as you may find that you can retain more information. Incorporate all the food groups from Canada’s Food Guide to balance the nutrients and keep your blood-sugar level stable. Better yet, print that thing, slide your little sister’s math test aside, and stick it on the fridge!
If you take only one thing away from this, make it this one. Keep a reusable water bottle with you (it will come in handy for the 3 hour exam) and make it your BFF. Try adding a lemon slice or two to keep it fresh to motivate you to drink up. This way, you may refrain from that extra coffee. Eventually you’ll maybe even substitute coffee for green tea, or am I just pushing it now?
Easy snack ideas if you’re heading to the library (or just locking yourself in your room):
- Banana with peanut butter in a whole grain tortilla
- Carrot sticks and celery with hummus
- Combine scrambled eggs with toast, cheese or salsa
- Small baked potato
- English muffin pizza
- Trail mix
- Hummus and pita
- Fruit kabobs
- Yogurt berries
Tag @RUStudenlife with #RUSmartEats and keep us updated on your next study session!