A College Students’ Guide to Smart Foods
With Halloween fast approaching, it is more tempting than ever to indulge in candy and sweets – especially when they all go on sale November 1 so stores can make room for Christmas stock! So how can you avoid these temptations and ensure you keep up your energy with healthy foods?
I once had a math teacher who would tell us about his college days – the mistakes he made, his strange professors, and, what stood out the most, his diet. He consumed Pop Tarts and Coke every day for a whole year! Though it is a fast and delicious choice, you would not be doing yourself any favours. College is a whole new world for everyone. If you are dedicated, you will have little time and energy to make healthy meals like the ones we’d get at home. Here are a few quick and easy tips to boost your energy levels and stay healthy as a busy college student.
1. Morning Banana: Holy benefits, Batman! Bananas are packed with nutrients and vitamins everyone can use. They are a natural mood booster, protect your eyesight (due to the combination of vitamin C and carotenoids), aid your digestion and keep your bones healthy. Smoker? Bananas can help! Bananas contain vitamins B6 and B12 as well as potassium and magnesium which help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal. In the stressful life of a college student, our body’s potassium levels will drop as the stress goes up. Bananas are a great, natural way to re-balance your potassium levels. It’s Bananas!
2. Nut case: With monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, copper, protein and fiber, nuts are rich in antioxidant phytochemicals. Nuts are generally high in protein and therefore a great snack for hungry, on-the-go college students. Try almonds, walnuts and pecans (avoid the ones drenched in sugars and salt!). Choosing a cereal containing nuts is also a great way to bust hunger.
3. Hello Blueberry! Blueberries improve memory, motor skills and reverse age-related declines in balance and coordination. Add a few brainberries, I mean blueberries, to your daily diet to keep your mind sharp and clear all year!
4. Hot Cocoa! A study from Cornell University showed that two tablespoons of pure cocoa powder has almost two times the antioxidant power of red wine, 2-3 times the power of green tea and 4-5 times the power of black tea. The antioxidants in hot cocoa protect brain cells from “oxidative stress” that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders. So warm up a cup of cocoa, snuggle up and STUDY!
Stay away from greasy junk foods that drain your energy and ultimately do you no good. Try making your own meals or packing healthy snacks. If you find yourself eating in a cafeteria, try to choose something like a salad or wrap with veggies. Pizza, burritos and hot dogs are not your friends. Good luck and stay smart!