In February, a large number of households across India become preoccupied with exams. Whether itâ€™s a son, daughter, nephew or niece who might be appearing for his or her final school examinations or class 10th or 12th boards, final exams tend to become the focus for a lot of families during the month.
During exam season itâ€™s very easy for students to lose sight of their health and wellness, and get consumed in the preparation. Juggling between the pressures of preparing for exams and ensuring adequate time to sleep, while maintaining his or her health is important. Properly timed meals, scheduled snack breaks and conscious food choices can energize and sustain the body through long exam hours.
One food item that is good for students to have handy during the exam season is almonds! Snacking on almonds during the preparation period can help make a healthy difference in studentsâ€™ lives. Ayurveda and Unani texts suggest that consumption of almonds nourishes the brain, nerve tissues and promotes intelligence, which can be useful during the exam time.
Leading Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan said, â€œExams can be a very stressful time for students, and approaching them with a calm mind and planned approach always helps. I remember, during my school days, my mother ensured that she had prepared a meal plan and snacking routine for me during the prep-leaves, so I would be well-nourished throughout the day.
Beyond this, she also made sure that she kept a bowlful of almonds on my study table â€“ so I had a healthy snack handy, if I ever felt hungry or exhausted after studying for several hours.â€
Fitness enthusiast and Supermodel Milind Soman said, â€œDuring exam season, students tend to neglect their health and fitness. While maintaining a steady exercise schedule is difficult, students can always manage their fitness by taking regular breaks from studying, every half an hour or so. Whether it is a short walk around the house or walking while studying, students must do what they can to stay active. Opting for healthier food and snacks such as almonds is also an important step that will go a long way in building a healthy routine during exams, and may also help in keeping a check on the studentâ€™s weight.â€
Adding to this, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head â€“ Dietetics, Max Healthcare â€“ Delhi, said, â€œI often come across concerned parents seeking diet recommendations for their children especially during exam season. I always suggest to keep nuts like almonds handy as they provide energy which may help in better concentration. Eating almonds may also help in managing the childâ€™s weight, as according to a recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants who consumed 43 grams of dry, roasted, lightly salted almonds every day experienced reduced hunger and improved dietary vitamin E and monounsaturated (â€œgoodâ€) fat intake without increasing body weight. 1â€
1 Tan YT, Mattes RD. Appetitive, dietary and health effects of almonds consumed with meals or as snacks: a randomized, controlled trial.
According to Madhuri Ruia, Pilates Expert and Diet & Nutrition Consultant, â€œFor any student preparing for exams, keeping a steady supply of energy throughout the day is important to maintain his/her concentration levels. Daily consumption of almonds keeps you energetic and I definitely recommend students to keep a handful of raw, roasted or spiced up almonds in a small tiffin or box nearby, to make sure they can snack on them in between exam prep.â€
â€œDuring exams, itâ€™s not uncommon for students to feel hungry in between meals, and this leads to a lot of binge eating on unwholesome food. To minimize unhealthy food intake during exam time, parents and teachers can begin by ensuring students have an adequate number of snack breaks in between meals. For these breaks, almonds are an excellent choice of snack as they are easy and quick to flavour and go with just about any Indian masala/spices.
Added to that almonds may also have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness, which may keep the child satiated in between meals, avoiding him or her from reaching out for unhealthy snacksâ€ said Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant.
So, plan right, and prepare for exam season on a healthy note â€“ with almonds.