Thousands of students will be sitting important exams over the coming weeks (my son being one of them!), whether it’s GCSE’s, A-levels or University finals. For the majority, this will be an intense and stressful few weeks where they may not eat properly, or totally the wrong foods, while trying to cram as much into their memory as possible.
A rise in the number of people seeking help for exam stress and anxiety has been reported over the last two years by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Prolonged or acute exposure to stress is extremely detrimental to our health and will cause short-term symptoms which may interfere with exam performance, as well as long term complications which have a knock on effect on other areas of our health.
Please don't wait until breaking point or beyond it before seeking help! If your child (or you!) feels like everything is getting on top of them and are nearing the edge it’s important to know there are plenty of natural lifestyle changes and safe nutrients to support whilst maintaining health.
In an ideal world, exam food plan would contain lots of oily fish, eggs, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower) and nuts for Omega 3 brain food; Masses of green vegetables (as a juice) and on the plate, whole grains, avocados, bananas, apricots, almonds, cashews, for magnesium, B vitamins and taurine. A new study has found green leafy vegetables fantastic for improving physical and mental energy avoiding problematic fatigue affecting up to 46% of teenagers, and linked to decreased concentration.
Magnesium is necessary for maintaining proper function of muscles and nerves, taurine has a soothing effect on the brain and nervous system and B vitamins support neurological health. Gingko biloba supports blood flow to the brain! There are specific nutritional supplements (containing all of the above) which will support and help students (and parents!) remain confident about the looming exams.
Contact me for advice on safe supplements prior to and during exams - they're working for us! Wishing all students the best of luck!!