With the board exams approaching, students can turn to their kitchen to keep anxiety and pressure at bay. They can opt for almonds, broccoli, beans, chickpeas and milk – easy and delicious alternatives to fatty and oily snacks. Practical examinations have already begun in CBSE and ICSE schools. Students of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) and private boards are also busy preparing for the final exams.
Dr Vinu Kumar, chief nutritionist at The Holy Tree and a specialist in vegan diet menu, said, “When students are studying, good nutrition often slides down on the priority list. It is easy to grab coffee and gobble pizzas because students do not want to waste time on preparing food. Good nutrition should be part of the study plan as it helps you ace tests. The better fuel your brain gets, the better you study.
Suggesting healthy recipes, she said, “Baked or boiled chickpeas (especially kale chane) are rich in protein and fiber. They are also called garbanzo beans and are easily available. They can be tossed with olive oil, cumin and turmeric and baked at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. The snack stays fresh in airtight containers and is an alternative to samosas and chips.”
She added that broccoli soup with a dash of cashews is an excellent diet during the exam days. Using moong dal, soya bean, bell peppers and berries, along with a bowl of sprouts, one can prepare a sprouts chaat in which basil, oregano, avocados, coconut sugar and sesame seeds can be added.
Milk can be made more interesting using crushed almonds, vanilla extract and dates (khajoor). “This is a delicious alternative to soy and dairy milk,” she said.
Berries, walnuts, almonds mixed with yoghurt can be used to prepare organic muesli for students.
Along with a healthy diet, mental exercises are equally important. Dr Kunal Kala said, “While some stress is a normal response, when that stress gets out of control it can make test preparation difficult. The best thing to do is to manage stress. Sometimes harsh, critical and punishing school environment could make students feel excessive stress. At times students try to escape exams by feeling ill and show symptoms such as trembling and headaches.
“It is important to do deep breathing, physical exercises, relaxing stretches or listening to calm music. One should get plenty of sleep. Parents and teachers should adopt a supportive approach.”
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