Give your child the best support for study stress
Exam-time is very stressful for children and parents. However, the right nutrition can help to improve concentration during these periods. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that children are eating right during exams and also supplementing appropriately.
As providers and caretakers, adults tend to view the world of children as happy and carefree. After all, kids don’t have jobs to keep or bills to pay, so what could they possibly have to worry about?
Plenty! Even very young children have worries and feel stress to some degree. Exams and stress seem to have become synonymous with each other.
Sources of Stress
Stress is a function of the demands placed on us and our ability to meet them. These demands often come from outside sources, such as family, jobs, friends, or school. But it also can come from within, often related to what we think we should be doing versus what we’re actually able to do. Stress can affect anyone who feels overwhelmed — even kids. Endless comparisons, overpowering peer pressure, the child’s innate desire to excel and outperform others, along with a dose of parental expectation and our system’s classic obsession with grades and percentages, and before you realise you have a lethal cocktail. And this lethal cocktail not only leads to reduced alertness, depression and mood swings, but also affects eating routines.
Signs and Symptoms
While it’s not always easy to recognize when kids are stressed out, short-term behavioural changes — such as mood swings, acting out, changes in sleep patterns, or bedwetting — can be indications. Some kids have physical effects, including stomach-aches and headaches. Others have trouble concentrating or completing schoolwork. Still others become withdrawn or spend a lot of time alone. Younger children may pick up new habits like thumb sucking, hair twirling, or nose picking; older kids may begin to lie, bully, or defy authority. A child who is stressed also may overreact to minor problems, have nightmares, become clingy, or have drastic changes in academic performance.
How can you help kids cope with stress?
Proper rest and good nutrition can boost coping skills, as can good parenting. Make time for your kids each day. Whether they need to talk or just be in the same room with you, make yourself available. You also can help by anticipating potentially stressful situations and preparing kids for them. And also remember that some level of stress is normal; let your kids know that it’s OK to feel angry, scared, lonely, or anxious and that other people share those feelings.
The pressures of doing well brings on its own stress which is often made worse from a lack of sleep, a drop in our nutrition quality and the extreme levels of focus and concentration we exert on our brains. While good nutrition might not make up for any gaps in knowledge, it can help increase concentration levels and help maintain energy over this period.
Here are a few points to help you stay on track…
Getting enough protein and opting for lower GI foods may help stave off hunger and keep you going between meals (think oats or eggs for breakfast and maybe oily fish for lunch). Skipping meals or opting for quick and easy sugar fixes might save you minutes but will ultimately be costlier when it comes to energy and concentration.
This is not the most exciting piece of advice but hydration has been shown numerous times to affect cognitive function. Use urine colour as a rough guide to how hydrated you are; aim for a clear colour or very pale yellow. When it comes to the exam, it is also a good idea to take a small bottle of water in with you.
Regularly not getting enough time in the land of nod can have an impact on your cognitive function. Nutrition also plays a massive role in sleep quality.
And lastly, make sure you supplement your child appropriately!!!
The added stress of exams will take its toll on your immune system, so take extra supplemental measures to help boost your child’s immune system. Stress also has a way of depleting your nutritional stores and affects every system in the body – hitting the digestive system hard. Nutrient absorption starts with digestion. When stressed, your fight or flight response is turned on, your adrenals are turned up and your digestion is halted. Your body believes your life is at stake and immediately heightens necessary senses, while pausing all unnecessary systems along the way. Digesting lunch can wait when you are trying to stay alive. With halted digestion comes fewer digestive enzymes and less hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is what helps breakdown carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Without this acid, it is difficult for vitamins and minerals to be broken down and absorbed properly. We suggest taking Cell Restore Gut Repair & Protect regularly, especially during exam time. It contains all the important nutrients and enzymes to support gut health!
The body handles stress by means of an elaborate system involving enzymes and dietary compounds including antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Two vitamins especially have been documented with antioxidant properties against stress: vitamin C or ascorbic acid, and vitamin E. An antioxidant is a substance that decreases the side effects of free radicals. Free radicals, or pro-oxidants, are highly unstable and reactive molecules that can undermine the body’s ability to defend itself — a process called oxidative stress. In healthy people, free radical production is minimized by the body’s natural defence system and dietary anti-radical substances. Free radicals are natural by-products of cell metabolism. However, under stress, pro-oxidant levels exceed antioxidant concentrations. To re-establish health and balance, vitamins C and E are mobilized from body stores to neutralize free radicals. Vitamin C fights free radicals in body tissues and blood plasma, while vitamin E protects fat-rich molecules, such as LDL and HDL cholesterol, and fat cells from oxidation. This effort results in the depletion of vitamin C and E in body stores. All other nutrients suffer in the same fashion.
As a child needs to prepare and study for an exam, also take special care in preparing the body as well. Your custom compound, a personalised blend of nutrients designed according to your specific needs, will surely be the best way
This is all much easier said than done, but the science is there. Listen to it. This is the time where we need to be more careful about our studying child’s food preferences, pay more attention towards nutritional needs and keep more focus on their eating timetable along with their study timetable.