How to Stay Calm During Finals

December 10, 2018
Happy Finals Week! This weeks post comes intern Jasmine Jefferies! Enoy!
Thanksgiving break is now over and that means the quarter is soon coming to a close. With final projects, tests, and papers stacking up, this time can be extremely hectic and stressful for many students. Normally, finals week calls for sleepless nights, questionable amounts of caffeine, and forgotten meals. However, it is essential to ensure you not only eat regularly during finals week, but you nourish yourself with healthy food that is going to fuel your brain so you can perform your best. Consuming large amounts of fat and sugar can actually make you feel tired and sluggish in the long run. Yes, those sugary caffeinated drinks can give you a pick-me-up for a couple of hours, however, you will eventually crash. You are better off reaching for lots of fruits, vegetables, protein and good carbs for sustainable energy.
It seems as if college students are constantly stressed. The feelings of stress won’t vanish overnight, but there are several diet changes that can be made to help reduce the stress levels so you can take control of your life again. By controlling what you feed your body, you can reduce stress and help your body get back to a calm place so that you are able to tackle whatever finals week throws at you. There are several key foods that are scientifically proven to help reduce the impact stress has on the mind and body. Optimum health is hard to reach during this stressful time for students, however, incorporating some of these key foods can help.
Bananas are a great food to help your body recover. They are loaded with potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, and tryptophan. With all of these key nutrients, bananas help protect the nervous system, encourage heart health, boost energy, and promote a sense of calm. Essentially, bananas are boosts of energy with many vitamins and nutrients to help your body function at peak levels. Bananas are most known for their potassium, which is important for maintaining balanced moods. Bananas are also great because they are very versatile and cheap. You can use them in smoothies, put them on top of yogurt, or even eat the classic combo of peanut butter and banana. All around, this is a great sweet food item to get a boost of energy.
The next calming superfood is oats. “Oats have long been recognized for their positive impact on the nervous system and, when eaten regularly, have been shown to reduce the effects of stress and relieve fatigue. They also contain a lot of protein to help stabilize energy levels” (Gill Paul, 13). As far as nutrients go, oats contain impressive amounts of soluble fiber, B vitamins, calcium, and magnesium. Oats, in particular, are a great way to start the morning because they contain carbs that are slowly released into the blood, meaning they provide long-term energy and play an active role in balancing stress levels and relieving feelings of fatigue. Oats are another affordable staple that can be used for many things. You can make your own granola with oats, put them in smoothies, make energy bars, or even use them in replace of breadcrumbs when breading chicken or fish. 
College life is full of challenges that hit you left and right. When we are pulled in a million directions it can be hard to balance it all. Our bodies can deal with short-term stress but when it comes to long-term stress, it starts to take a toll on our mental, physical, and emotional health. Choosing the right foods can play a huge role in bringing your body back to calm levels, and it will greatly impact how you feel from day to day. 

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