The benefits of eating healthy

Andre Whitley, Courier Staff

As a college student, you may find it hard to eat healthy, whether you are living on or off campus, but making the right eating choices can help improve your overall health.

When it comes to living on campus, you already struggle with not being able to choose what you eat to an extent. So, when you are walking through the dining hall, try to choose foods that look appetizing and healthy. One way to ensure that you are getting the right balance in your diet is to hit every aspect of the food pyramid, so that includes, grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, proteins and oils. Although that does seem like a lot to include in your diet, you can hit multiple of these with one item. For example, with cheese you get a little bit of protein and some dairy along with it. Ensuring that you get all six food groups in your diet is very beneficial, not only for your health, but also to improve your mood and give you more energy throughout your day.

Now let’s talk about students that live off campus. In a way, we have it a little easier than those that live on campus. We get to go to the grocery store and pick out what we want to eat instead of it being chosen for us in advance. But, this can be a problem for some people because they tend to pick the cheaper or easier option instead of the healthy, more beneficial items. When going to the store, it is very important to plan out your meals a week in advance. This will help you save time and money. When you plan your meals ahead of time, it is easier to ensure that you hit all six food groups. When you go to the store without a list or have no idea what you are making for the week, you tend to forget some things, and usually it’s those fruits or vegetables because those are no one’s favorites.

Another key to ensure that you actually eat groceries you just bought is to cut up your vegetables, wash your fruit and put your other food items where they are easy to reach and see. Sometimes when you put your food in the back of your pantry or fridge, you can’t see it and forget that it is there, and sometimes you end up wasting it.

Not only will eating healthy improve your overall health and reduce major health risks such as diabetes, heart problems and weakening of the bones, it also helps with your mood, memory and energy throughout the day. When you eat healthy, you become more energized and fueled for your day. When you are energized and ready for your day, you are able to accomplish more and get more work done. Since you have the right nutrients in your body, you become more alert and that allows you to focus and accomplish more tasks.