(Dreaded exam period, ladies and gentlemen…urghh… Photo: www.parade.com)
After the holiday season, comes the dreaded exam period….urgh….again. Most of you are already well into the exam period, we hope you guys are feeling good and confident sitting in exams. We are sure you’re all hitting your Uni library or having a group study at your mate’s flat and trying to cram as much as you can into your head. Studying, studying, and studying seems like the only thing that matters. But please don’t forget this: eating and sleeping are essential! While you might not wanna waste any second in eating, eating and feeling satisfied (but not being stuffed and giving yourself a well-deserved break from studying) are very important to your successful studying! On that note, here comes a list of perfect foods for your exam!
We’ve heard these million times but here it goes, the keys to better mental concentration are;
-Don’t forget to eat your breakfast! Oh such a cliché but still..!
-Eat superfoods; good quality carbs, protein, veggies, and fruits!
*Super carbs: Wholegrain kind would be great.
Glucose is the key to higher the function of our brain. But you don’t wanna pump Redbull in. You just need good carbs that keep your glucose ups and downs in a moderate way to keep your brain going! And don’t overdo it! Overdoing something should wait till after your exams!! Too much carbs would slow you down and make you feel sluggish!
*Super proteins: Fish, prawns, chicken, and eggs (in any form!)
*Super veggies and fruits: Nuts (walnuts, cashew nuts, peanuts yes nutty nuts), bananas and blueberries
-Moderate amount of caffeine (chocolates, coffee, and tea).
-Snack every 2 hours! (Unless you are diabetic, glucose level in your brain drops every 2 hours.) So instead of snacking big, snack little by little.
And here goes…
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! I know I know….But sometimes we just don’t feel like it, right? Hey, good news! It doesn’t need to be full-on builder’s breakfast with grills and fries! And we all love Crunchy Nut and Coco Pops. But let’s build it up to something super! How about a bowl of nice warm milky porridge with a drizzle of honey or a handful of berries? Or if you are into something more substantial, how about a breakfast sandwich? It’s easy to carry it around and you can bite into it while flipping through your notes with coffee. How about a nutty wholesome wholegrain bagel with a spread of cream cheese, smoked salmon, and rocket? Protein, check. Carbs check. A part of 5 a day check!
Healthy snacking? Handful of walnuts and dried fruits…? Ah….hmm…..well, they don’t cut it especially when you are hitting books! Ok, we all love Twix and KitKat. They are perfectly sized and give us a good amount of a chocolatey (caffeine)-sugarly kick. But how about adding something different like a smoothie packed full of your favourite fruits or a frozen yoghurt with sprinkle of fruits? The good news is that you can find a smoothie in most bakeries and sandwich shops! Refreshing and tasty.
Yep, lunch time is here! Give yourself a longer break. Going home for lunch? Yesterday’s leftover pizza is fine. How about a delicious chicken pot pie or fish pie? A pie dish is perfect because it’s got everything in a single pot (no side veggies, no gravy needed, all-in-one)
Staying out? Jacked potato with tuna-mayo filling and a bowl of soup? Ok, we can’t deny that we love that. But if panini and jacked potato are your everyday life then try out a Lebanese delight of falafel in a pita bread with tahini sauce and salad! Falafel is a deep-fried ball made with chickpeas and fava beans. Wholesome beany taste, it is so good! Protein, carbs and Veggies, all check! Maybe a little cup of espresso or a cup of tea just to wash off at the end and get rid of the afternoon slogginess!
Your belly starts rumbling and there is still some time until dinner? Crisps? Hmm…maybe not! How about a small slice of brownie or a (whole wheat or multi-grained) muffin with nuggets of chocolates or with walnuts and bananas? Walnuts are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acid for your brain! Tastyness meets intelligence! Go for it! Or how about a sandwich with a spread of banana and peanut butter? Prefer something salty? Quesadillha, it is then! Quesadilla is a tortilla wrap filled with cheese, veggies or/and meat and folded and cooked on a griddle. Cheesy and satisfying but rather healthy light snack. Yum. And hopefully these snacks would do the trick to keep you and your brain going until your dinner. Yes don’t worry, you deserve it. Just make sure you work hard to deserve these treats!
Ok, after a long day of cramming, you deserve a nice dinner. Indian or Chinese tonight? Chicken tikka masala? Chicken chow-mein noodles? They are both so tasty and you deserve them. Chicken is great but if you like, swap it for prawns or fish dishes that gives you the necessary Omega-3 fatty acid! Fish gives you satisfaction without making you feel bloated. Prawns contain relatively low calorie and are packed with Omega-3. How about Prawn tikka masala? If it’s Chinese, choose Spicy stir-fried prawns with cashew nuts. Cashew nuts not only taste great but are also packed with nutrients like Vitamin E! And onto spices. Spices warm up and relax your body while kicking arse of nasty germs and viruses that could make your exam period hell! Mexican food is super too! Love fajitas? Get those that contain super veggies like avocado, tomatoes and tasty lean meat. In a mood for pizza? Then choose thin-crust pizza loaded with tuna, prawns, tomatoes, mozzarella and veggies! So colourful and so tasty!
(Prawn tikka masala; No words are needed to describe how awesome it is. Photo: maharajawestseattle.com)
The last squeeze before going to bed
If you are going to squeeze in a couple of hours of study before going to bed then get yourself a cuppa and oatmeal cookies. Want something indulging but not too naughty? How about a bowl of fruit sorbet? Light but satisfying! If you want to opt for something healthier then hot water with a slice of lemon and a trickle of honey. A hot super drink to finish off the day. If you are staying out at the library till late, don’t forget to hydrate yourself!
Did you like our suggestions? We created a list of food items that are tasty and good for your brain (and yet realistic and do-able!). Don’t forget that eating well is just as important as not forgetting to bring your pen to the exam hall!!
We hope you guys can put the exam behind you on a happy note! Good luck, guys!