What we eat impacts how we feel and in turn how we feel influences what we choose to consume. This is termed the ‘Food – Mood’ connection.
The brain is fuelled by glucose and you obtain this from the carbohydrate foods that you eat – without this fuel you can’t think clearly. If you eat the wrong types of carbs you’ll feel tired and moody when the sugars wear off. Sugary foods, fizzy drinks and stimulants such as tea, coffee and alcohol will cause your sugar levels to fluctuate. When your blood sugar levels are disturbed they can lead to irritable, anxious and distractive behaviour. Not the best symptoms to be experiencing when you have numerous lectures to attend during the week.
These provide you with sustained energy.
These will give you a short burst of energy - examples include:
The meat, fish and soya that you eat are broken down by the body and used as amino acids to keep you in good mental health – all the brain messages the body makes are made from the proteins you eat. By not producing enough amino acids you can begin to feel depressed or non-motivated.
Your body needs essential fats that unfortunately our bodies don’t make. These fats are obtained when you eat oily fish, seeds and nuts and since your brain is made up of 60% fat then the fats we consume are kind of important. People who don’t consume enough Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to experiencing various mental health issues. Student diet Do’s and Don’t
DO eat breakfast within an hour of waking – never skip!
DO eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day
DO drink 6-8 glasses of water every day
DON’T skip meals – eat three meals a day and snack healthily in between.
Good food doesn’t have to break the bank. Eat healthy and filling foods that will stop you from having hunger pangs. Load up on fruit, vegetables, slow release carbohydrates and good proteins. Here are some ideas for you:
Avoid ready meals and takeaways. They are often rich in fat and sugars and may not provide good value for money.
Avoid buying snacks such as crisps, ice cream and sweets, but do treat yourself occasionally.
Shop for seasonal fruits and vegetables. For instance, broccoli and parsnips are winter vegetables whereas courgettes and peppers are summer vegetables. Buying fruits and vegetables out of season can be expensive.
Buy fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables and meats in small amounts and more often since they go off easily.
Avoid canned foods if possible. For instance dried beans and pasta are less expensive than canned beans and processed pasta. Also canned fruits can be more expensive than seasonal fresh fruit but have fewer vitamins.
Avoid fizzy drinks and fruit juices. They are often quite expensive. Use water and fruit instead.
Compare prices in local shops and supermarkets and take advantage of special offers.
Use “generic” supermarket brands instead of classic brands. They often contain the same ingredients but are cheaper.
Cook and eat together with others and share the costs.
Make a shopping list and plan your food budget every week.