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Back to School: How To Get Enough Nutrients During The School Year


Summer is great – there’s always a bounty of fresh, seasonal fruit and veggies around. And when you have nothing to worry about except for your travel route to the beach, a consistent eating plan is easy to achieve. But how is anyone supposed to eat well when we’re rushing from class to the gym, to the study group and then oh yeah – class again??

Yes, for many students back to school time brings back a rush of anxiety. Even for those of us who enjoy living a healthy lifestyle, it can be overwhelming on top of everything else. Not to mention the options in the cafeteria are looking kind of gray. So if you find yourself Googling “How many servings of vegetables are in a bowl of ramen?” it may be time to re-evaluate how you plan on getting your vitamins and minerals this school year. Not to worry – we have 5 tips to get you there quicker:

1. Know the Nutrients Rich Foods

All of those in school know that knowledge is power. Do your research and find out which of your favorite foods pack the most nutritional bang for your buck. Here’s a good list of Powerhouse Fruits And Vegetables Ranked In Order Of Nutrition.

2. Make a List

Write down all the foods you found with the most nutrition. Then cross out the ones that are difficult to come by. Like, sorry, which school cafeteria is serving watercress? But they most likely have spinach in the salad bar. When you’re in school you need foods that you can find easily around you and when you’re on the go. In addition to fruits and vegetables, try nuts, seeds, yogurt, beans and whole grains like popcorn that can be found in most cafeterias and convenience stores.

3. Think Small

Don’t complicate things – sometimes small snacks are the easiest ways to get your nutrients. Take sunflower seeds for example. Not only are these snacks high in fiber and protein (good for keeping you full) they also are a source of key nutrients like vitamin E, folate, thiamin, niacin, and iron.

4. Know your Deficiencies

When you’re in such a fast paced environment like college, accomplishing all of the above may seem laughable. So if all you can commit to is the bare-minimum, cover your bases. If you’re prone to testing low for Vitamin D, stock up on and make a habit of eating cereal with extra milk every morning. That way you won’t get in trouble with your health down the road.

5. Supplement

No one (unless you’re a superhuman) has time to sit around and tally up the percent of every vitamin and mineral they’re consuming as part of each meal. Can you imagine sitting there with a calculator after eating a bowl of strawberries to determine how much Vitamin C your body acquired? It’s a little ridiculous to think about. And that’s why supplementing on top of a healthy diet is often an easy way to ensure you’re getting all the necessary nutrition. The percentages of each vitamin are right there on our can! There is no need to do more math than you’re already required to do for calculus class.

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