Exams approaching? Whether it’s your final HSC ones or your first-ever school ones, you are more than likely feeling a complete rollercoaster of emotions! You might be finding yourself quite stressed, anxious, worried or exhausted.
Do you find yourself mindlessly grabbing quick sugary, highly processed ‘pick me up’ snacks like chips, biscuits, lollies, soft drinks to get you through your study?
Unfortunately, these aren’t the best ‘go to’ snacks after all; they aren’t going to help you study well. Following the energy high, they often cause energy dips; they also lack the nutrients your brain and body need at this time. Try these options instead:
1. Snacks to balance your blood sugar levels.
No more napping with your head on the books! These are foods that release their energy gradually, providing you with energy for longer periods of time. Snacks rich in protein and/or wholegrains will do this.
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Rice cakes with cheese or nut butter*
- Natural yoghurt (flavoured with a little honey or some fresh fruit)
- Hummus or other protein-rich dips and veggie sticks
- Veggie pancakes or muffins (made with wholemeal or spelt flour).
2. Snacks to support your brain.
These foods provide the nutrients, like omega 3 fatty acids, B-vitamins and antioxidants, that your brain needs to function properly.
- Chia puddings or overnight oat/chia pots
- Blissballs* (include chia, pumpkin, sunflower seeds)
- Tin of wild-caught salmon or sardines (on wholemeal toast, if you like)
3. Snacks to calm your nerves.
Several micronutrients, such as magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium and vitamin E, help regulate moods moderating stress and anxiety levels. Many of the previously mentioned snacks contain these micronutrients too.
- Mixed nuts and seeds* (brazil, almond, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
- Smoothies (especially with a handful of spinach and a teaspoon of cacao)
- Roasted spiced chickpeas or bean mix
- Whole fruit (limit 2 per day), raw veg
- half an avocado
- 70% dark chocolate (but only if you can limit it to one or two squares per day!)
And finally, don’t forget to drink lots of water throughout the day, get plenty of exercise, fresh air and safe sunshine, have a good sleep each night and ensure your breakfasts, lunches and dinners are well-balanced and nutritious.
(*These suggestions may include nuts so are not suitable for bringing to school. Provided you do not have an allergy, they are great options to have at home though.)