All of us need to eat to live. So, every day we have a choice to use each meal as an opportunity to do something good for ourselves. What we eat matters because we can improves our lives by eating a more nutritious diet.
Eating healthier foods gives you more energy. As college students, we need as much energy as we can get to make it through each day of classes, internships, studying, and socializing. Our food can fuel us to do our best in all these endeavors. If you find yourself feeling tired and sluggish every day, try updating your diet. Some ideas for food that can provide you more energy:
- Eat lean proteins like turkey and chicken
- Healthy carbohydrates like whole grains (brown bread, brown rice, barley, etc.)
- For a quick pick-me-up throughout the day, snack on high-protein, whole foods like nuts and seeds.
What you eat can also affect your mood. While foods high in sugar can give you an initial jolt of energy, they will lead you to feel sluggish and have more cravings throughout the day, which can cause a negative mood. Instead, try eating foods that will boost your mood:
- Foods high in Omega-3s, like salmon, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, are proven to make you feel happier and give you more brainpower.
Our food choices today have a direct correlation to our long term health. Fast foods and highly-processed foods are high in calories, sugars, and unhealthy fats, which can lead to health problems like heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. These chronic diseases can make us unable to work, have a poor quality of life, or even worse, cause death.
- Incorporating healthy foods in your diet, especially fresh vegetables and fruit, can help prevent health issues and help you to live longer.
Transforming the way you eat can seem overwhelming, but it is possible by taking smaller steps toward an overall healthier diet. You can gradually make healthy swaps in your diet. For example, choose whole wheat pasta or gluten-free bread instead of their refined white flour options. Use veggies to scoop up your favorite dip instead of chips. Got a sweet tooth? Fruit is nature’s candy. Always keep fruit on hand for dessert or a quick snack. If you make a conscious effort to make these small changes in what you eat, you will see positive benefits immediately and in the long term.
By Tiffany Rivera