It’s time for finals, and you know what that means—late nights studying, long hours in the library, and a great deal of stress. What makes it worse is that, as college students, we often end up eating microwave noodles and potato chips as meals and ignore the negative effects these types of food can have on our stress levels. In fact, if you’re feeling especially stressed during these last few weeks of school, there are several power foods that are proven to reduce stress!
These aren’t always easily available for the average college student, but you can substitute with Sweet Potato Chips, which can be found at most grocery stores. Sweet potatoes can both satisfy your urge for carbohydrates and your hankering for sweets, making them particularly great for finals week. They are also packed full of vitamins such as beta-carotene!
Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts—these are all great for reducing stress. Pick them up at a local convenience store for easy snacking during library studying. These nuts help lower blood pressure and are easily accessible.
Veggies like broccoli, asparagus, and others that are dark green in color are full of vitamins that help replenish our bodies when we’re stressed. Dining halls should have cooked vegetables, so pair them with your lunch or dinner!
Seaweed has special properties to fight anxiety. It’s filled with Magnesium, which reduces stress. The benefits of fish are also numerous. Sushi may be harder to come by at school, but plenty of local restaurants and shops may have it, so treat yourself!
There are several kinds of fruit that act as power foods when you’re trying to power through that last essay. Fruits like cantaloupe and oranges are filled with stress-fighting Vitamin C. Blueberries also contain Vitamin C, along with antioxidants that promote low stress. Fresh fruit is often difficult to find in dining halls, but smoothies often contain these fruits as well.
Start your day with a bowl of whole grain cereal and low-fat milk and you’re good to go on your low-stress day of studying! Milk is high in antioxidants, as well as protein and calcium.
Many associate beef with stress and high blood pressure, but the truth is that beef’s high levels of zinc, iron, and Vitamin B and rich nutrients will actually help to stabilize your mood!
As final exams draw nearer and nearer, and that last essay that you haven’t started is due at midnight, it’s important to remember to treat your body right. While this means eating healthy foods like those listed above, it also means to make sure you get enough sleep and exercise. Your stress level will only increase if you don’t make time to eat regular meals, go outside or for a walk, and sleep an average amount of hours at night. Finals can be extremely stressful, but keep in mind that in order to keep your brain healthy, you have to keep your body healthy as well.