For students, eating at college is an entirely new ball game. Between late night pizza delivery and food swiped from the campus convenience store, it’s easy to start a food pyramid that is 82% mozzarella and 18% regret. Even though some of these quick and simple options taste great, they are probably not the healthiest choice for a student’s body. Forming healthy habits in your first few years of university is especially important, because you’re likely to use these first-time-away-from-home experiences as the baseline for post-college choices.
The food choices students make can affect whether or not they are able to remain awake during class and whether or not they will come down with mononucleosis when it hits campus. The problem is not only about eating junk food, it’s more about not getting the proper proteins, carbs, vitamins, and minerals that people need. (And when you’re taking 5 classes, keeping up with extracurriculars, and also working a job, you’ll need all the energy you can get.)
When it comes to defending against illnesses, vitamins and minerals are very important. Just because they are important, isn’t a reason for students to run out and stock up on vitamins and supplements. It’s best for students to get their nutrition from food.
(The one exception to this is Biotin. It’s a cheap supplement that promotes nail and hair growth and even helps clear up skin. This of it like your grown-up Flintstones Gummies.)
You can find vitamin C in citric fruits, Vitamin A in milk and diary products, and vitamin E in nuts, whole wheat products, and even green leafy vegetables. This is the ideal way to get nutrition, as your body relies on these vitamins to get you to class on time.
When you eat on campus, skip on the sodas and go right to the juice machines. Explore the different options available and go to the salad bar where there are fresh vegetables. You can also try putting some broccoli and cauliflower in the microwave for steamed vegetables (use a paper towel over the top to control the smell). There are always healthy cereals and plenty of fresh fruit available in dining halls as well.
Always remember that eating healthy isn’t just about avoiding greasy foods. Eating healthy involves getting a balanced diet and getting the right nutrients and vitamins to keep your body in peak performance – or at least awake during your classes.