Photo cred - foodfuck
Exams are terrible, which is why you need everything going right or you, including nutrition, in order to even have a chance of doing well.
First, make sure to stock up on some of these healthy foods. Second, good luck on your exams. May your cue cards be organised, your formulas accurate, your essay question straightforward, your problems similar to the homework sets, your T.A full of mercy for the small mistakes, and may the curve, as always, be in your favour. Lemme toss a little amen in there as well. Amen.
Dark-green leafy vegetables (kale, swiss chard, spinach)
Good for: B vitamins, folic acid, potassium, magnesium
What do they do: Soothe symptoms of anxiety, improve your night's sleep, could reduce premenstrual symptoms for women
How to eat them: You can put them in stir-fry and salads, but if you're an adult child like me and hate chewing salads, put them in a smoothie. This is the secret to making a drinkable one:
- First, put one part green leafy stuff and one part liquid stuff (any type of milk or juice is fine) in a blender. Blend until it's a smooth green liquid. This prevents little bits of kale or chard floating around and making it undrinkable.
- Only now do you toss in a few ice cubes and TWO parts fruit (for example, a whole banana and a handful of berries).
- Bottoms up! Feel really proud of yourself for drinking so many vitamins
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Good for: Potassium, mono- and polyunsaturated fats
How to eat them: Guacamole, baby. But you can also add a boost to your day by eating them at breakfast: slice up an avocado, smash the slices on a piece of toast, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Add a pinch of salt if you're really into treating yourself.
Photo cred - miss_lalalalala
Good for: antioxidants and caffeine (black tea), magnesium (dandelions, parsley), L-theanine
What do they do: Magnesium soothes muscles and promotes sleep
How to drink it: Buy a box on your way home and figure it out. It's fun to look through the ten bazillion blends in David's Tea or Teavana, but any supermarket will stock them too for half the price. Try black tea in the morning and chamomile, dandelion, peppermint or sage herbal tea at night.
Good for: Zinc, magnesium, vitamin E
What do they do: Gives you a dose of vitamins, and the protein in almonds can fuel your all-nighter better than caffeine
How to eat them: Stock up on snack packs of almonds to carry around in your bag (pick raw over roasted if it's available), or put almond butter on toast.
Photo cred - lexiscleankitchen
Good for: Vitamin D, healthy fats
What do they do: Boost your immune system, helps you adjust to the lack of sun
How to eat it: There are like ten thousand recipes for baked or grilled salmon, including this amazing maple syrup one, but depending on how broke and how pressed for time you are, skip the salmon and grab a bottle of fortified orange juice at the dep instead.
5. Whole grain crackers
Good for: Fiber, complex carbohydrates
What do they do: Provide you with long lasting energy for marathon study sessions, some sources claim that whole grains increase serotonin production in your brain, but I'm more skeptical of that. Personally, I find the constant snacking motion really soothing, because it gives me something to do while I do my readings.
How to eat it: Just eat them, bro.
Good for: Protein, calcium, lactium
What do they do: Lactium has been used in a lot of anti-stress pills, and some news articles claim that it lowers blood pressure and helps stress. Not too sold yet on the scientific claims, but if you used to drink warm milk as a kid, the scent association alone can help calm you down.
How to drink it: Have a warm glass of milk before bed to help you relax.
Good for: uh, hydration...?
What do they do: Keeps you from dying. Seriously, do not forget to regularly drink water.
How to drink it: When you're frantically typing out essays the night before the deadline, set some sort of timer or goal to remind yourself to stretch and to get water. Get up once every hour, or two hundred words, or whenever your iTunes library puts on a song you hate on shuffle. You'll be amazed at how much better you process information when your body isn't in lockdown survivor mode.