A good nutrition plan can help students maintain or develop a healthy diet while in college.
Here are 14 tips to help you eat healthy.
- Enjoy your food and have a healthy relationship with food.
- Eat breakfast every day - Include protein such as eggs, nuts, peanut butter or Greek yogurt.
- Eat at regular time intervals - preferably every 3-4 hours. Hunger builds when you go too long without eating which can lead to over-eating
- Eat to be "smart" - Include foods that contain iron, B vitamins and Vitamin C. Try lean red meat, spinach, whole grain breads and cereal, eggs, nuts, oranges, apples and carrots.
- Eat Fruit - Fruit ranks high among the best foods you can eat for your brain. The natural sugars in fruit offer clean energy, so you don't experience the crash that follows consumption of refined sugar.
- Choose powerful vegetables - The darker the color, the higher the concentration of nutrients. Great vegetable choices include spinach, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.
- Choose lean proteins - Chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, beans, cottage cheese, lean cuts of pork and beef
- Include healthy fats - Omega oils and plant fats are excellent for your brain, heart and inflammation. They also help to fill you up and stabilize blood sugar. Avocado, nuts, nut butters, seeds, fish, olives, olive oil.
- Smart snacking can enhance productivity and mood - Try to get two food groups into your snacks to balance the nutrients and keep your blood-sugar level stable. Smart snack examples are banana with peanut butter, cheese and crackers, Greek yogurt with cereal. Avoid late night snacking.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine - These are stimulants to the central nervous system which heighten emotions and can lead to increased anxiety.
- Look for stress relievers other than food - Examples can include exercise, meditation, yoga, study breaks with friends, watching TV, listening to music, warm shower.
- Get your sleep - Aim for a minimum of 8 hrs of sleep per night. Sleep is the foundation to wellness - physical, emotional and mental.
- Stay hydrated - Your brain cells work better when they are hydrated. Water, milk and 100% fruit juice are good choices.
- Avoid excessive alcohol - Alcohol is an amnesiac—not ideal for college students. Alcohol is dehydrating and stays in your system for 72 hours. Alcohol adds empty calories.