To most secondary school students, the importance of food and diet is commonly overlooked. This is especially so when comes to exam preparation as a large number of you are not able to see the link between diet and good results. The role of food in enhancing productivity and performance during the examination period is severely understated. Eating a nutritious and balanced diet helps in memory retention and recall, processing new information more as well as being more alert. It also keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time and supplies energy throughout the day. A good diet is one that consists of the right proportions of the major food groups and have varied, ‘colorful’ fruits and vegetables.
It is extremely beneficial for you to have a wholesome and nutritional diet in order to ensure that your body has the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy. The last thing you want is to fall sick close to or during the examination period where you would not be able to perform at your best or have to waste precious revision time by resting and recovering. Secondary students tend to opt for fast/junk food as they are more convenient and tasty. However the downside of these foods are that they are unhealthy and do not contain sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals, increasing the risk of falling ill or obesity and health complications in the future. You would have to make a conscious decision to eat a balanced diet.
Secondary school students preparing for their ‘O’ Level examinations tend to have very packed schedules, resulting in them finding it difficult to have regular meals. This is due to the high pressure and stressful environment where they have to be constantly studying. However, it should not be an excuse for irregular meals as having regular meals is still essential. Regular meals help you to be more energetic and productive by sustaining your body with the energy required to keep on studying, at least till your next meal. It also serves as a ‘timely’ break and a welcome relief from the monotony of studying. Another point to take note of is that staying up late encourages snacking, commonly on junk food, late at night. This may cause you to feel bloated and skip breakfast which is definitely detrimental as it is the most important meal of the day.
Research have also shown that there certain foods that can help to boost your cognitive abilities such as concentration, memory retention and recall. These foods are commonly referred to as ‘brain foods’ and contain many nutrients that are beneficial to the brain. Some of these nutrients includes vitamin K, natural nitrates, folate, choline and Gallic acids. Common examples of easily available brain foods includes avocados, blueberries, broccoli, dark chocolates and egg yolks. While you can consider increasing your consumption of these brain foods, in moderation of course, it does not automatically make you smarter. Instead, it helps to supply the body with the essential nutrients which it can then use to improve your cognitive performance!
It is important for you to have a balanced diet and regular meals, not just for the sake of improving your exam results but more importantly, for your long term health. Not having either due to inconvenience or a lack of time would be detrimental to the body and is actually counter-productive. Being in the pink of health is crucial when preparing for the examinations! Your food intake and diet helps to keep you energetic and productive as well as prevents you from falling ill and not being at your best while revising or sitting for an examination.