Good nutrition is a prime part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy as a student can help you maintain both a healthy personal life, and a healthy future, as well as better academic success. Healthier habits can also help proper growth development. Studies have also shown it helps prevent chronic disease such as cancer and heart disease. To prevent and reverse this obesity epidemic, it is imperative that students eat healthy.
According to a study shown at USDA and various other research departments, only 2 percent of children follow the guidelines of the food pyramid recommendations. For more information on the food pyramid, click here. Most school-age children are also not getting enough calcium and grains, and are continuing to consume too much saturated fat. Eating healthy also helps students become more focused on their school work. Recent studies have shown that students who eat an apple or some berries for their homework snack are more likely to not be as distracted and meet deadlines easier than those who may eat sweets or a fizzy drink for their snack. I have compiled a wide range of healthy, and affordable snacks to help students focus more whilst studying. Enjoy!
1. Fresh Fruits
Choose from a wide variety of different types of fresh fruit. Avoid canned or dried fruits. Fruit is best for times when you need a quick little energy boost. It’s loaded with vitamins (especially vitamin C), minerals, good carbs, and antioxidants. It also provides fibre that helps fill you up and keeps your digestive system happy. Choose any fruit you like- apples, bananas, mango, berries, mango, pomegranate, oranges, kiwi, cherries, and many more. Fruits are available in almost an infinite variety so there’s always something new to try! If you don’t like one type of fruit, give something else a shot, it’s natures treat! My personal favourites are pomegranate, mango, guava, and kumquat.
Recommended serving size- 1 piece of fresh fruit, or 1 cup of fresh cut fruits or berries.
Popcorn serves a great snack for studying because it contains a load of fibre and you get a lot of volume from it. Popcorn is also whole grain! Try to avoid the extra, extra loaded butter and salt, as that’s not the ideal image of a healthy snack. The best way you can go with this is getting the low fat, microwavable kind. As well as being low in fat, it is also low in calories, which means you can eat a whole bag without feeling guilty!
Recommended serving size: 1 single-serve package of low fat microwavable popcorn.
3. Avocado and Egg on Toast
This quick and easy snack has a perfect balance of protein, healthy fats, and carbs. It keeps you energized and focused and is enjoyable and delicious to eat. Whole grain, or organic bread is the best bread to serve it on because you get more nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and protein than what you would get if you had it on white bread. The egg and avocado are a great combination and serves as a great source of protein.
Recommended serving size: 1 slice of whole wheat or organic bread, with 1 egg and ½ an avocado on top.
4. Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Smoothie
This easy to make snack is perfect for when you need an energy boost, but don’t want any sugary rubbish. Peanut butter and dark chocolate both have excellent sources of antioxidants, vitamins, potassium, sodium, and enough sugar to keep you going, but not too much to where you’ll be unable to focus. Studies have also shown that dark chocolate can help lower stress levels and can also improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. When you’re looking for dark chocolate, make sure that you buy a bar with a high cocoa content because, unbelievably, it is quite nutritious. It also contains a decent amount of soluble fibre and is loaded with minerals.
Recommended serving size: ½ cup of peanut butter blended with no more than a 100-gram chocolate bar with 70-85% cocoa.
5. Green Smoothie
A smoothie is the best way of getting your fruits and veggies down. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like you’re drinking a cup of spinach. The best thing about making smoothies is that you can add anything you like, and there are hundreds of different combinations you could try. Try some pressed apples, crushed pear, and a handful of kale. Or try raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. The possibilities are endless with this delicious cup of nutrition!
Recommended serving size: 1 cup of spinach or kale, ½ cup orange juice, and additional fruits or vegetables.
6. Yogurt, Cereal, and Berries
This is a perfect combination for someone who needs a light snack. Yogurt has been known as an excellent source of calcium, as well as vitamins and potassium. The cereal ties well with the berries, and all together it makes a delicious, crunchy yogurt with some sweetness on top. Try to avoid sugary cereal, and go for a more of a granola, or muesli type.
Recommended serving size: 1 cup of low fat, low sugar Greek yogurt, ¼ cup mixed berries, ½ cup cereal.
In conclusion, having healthier foods to snack on whilst revising, studying, or doing homework is very important if you want to be able to concentrate and focus. Eating snacks with more protein and vitamins can lead to a healthier lifestyle than if you were to eat a bag of crisps and drink a coke. Next time you think about grabbing something unhealthy, try thinking about getting something that will empower your mind. The last thing you want to happen whilst you’re studying is to be unable to concentrate and feel sluggish!