“Era…I’ll just get something from the vending machine later…”

Don’t even think about it…

Some of you may think that the above is an alright excuse for skipping breakfast or not making a lunch in the mornings before you leave for school but your mother is right…loading your body with sugary foods is NOT good.

So, it is a proven fact that breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. By having a good breakfast, you are provided with the energy that you need to get you from one end of the day to the other. It has also been proven that breakfast can help to improve academic performance. So avoid hitting the snooze button that extra time even though you may feel like these kittens, get up, and get a healthy breakfast to get a good start to the day.

09

Everyone is guilty of grabbing a slice of white bread from the cupboard or a bar of chocolate in the shop from time to time but it’s vital to eat healthy not just for your body and for your mind but for yourself in general and for the feel good factor! If you’re craving something sweet, eat something sweet – just opt for a healthier option, like fruit, instead of a high-calorie one.

Take for example that you have a big maths test in the morning and you’re finding it difficult to concentrate, the first thing you think to do is have a can of Red Bull to energise you and give you a sugar boost but STOP!!!! An apple contains sucrose which is also a fast acting sugar which is the healthier option and it provides the same boost that you are longing for.

It’s also vital that you eat three meals a day. Use fruit, water and diet yoghurts as your snacks between meals. Below is a food pyramid that shows you the different portion sizes. Obviously it isn’t expected that you cut out goodies completely but eat them in small amounts and use them as incentive to get more work done!

SUPERFOODS

super

Not even Superman, Spiderman and the Powerpuff girls can save you from the Leaving Cert blues…but trying some of the following foods might help…

  • Fish helps boost energy, enhance learning ability, improve problem-solving skills, and boost memory power and enhance communication between brain cells.
  • Fruits such as watermelon, tomatoes, plums, pineapples, oranges, apples, grapes, kiwifruits, peaches and cherries have a positive impact on your brain and help you recall information quickly.
  • Vegetables help boost brain power and improve your memory
  • Nuts have been proven to improve your brain power and also boost your mood
  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole-grain breads and cereals, barley and popcorn boost your blood flow to the brain.
  • Calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, cheese, milk and other foods rich in calcium help in improving the function of nerves
  • Water makes up nearly ¾ of the brain is water, which makes this life-giving liquid an essential component for the smooth functioning of the brain. Make sure you drink at least 8 GLASSES OF WATER A DAY to keep your brain active and quick.

Try using some simple tricks to healthier eating such as using wholegrain, whole-wheat and high fibre breads and cereals which will fill you up and make you less hungry between your meals or increase your intake of fruit by putting it on your desk while you study. You’ll be surprised of the benefits that one small change can make!

And remember healthy eating is not just about maintaining a healthy weight – it affects your total state of well-being …

 “The groundwork of all happiness is health”

Included below is a video of Claire Keohane who is currently playing with the Irish 7s women’s rugby team and during her Leaving Cert year she managed to juggle her studies with playing on the Cork minor team in both disciplines -camogie and football. She found that by playing sport during her Leaving Cert that it helped her find a good balance between study, exercise and diet.

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