For all the students of junior and senior high school, the period just before the summer is perhaps the most stressful of the year as it includes the final exams. Especially for the students of the third and final year of high school, the Panhellenic Exams are a marathon that lasts all year long, while they have to keep their strength for the final countdown!
This year, though, with the coronavirus and staying at home, different conditions and an extra stress were created for the students. However, it seems that everything is slowly getting its way to the finish line!
Let’s see what eating and lifestyle habits can make us even more efficient and contribute to a stronger memory and sharper concentration!
Small and frequent meals
When we read for hours we tend to forget to eat and drink as we feel like we don’t have the time to move a muscle! This is a big trap for ourselves as our brain need food to be able to perform, especially in such high demands. “Hungry” brains cannot function properly. So we make sure to eat our main meals and snacks every 3 hours or so.
Emphasis on quality
A balanced diet is important at all stages of a person’s life, this is not something new. At this stage when spiritual functions are at their peak, we must provide our body with the nutrients it needs. Increased consumption of junk food and sweets only fills us with “empty” calories and can act as a deterrent to our performance, while it can be a factor in aggravating our stress. We emphasize on food variety and not monophagy! Daily consumption of fruit and vegetables is important to get the B-complex vitamins and antioxidants needed to support the nervous function. Nuts also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are very beneficial for the brain. You can combine a fruit with nuts for a snack!
Don’t forget the water
A dehydrated body does not function properly on many levels. In order not to forget the water consumption, make sure you have your own bottle of fresh water with you in the office. You can also make delicious smoothies or juices with your favorite fruits and vegetables!
Don’t get into a diet mood
This is not the time to go on a diet if you want to lose weight. It is common for high school students to gain weight mainly because they limit their exercise! Once this special period is over, you have the whole year to achieve your goal with the help of a dietitian nutritionist!
Tip for parents
Remember that your children have their own stress to manage, so it is best not to transfer your own stress and anxiety to them. Take care of their diet, cook their favorite food, prepare fruit for snacks and generally try to avoid tension and fights!
We will all remember this last year of our school years (personally I remember our five-day trip!). The good news is that in a few years from now you will remember these moments and while now they seem like a mountain, by then they will seem like a distant memory. Give it your best shot and remember that the best is yet to come!
Good luck !!!
- Prangthip et al., (2019), Nutritional factors influencing academic achievement in school age children, International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health.
- Naveed S, Lakka T, Haapala EA. (2020) An Overview on the Associations between Health Behaviors and Brain Health in Children and Adolescents with Special Reference to Diet Quality. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 4;17(3). pii: E953. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17030953.
- Kennedy D, (2016), B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review, Nutrients.
- Mottaghi et al., (2017), Fruit and vegetable intake and cognitive impairment: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.