Letter to the Editor

Balanced meals provide prolonged energy

It’s almost the end of the semester! Time to hunker down and load up on caffeine and sugar to pull a few all-nighters to learn a semester’s worth of material for the big test! Right? WRONG!

For your best performance, you need to get enough rest and good fuel to support your brain. Yes, the brain operates on sugar, but refined sugar and caffeine will only give temporary results. Desserts, candy, soda, and coffee will help stimulate your brain, but the buzz will wear off and leave you jittering for more.

Instead, have a balanced meal full of a variety of foods. For a full stomach and sustained energy for studying, try some whole grains, good fats (found in fish, walnuts, olive oil, and avocados), fresh fruit, and vegetables. The deeper the color of your fruits and vegetables, the more phytonutrients there are to protect your healthy cells. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole grains, and a quarter with lean protein. This will provide enough good fuel to keep you focused on studying.

Don’t forget to drink water! About 60 percent of our bodies are water, so rehydrate with six to eight cups of water daily.

On the day of the exam, be sure to eat a good breakfast so that you stay focused during the test! Most importantly, for good results all year, eat a healthy balanced diet every day!