As a college student, you require food that fuels your body with energy that will help you meet your tight deadlines and give you the energy to stay active and focused during one of the most important phases of your life. If you’re living in a hostel you may have times when you don’t know what’s right to eat or may not have the time to eat. There’s only so much you can do with the monthly allowances you get and a heavy reliance on canteen food would simply leave you in terrible shape. Between going to class, studying for exams, making big decisions and maintaining relationships, college students can easily lose track and abandon critical things such as physical health and well-being. In order to combat the inevitable college stress and juggle various commitments, keeping a healthy lifestyle is recommended. These six tips will keep fit and stress-free throughout college.
1. Add one fruit or vegetable for every meal that you have.
This tip should ideally be made into a rule and should be followed all through the year. At breakfast, you can add sliced fruit, raisins, or fresh berries to a bowl of cereal or oatmeal. Or drink a glass of orange or grapefruit juice. At lunch, choose green beans to go with your sandwich or grab some crunchy raw carrots. End your meal with an apple or banana instead of ice cream. Dinner works the same way. As a general rule of thumb aim to have at least 2 to 3 cups of veggies and a serving or two of fruit every day.
2. Look for sources of calcium
Often a forgotten health fact is that you will be building up bone mass until you reach the age of 30 and that it gets tougher after the age of 30. It’s important that you take advantage of this time get the required calcium needed. Milk and dairy products are well-known sources of calcium. You can have berries and nuts with a bowl of yogurt and cheese in limited quantity. If milk and dairy products are not your thing, there are still other sources available. Dark leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, and cow’s milk alternatives like soy milk will provide you with plenty of calcium. You need about three servings of calcium-rich foods every day. If you feel like you’re not getting enough, you can take a dietary supplement.
3. Start a healthy snack club
This one may be a little hard to do but it is perhaps the best way to stay healthy for those of you who miss out on those 3 home cooked meals. Start a dinner club with your roommates or friends. Choose two or three nights a week for a shared family-style meal. Decide who will bring or prepare the dishes for each meal. The best part is that there’s room for your friends who love to cook—they can share their cooking skills with the group – and there’s room for friends who don’t know the first thing about making a meal—they can learn from the others.
4. Backpack Snacks
Keep one or two snacks in your backpacks at all times. Snacking throughout the day is normal and necessary for maintaining an energized mind. There isn’t always time to grab food from the convenience store therefore, “backpack snacks” are a great option. Munching on ready-made healthy snacks like baked whole grain chips and baked tortilla chips for instance keep you from overindulging and spending too much money on unhealthy fast foods. A healthy protein bar just might save the day during a late study session in the library.