words_anna degobbianna. illustration_michelle brener.
Eating healthy in college has never been easy. Balancing schoolwork, sports, a social life and your health can be a struggle, especially when most of us are living on our own for the first time.
Eating healthy, however, has many positive effects on your brain, your body and your energy levels. Lauren Talbot is a well-known certified clinical nutritionist who works with clients who have the desire to obtain stronger bodies, higher energy levels, and clearer skin through a wholesome and detoxifying diet. After years of experience with various diet and nutrition plans, Talbot realized that “superior health is not so much dictated by the restriction of calorie or fat consumption, but rather by the quality of our overall food choices.”
There are many easy ways to incorporate healthier foods into your diet, specifically by replacing some common food items with better alternatives.
For grains, try to replace the average white flour foods like donuts, pastries, white bread and croissants with English muffins or whole grain bread. Typical breakfast cereals can be replaced with oatmeal or granola. Popcorn (without butter) and pretzels are also much better options than potato chips.
When eating meats, try to replace your usual sandwich meats like salami, bologna and pepperoni with turkey, chicken or ham.
For dairy, the healthier options are non-fat milk, one percent milk, non-fat or low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheeses with less than three grams of fat per serving, sorbets and non-fat or low-fat ice creams.
When cooking, remember that fats, oils and sweets are super unhealthy! Make smarter choices by replacing shortening, butter or margarine with olive oil, regular mayonnaise with non-fat or light mayonnaise, and regular salad dressing with non-fat or light salad dressing.
These simple transitions will help your daily intake not only be healthier, but also be more productive for your body. Still, the most important thing when picking and choosing your meals is portion control. According to Emily Everett, a Los Angeles-based nutritionist and communications manager of the anti-hunger organization Stop Hunger Now, “you can eat anything you want, as long as you remember one key: all things in moderation.”
Keep in mind:
Drinking water at correct times maximizes effectiveness on the human body
Two glasses after waking up help activate internal organs
One glass 30 minutes before a meal helps digestion
One glass before taking a bath helps lower blood pressure
One glass before going to bed helps avoid stroke and heart attack
Eight snacks for optimal brain function
Berries- antioxidants slow down brain aging
Asparagus- folic acid improves cognitive function
Avocados- fatty acids boost memory and learning
Carrots- beta-carotene reduces cognitive decline
Hemp seeds- omegas to help central nervous system
Dark leafy greens- vitamins and minerals enhance brain function
Bananas- potassium and B vitamins make us alert and calm
Watermelon- water packed foods keep memory sharp
Brain boosters vs. brain busters
Boosters: whole grains, oily fish, blueberries, tomatoes, vitamins, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, nuts
Busters: fatty fast foods, salty foods, processed foods, foods with pesticide residue, Tylenol pm, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, junk food
Five foods to help reduce stress
Oatmeal, strawberries, dark chocolate, nuts, kiwi