Everyone would agree that a meal eaten in peace is better than one eaten in haste. College students, whether undergraduate or graduate, are stressed out. Eat, sleep, and exercise (three keys to health) are thrown aside to complete projects, write papers, and study for tests. Diet can play an important role in stress management. A diet void of wholesome, nutritious food can make a stressful time even more challenging.
Here are some basic nutrition principles to help manage stress...
- Eat consistently and don't skip meals
- Eat breakfast daily, even if it is just a piece of fruit or slice of toast
- Limit caffeine, sugar, trans fat, and alcohol
- Practice portion control to not overeat...or under eat
- Hydrate throughout the day with plain water
Now you may ask, are there foods that could help me fight stress? Here are some suggestions...
- Spinach: a good source of magnesium that may help fight stress
- Asparagus: contains folic acid that helps make serotonin which stabilizes mood
- Lean Beef: supplies B-Vitamins, zinc and iron
- Low fat yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese: a good source of calcium and protein
- Nuts & Seeds: both contain Vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc.
- Fruits: oranges and blueberries, for example, contain Vitamin C that neutralizes free radicals in the body.
- Fatty Fish: contains omega-3 fatty acids that have been researched for their link to depression
- Avocado: a good source of heart healthy fats
- Skim Milk: high in antioxidants and vitamins B2 and B12
- Low Sugar Breakfast Cereals: contain B vitamins and folic acid as well as other vitamins and minerals
Try to incorporate the foods listed above in your daily diet since they are nutrient dense foods that benefit your whole health.