While studying for exams, it’s incredibly tempting to eat junk food as a coping mechanism for handling stress. However, this unhealthy habit will do more harm than good during a time where you need your body and mind to feel fresh for finals.
Registered dietitian, Sumaiya Essa said: “You need to find a way to snack on foods that help you meet your daily nutrition needs, but also help to keep you fuller for longer.”
So eating foods like cookies, chips and candy in excess will cause your diet to be too high in sugars, salts and saturated fats which are linked to a rise in stress levels during examinations.
To counter this, Essa said: “During the exam period try to have a stock of healthy foods, drinks and snacks that you have pre-planned so when those moments of boredom, weariness, panic or times of just needing a break from your revision to come along, you are well prepared.
“Pre-plan your meals during your exams so that you give your brains and bodies the best possible fuel for maximum efficiency and therefore greatest success.”
3 healthy snacks to try during study sessions:
Chocolate covered peanut butter protein bites
Peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven when it comes to snack foods. If you’re looking for something sweet and salty, these protein balls are packed with flavour and nutrients to keep you feeling satisfied.
1 cup of peanut butter (I used the Kraft Only Peanuts peanut butter)
½ cup of protein powder (recipe uses a chocolate-peanut butter protein powder)
⅓ cup of honey
2 tsp of vanilla extract
⅓ cup + 1 tbsp of chocolate chips
2 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp of coconut oil
Combine peanut butter, protein powder, honey and vanilla extract in your blender until it looks like a soft dough.
Roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Arrange peanut butter balls in a single layer on a plate.
Freeze peanut butter balls for at least 20-30 minutes.
After 20-30 minutes make your chocolate coating.
For the chocolate coating, melt chocolate chips, honey and coconut oil in the microwave in 30-second intervals until it is melted and smooth.
Take your peanut butter balls out of the freezer. With a toothpick pick up your peanut butter balls and coat them with the melted chocolate. Once coated place them in a single layer on a plate.
Freeze the chocolate covered peanut butter balls for at least 1 hour.
Creamy and delicious, avocados have high levels of healthy, beneficial fats that keep you feeling satiated after meals. Serve this green dip with crackers, tortilla chips, veggie sticks (cucumber, celery, carrots) or spread onto toast with other delicious toppings.
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup of lemon juice
1–2 medium avocados, peeled and pitted
¼ cup of tahini (well stirred!)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1–2 tablespoons of water to thin as desired
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.
Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika or fresh herbs.
Find yourself reaching for a bag of chips as a snack? As satisfying as they may seem in the moment, they may not leave you feeling so good in the long run. Crunch, salty and flavoursome, these crunchy roasted chickpeas are a great alternative when you need to keep your brain fuelled.
1 can of chickpeas
A generous drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder, smoked paprika and any other seasoning you’d like to try
Preheat the oven to 180°.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas before pouring them out over a clean tea towel. Use a second tea towel over the top and roll the chickpeas around to dry them and remove the shells.
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread the dried chickpeas out.
Coat with oil and mix the chickpeas to ensure they’re all covered.
Bake for 25 minutes, taking them out halfway through to give them a shake.
Remove the chickpeas from the oven and add to a Tupperware box with a lid, spray with some more oil and now add your seasoning. Close the box and give them a good shake to ensure they’re coated with the seasoning.
Return the chickpeas to the lined baking tray and bake for a further 8-10 minutes.