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7 Tips for Eating Quick and Healthy During Finals

It’s that time of year, finals are quickly approaching which means late nights, short tempers, comfy clothes, and overall breakdowns. Finals week puts a lot of students into overdrive, where they are willing to give up hours of sleep or eating meals in order to study, study, study. Realistically, this is the worst way to approach finals; by not staying healthy, you’re only weakening your mental and physical health to stay awake and retain information. By eating healthy foods during finals week, you’ll increase your ability to memorize, concentrate, and answer questions quickly. Finals bring out the worst in all of us, so check out these tips on how to eat healthy during finals in ways that are so quick you won’t lose any time studying:

  1. Pick up some chili from Wendy’s or make your own! Chili is so easy to make or purchase! It contains ground beef and kidney beans that provide your body with protein and iron. It’s important to get your daily vitamins and mineral requirements, and that doesn’t mean just popping a Vitamin C will make everything okay! Eating foods rich in iron will keep you energized and won’t leave you feeling worn down during your tough week.

2. Eat breakfast no matter what, even if it’s on the go. If you have ample amount of time in the morning, an omelet is a great way to start off the day–if you don’t have a kitchen, just head to Market! Omelets are great sources of Vitamin B, which will help you maintain the physical and mental stamina to study and focus for long periods of time. Cereal is also a great source of iron, which will give you energy. Don’t have time to eat a bowl of cereal in the morning? Take a cereal bar, milk, and fruit to the library– you’ll have instant sources of protein, fiber, and calcium on the go!
3. Avoid overdosing on soda and coffee; drink green tea or fruit juice!  Yes, I know coffee is how most students survive all those late nights, but you’re just making yourself extra jittery and unfocused from all the caffeine. Try switching to an antioxidant loaded green tea, or a Naked juice for some fruit and vegetable servings. Green tea does have caffeine, yet its dosage is much lower than that of coffee: one eight ounce cup of green tea has roughly 30-60 milligrams of caffeine, while an eight ounce cup of coffee has over 100 milligrams. Naked juice comes in a variety of different flavors, and it has numerous different fruits and vegetables as ingredients–another perfect substitute for caffeine that’ll keep you healthy.

4. Make an English muffin pizza or a sandwich in your room/dorm. Locking yourself in your room to study all day and night? It’s quite easy to get distracted by lunch or dinner trips with friends, so if you’re feeling like really getting some work done, why not make your own meal? Simply buying a loaf of bread or English muffins will make your life ten times easier! By making an English muffin pizza or just a plain old PB&J sandwich, you’ll be saving time and eating healthy simultaneously. You can also buy some turkey and cheese to alternate with peanut butter and jelly so you have more options. Getting some bread in your diet isn’t necessarily a bad thing, your body needs some whole grains so you’re energized and ready to study. 
5. Fruit, fruit, fruit. Easy to grab and full of antioxidants, fruit is the perfect item to leave in your room as a snack during studying, or to grab when your time is limited. Bananas or blueberries are great “smart foods” for your brain. Blueberries are also known to contain powerful antioxidants, among other nutrients. Fruit will provide you with natural sugar that’ll still give you energy, in comparison to junk foods that contain refined sugars–these will give you energy, but will subsequently end in you crashing in the middle of studying.

6. Eat healthy snacks in your room like hummus or cheese and crackers. In a rush? Heading to the library? Packing some healthy snacks in your backpack will help get you through the day without taking away from your productivity. Whether it be hummus and pita chips, carrots, cheese and crackers, clementines, or apples, you’ll be thanking yourself later when your stomach starts to growl during your study sesh. Pretzels and popcorn are also healthy, easy snacks, but make sure the popcorn is light on the butter!
7. Break out that chocolate (yes, you heard me right!)  We’ve all heard how dark chocolate has numerous health benefits, but it doesn’t end there!  Even better, dark chocolate is a tasty snack, and an even better study aid.  Chocolate releases endorphins in the brain that help you to have increased focus and concentration while studying. The ingredients in dark chocolate help improve your cognitive skills by producing a flow of blood supply in the body. Not a fan of dark chocolate? Milk chocolate can enhance and sharpen your verbal and visual memory and also your reaction time. Start eating that chocolate, and you’ll be answering questions on that test in a jiff!

 

Sources: 1, 2

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

Katie handles the day-to-day management, development and expansion of our chapter network to ensure that our on-campus presence is stronger than ever. She recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied Nonfiction Writing and Communication. Her extensive Her Campus background dates back to 2012 and she has since held the position of Campus Correspondent and Chapter Advisor. When Katie isn’t watching the Pittsburgh Penguins, you can find her trying new restaurants, obsessing over her long list of shows (The O.C., Scandal and Gilmore Girls are top picks) or setting out to find the perfect donut.
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