Healthy living, healthy eating
Snacks to help you survive the semester
by Eunice Poon
In the lives of busy students, meal planning and eating nutritional foods can often be left until the last minute when the grocery stores have closed, and instant noodles are that’s left in the cupboard.
According to the Canada Food Guide, the recommended daily servings for a young adult ranges from seven to eight fruits and vegetables; six to seven grain products; two milk and alternatives; and two meat and alternatives.
This can be tough to achieve — especially when your mind is on project deadlines, exams or that cute group member you have to call later. However, leaving healthy food choices at the back of your mind could be costly to your physical health.
Kim Wagner Jones, nutrition co-ordinator for the University of Calgary’s Health and Fitness Programs, says she has observed many young adults not eating enough fruits and vegetables, or enough of the recommended servings of dairy products.
As a result, Jones says “they are missing out on some critical nutrients and antioxidants,” adding eating healthy can help promote good health and resist illness and infection as well as optimize energy levels.
So if you’re finding yourself getting sick a lot during the school year, or just always drained for energy, here are some easy foods you can try to give yourself that extra boost.
Four nutritional foods to make your body happy:
1.) Walnuts: often known as brain food, they are loaded with Vitamin E and can help lower cholesterol and boost brainpower. They’re an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, a fat that is essential for our bodies.
According to a study conducted by the Department of Biotechnology in India, walnuts were found to have the best antioxidant properties, which increases health and helps in the prevention of cellular damage.
Use these crunchy nuts to pep up a salad, a bowl of cereal or alone as a snack.
2.) Chickpeas: they’re an excellent source of fiber and also contain almost twice the amount of protein compared to other cereal grains. This bean acts as a carbohydrate and a protein, so it can give you energy.
Use this bean for hummus, couscous salad, curry, stew or buy roasted chickpeas and mix with nuts and raisin to create your own healthy trail mix.
3.) Quinoa: commonly called the super grain, it’s actually a seed that is related to the spinach family. Quinoa is a complete protein containing essential amino acids, fiber, magnesium and manganese. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc. And lastly it is a great gluten-free option.
Use this super grain for salads or as a substitute for rice or pasta.
4.) Bananas: a healthy and delicious option. They contain a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Because of its rich source of potassium, bananas help maintain normal blood pressure and heart function. They also help prevent high blood pressure.
Use bananas in any fruit or milkshake, eat for breakfast with other fruits, yoghurt and granola, or eat it on its own as a snack.
When on the go, studying, or working on projects, snacks like these can help you achieve the daily portion suggested by the Food Guide.
According to Jones, poor nutrition or unhealthy eating can contribute to some of the negative consequences of being stressed, such as weight gain and weight loss to name a few.
Her suggested goal then is to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels, which can help control appetite and prevent overeating in stressful situations.