Photo Credit: Harvard University
By: Javanique Darby
Sleepless nights? Constantly worrying? Lacking motivation?
These are all signs of college students who overwork themselves. We are in a new year, and we want to make new resolutions that can be maintained, but often, while we hear of the things we need to do to perform better in school, hardly anyone mentions the food. Let’s talk about it!
Food is an essential aspect of everyday life. We need food, but most importantly the nutrients from it, to provide energy for activity, growth, and all body functions such as breathing, digesting food, keeping warm; repair of the body, and keeping the immune system healthy.
Eating good food means that you are less likely to get infections and other illnesses, and you have plenty of energy to get work done and enjoy yourself.
However, as college students, it is hard to maintain good eating food as a result of various reasons. Due to immense stress, we often do not want to cook any food and resort to buying from fast-food restaurants, which does not benefit our nutritional health, as it only satisfies hunger and our desire for a while.
To perform even better in school, we need to eat right. So, here are a few suggestions of foods necessary to provide the essential nutrients our body needs to function at its utmost level.
- Nuts, seeds and oily fish- Oily fish is rich in omega-3, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and potentially lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Nuts and seeds are good sources of protein, fibres, vitamins and minerals. Nuts and seeds regulate body weight as their fats are not fully absorbed. Examples of oily fish are mackerel, sardine and herring. Pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds can be placed in your homemade protein shakes alongside walnuts and cashew, which promote blood flow.
- Dark chocolate- You’re probably thinking, “Hold on—chocolate? That sounds like candy to me!” We’re not saying you should make chocolate bars your go-to study snack. But, in moderation, dark chocolate can energize you and help you focus. A recent Harvard study shows that dark chocolate can help reduce blood pressure and get more blood flow to your brain and help you get more fuel. Grabbing a piece of dark chocolate before your test may be a great way to keep focused and relaxed.
- Whole grain- Whole grains may include brown bread, brown rice, wheat crackers, muffin and noodles. The complex carbohydrates in whole grains have a low glycemic index, so they digest slowly and release glucose – your brain’s best source of energy – over a more extended period of time. This means you will have energy longer and can make it through a lengthy test or paper.
- Berries and other fruits – For example, strawberries, melons, bananas, pineapple, orange etc. These healthy snacks are packed with vitamin C, which is believed to help increase mental agility, which is crucial for an online university student juggling work, family, and coursework. Healthy sugar can also enhance your alertness and ability to focus—it’s your body and brain’s best source of energy.
College students need to work hard to prepare for assessments and tests, and a big piece of preparation involves how our bodies are nourished.
So, what do you think? Sounds doable—and delicious—right?
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