We’ve all been there. A big test coming up, a final paper due tomorrow and it hits you: that tell-tale tickle in your throat and the fact that you keep finding yourself asleep on the keyboard. Maybe it’s just that you can’t focus on the readings you should have done
weeks months ago and the stress of exams is getting to you. Regardless, don’t fear! Eat these healthy foods so you can rock your exams and finally get off campus.
For a Healthy Immune System
The active cultures, or healthy bacteria, in yogurt keep the intestinal tract clean of disease-causing germs. That lovely mental image aside, one or two servings of day may stop you from getting a cold. Some researchers have even found that yogurt stimulates the immune system, helping you to fight off germs and stay healthy. If you’re bored with regular yogurt, elevate it with this recipe.
These super spuds are chock full of beta-carotene and vitamin C, both of which help boost your immune system. They also contain vitamin A, which researchers have tied to a reduced risk of some cancers. So next time, pass on the French fries and grab some sweet potatoes instead.
For an Energy Boost
Besides being delicious, the health benefits of dark chocolate go on and on. Dark chocolate (aim for at least 70% cocoa) contains the stimulant ‘theobromine,’ which fights fatigue and the blues. Also, nibbling on a chocolate bar is probably just what you need to fight off tears when your computer crashes just before you finish your research paper.
Whole Grain Cereal
While the cinnamon buns in the dining hall are tempting, you’ll be much better off with some whole grain cereal. The slow release of glucose will give you a consistent stream of energy, helping you stay alert and focused during your exams.
The antioxidants in blueberries may help protect your brain. Studies have shown a link between consuming blueberries and having better memory, clearer thinking and faster learning among other positive cognitive benefits. If blueberries aren’t your thing, give blackberry or acai berries a try—they have the similar health benefits.
The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts have been found to improve the function of neurotransmitters. Researchers found that those who consumed these acids faired much better on cognitive and memory tests. Walnuts also contain memory-aiding vitamin B6, giving you more than enough reasons to grab a handful or add them to your salad.
For Stress Relief
Ah, chamomile. The cure-all raved about by grandmothers everywhere. Well, Nana was right—a study found that chamomile decreases anxiety symptoms. Combine the benefits of chamomile with the soothing power of tea to help you breathe easy during exam week.
Just because Thanksgiving is over doesn’t mean you should forget about turkey! Turkey is a good source of l-tryptophan, a mood-boosting hormone that might help you fend off the mid-exam week sadness. The same turkey hormones might help you sleep a bit better, too. Nothing’s better than sleep when it comes to staying healthy.