Until now you've been able to rely on your family to guide your health decisions and provide you with many of the foods that contribute to superior nutrition. Once you enter your college years, though, you will find yourself responsible for more and more of your own decisions.
Here are a few simple tips to guide you as you move into an adult role with regard to creating and maintaining your own health. These back to school health tips for college & university students are important for any young adult in or out of college.
Be sure to check out what your medical insurance coverage is for expenses like going to the dentist or prescription glasses, and know how to access and use it.
Understand what constitutes basic good nutrition so that you can both enjoy and maximize the benefits of every meal you eat, whether you make it yourself, eat in a school cafeteria or dine out.
As much as possible, eat real food, not packaged or canned food. For good energy, pile 50-65% of your plate with veggies and fruits, primarily the former. Make most of your veggies "slow carb" items, items with high nutrient density that don't cause blood sugar spikes, like greens.
Focus on good fats, which should make up about 30% of your diet for satisfaction and good weight maintenance. Good fats are the fats which occur naturally in foods like nuts, seeds, grains, avocado and soy beans. Good added fats include olive oil and even a moderate amount of saturated fats like butter. Avoid fried foods and "vegetable oil" as much as possible.
Be certain you have good sources of protein. If you eat a varied real food diet, you will get plenty of protein since it occurs in many foods, quite often the same foods that carry your good fats (nuts, seeds, soy beans).
If you eat meat or chicken, eat less of it but better quality (organic grass-fed or free-range) whenever possible. Avoid packaged luncheon meats.
Poor diet can cause or exacerbate depression, and eating a nutritionally superior diet can help alleviate it. "In 2011, the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA -- a nationwide survey of college students at 2- and 4-year institutions -- found that about 30 percent of college students reported feeling 'so depressed that it was difficult to function' at some time in the past year." Depression negatively affects every aspect of life including student performance and is a major risk factor for suicide. Seek help for depression, but pay attention to what you eat as well!
A high-quality multivitamin acts as an insurance policy to help maintain your good health, especially if you're not always able to access the foods you know you need. Fish oil and probiotics are also important to consider to keep yourself in the best health. To discuss the specifics of a supplementation program, or for more information about maintaining excellent health, please contact us.