Between classes, assignments, studying, and maintaining an active social life, healthy eating may not be at the top of your to-do list. But, nutrition should be a priority — especially since the majority of Indians are significantly nutrient deficient largely due to unvaried diets, Outlook India reports. For example, one out of two women are anaemic, a condition which can hamper memory and cognition. Fuel your body with the nutrition it needs, and your brain power, memory, grades, and overall health in college will improve!
Never skip breakfast!
While you may prefer catching an extra ten minutes of sleep, skipping breakfast can be harmful to health. Students who skip breakfast are less able to concentrate, experience fatigue, and miss out on vital nutrients and energy — it’s not called the most important meal of the day for nothing! Eat breakfast within an hour of waking to kickstart your metabolism and fuel your body and brain for the busy morning ahead. Quick options include: cereal with fruit and milk, yogurt topped with granola and berries, or a refreshing breakfast smoothie — throw oats, milk, banana, and some delicious tropical fruit like mango into a blender and whizz! Mangos are the perfect health food for students — they’re packed with vitamin B6, which is crucial for boosting brain function, improving mood, and supporting healthy sleep.
Eat balanced meals
Your brain runs on glucose, so it’s important you include high-quality carbohydrates with each meal. Drink a glass of orange juice at breakfast — it’s rich in flavonoids to help memory and cognition. Add spinach or leafy greens to your lunchtime salad or sandwich — they’re brimming with magnesium which increases blood flow to the brain. Even when you’re eating out with friends, you can order brown rice instead of white — brown rice helps fight insomnia, helping you wake up in time for morning classes feeling refreshed. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in your favourite treats now and again — just be mindful of how often!
Choose energizing snacks
Snacking on junk food is tempting, especially in times of stress. But you can stay on track better by having the right snacks within easy-reach. Instead of candy bars, chips, and sodas, buy nutrient-dense, tasty snack foods to power you through study sessions. Blueberries, in particular, help improve memory and cognition, while satisfying sugar cravings the healthy way. Trail mix is energy-dense and provides a host of brain-boosting nutrients — get some containing pumpkin seeds and walnuts, which boost mental agility to help you make sense of those revision notes.
Switching to a healthier diet may seem overwhelming, but it’s easier if you do it in small steps. If you don’t usually eat regular meals, adjust your schedule to fit in three a day. If you’re new to cooking, start with simple, healthy recipes that require few ingredients. When you dine out, order low-fat options like salads (with minimal dressing) and grilled dishes. Remember to grocery shop weekly: keeping your dorm stocked with healthy choices means you’ll eat those healthy choices. Changing your diet takes time and effort, but you’ll soon love much better you feel.