INDIA: With the exam season right around the corner, preparations in every household are in full swing. The last month, before the class 10th & 12th board exams begin, is a hectic and stressful time for everyone involved; the kids, parents, and even the teachers! Exam preparations require lots of meticulous planning and adequate time management. The kind of food students eat during this time is also likely to play an important role during this preparation. A variety of foods contain nutrients that can help increase alertness, enhance memory retention, and elevate energy levels – thus bettering the overall wellbeing of the student.
As the focus for many shifts to studying, a lot of children tend to neglect other aspects of their lifestyle which are equally important to ensure success. These include a proper sleep schedule, a regular exercise routine, consuming healthy and balanced diets, and adequate breaks in between long periods of studying. This state of extreme effort and imbalance causes a great deal of stress, which could be harmful to the child.
During exam preparation, a lot of students also tend to rely on snacking on high-calorie food, as a stress reliever. But instead of binging on unhealthy high-calorie snacks, snacking on almonds during the preparation period, can help make a healthy difference in students’ lives. Ayurveda and Unani texts suggest that consumption of almonds nourishes the brain, nerve tissues and promotes intelligence, which can be useful during exam time.
Leading Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan said, “For any child preparing for 10th & 12th exams, the last month is critical, and there is a lot of pressure. During my exams, I remember how stressed and worried I felt, and how supportive my parents were which really helped me sail through the exams with ease. Besides this, my mom would also make sure I took planned breaks in between long hours of studying and focused a lot on my diet and food intake. She made sure I always had nutritious snacks near me like roasted, or salted almonds, which I feel was a great snacking option, as they kept me full while staying healthy. This is something I learned from her, and definitely plan on passing this down to my daughter, when she grows older.”
Adding to this, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare – Delhi, said, “When children are studying for board exams, good nutrition often slides way down on the priority list. It’s easy to get into the habit of consuming too many sugar-sweetened beverages and overindulging in fast food and junk food while studying. As parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure our child’s health and wellbeing during such a high-stress phase. One of the most important ways to do this is to make sure that the child’s diet is balanced and includes a mix of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits as well as nuts. Also be sure to add almonds to their diet, as they are a nutritious food that can be eaten anytime during the day. Moreover, this addition will go a long way in building a healthy routine during exams while sustaining energy levels and satiety, as almonds are known to have satiating properties and may also help in weight management.”
According to Madhuri Ruia, Pilates Expert, and Diet & Nutrition Consultant, “Good nutrition should be a part of your child’s study plan because it will aid in their exam preparation, and enable them for success. The better the fuel their brain gets, the better they’ll study. Incorporating foods that are rich in protein and energy into the child’s diet is essential to his/her health and must not be compromised. It’s a known fact that almonds are a source of 15 nutrients such as magnesium, protein, riboflavin, etc., providing children with much-needed nutrients. Besides that, almonds also contain nutrients like zinc, vitamin E, folate, iron, and copper, which are known to support immunity. Proper rest and good nutrition can help protect can help keep viruses or infections at bay.”
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