College can be a mentally straining time for students as they progress toward their preferred careers. Between juggling school, work, ad social life, the significance of hygiene and nutrition tends to be ignored. Also, many students find themselves living away from home for the first time and have no experience in planning their meals. This article highlights why you should always make healthy food choices.
Impact of Eating Healthy Food
Evidence shows that a health approach that combines diet and exercise is highly effective in supporting students’ mental and physical health needs. Here are some evidence-based reasons why you should always prioritize healthy food:
- Supports Weight Management
College students should always eat healthy food because diet is linked with weight loss and management. However, according to recent studies, nearly one-quarter of university students gain considerable weight during their first year on campus. Furthermore, weight gain is linked to physical inactivity and unhealthy food choices, which increases the risk of health complications like cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Students can lose and manage their weight by eating meals rich in fruits and vegetables. Avoiding sugary and carbonated drinks; consuming fewer fats is also critical as you work on your meal plans. Most importantly, you will need to prioritize adequate sleep and exercise regularly. If you need time to prepare a meal, consider write my essay help from professionals online.
- Impacts Health
One of the main reasons why it makes sense to watch what you eat in college is that diet has numerous health implications. Of course, students need enough calories to carry them through their busy schedules. However, when choosing what you eat, your need to be wary of the freshman 15 phenomenon, which speculates that an average college student gains about 15 pounds during the initial year on campus.
While the actual figure of weight college students gain is much smaller, unhealthy eating comes with numerous other health complications. For instance, evidence links dietary choices with mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Eating unhealthy food is also linked to heart disease. For the sake of your mental and physical health, avoid fast food meals, processed foods, skipped meals, and added sugars.
- Affects Academic Performance
Recent studies have also established a link between food choices and academic performance. According to the data, poor eating habits negatively affect academic performance. In other words, you can achieve a higher GPA by consuming a balanced diet during every meal.
Studies have established one explanation for this by linking unhealthy eating with a lack of concentration and poor memory. Students who base their meals on fast foods and trans fats tend to perform poorly in tasks requiring memorization and critical thinking.
Another reason why diet affects academic performance is through energy and focus. As noted, college students need calories to attend class, focus during lectures, and study for tests. Understand that consuming junk food may only offer short energy bursts, followed by serious crashes that interfere with sleep and concentration. Furthermore, skipping meals will drain your energy, interfering with your metabolic and nutrient intake patterns.
- Affects Quality of Sleep
College students should prioritize healthy food because it affects the quality of their sleep. According to studies, most students consume unhealthy amounts of caffeine as they try to focus during study time. Coffee and energy drinks keep them awake and interfere with their sleep patterns and health. As a result, caffeine lowers academic performance and interferes with studying efficiency.
Also, researchers have found that eating a healthy diet is good for your sleep habits. On the other hand, consuming diets rich in sugar and saturated fats can interfere with your ability to get quality and uninterrupted sleep. In turn, sleep deprivation affects your mental health, focus, weight management, and appetite. Experts recommend boosting sleep quality by eating more plant-based foods and meals rich in fiber and unsaturated fats.
The Bottom Line
Healthy eating benefits students in numerous ways. It is crucial for maintaining good physical and mental health. Also, consuming nutrient-rich meals and healthy snacks in the right quantities offers enough energy for students’ cognitive function. When students eat the right diet, they benefit from improved energy, focus, and memory their academic performance also improves. In the end, they benefit from improved academic performance. Their immune system also benefits from healthy food.
Understand that you don’t have to spend exorbitantly to get food that will boost your health, mood, academic performance, and weight management. We recommend planning your meals and creating a food budget to help track your expenses. Avoid skipping meals, and always include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Most importantly, use plant-based dietary strategies to support your health and help the environment.