Amidst going to classes, studying for exams, and socializing on weekends, health may become less of a priority in college. In fact, most students aren’t even getting one serving of fruit or vegetables a day, research from Oregon State University finds. But nutrition and health are inextricably linked. It’s important to fuel your body with the right foods, so you have the energy to achieve your best. Make the decision to prioritize nutrition each day, and you’ll be able to make the most of all aspects of college life whether you’re studying, working, or socializing.
Never skip breakfast
Eating breakfast every morning has been proven to improve concentration, boost energy, maintain a healthy weight, and even resultin better test scores. So, make time in the morning to eat breakfast — even if it’s just a quick piece of fruit and a granola bar. Or make a smoothie with banana, mango, chia seeds, peanut butter, and almond milk. Mango, in particular, is known as the King of Fruit for its delicious, sweet taste and abundance of vitamins and minerals. It fights disease and improves digestion, and contains 25% of vitamin A needed daily to promote good eyesight and prevent dry eyes — something you’ll need during those late night study sessions.
Snacking between meals keeps your mind and body energized. Pack a couple of snacks in your backpack; you may not always have time to pop to the campus store or vending machine. Berries and dark chocolate protect brain cells and boost memory. Walnuts and almonds contain vitamin E which prevents cognitive decline to keep your mind razor sharp. Snacking keeps hunger at bay, reducing your chances of overeating at your next meal, or being tempted by unhealthy fast food.
Eat greens everyday
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables at every meal, but especially make sure you eat your greens. Throw a handful of kale into your morning smoothie. Add salad to your sandwich at lunch. Load up on steamed veggies like broccoli, peas, and spinach at dinner. Greens boost your mood, immune system, and cognitive abilities. They’ll help keep you in excellent health, so you can stay on top of your studies.
Good health is more than a nutritious diet — although it certainly goes a long way. Carry a good-quality water bottle with you, so you can stay hydrated throughout the day. Work out regularly to improve physical and mental health. Finally, get at least eight hours sleep, so you wake up for morning classes feeling refreshed and rested.
Written by: Jane Sandwood