What are the first words you think of when you think of college food? Cheesy? Greasy? Carb-loaded? Do you ever think of how healthy your college diet is? Probably not. And if you do, it’s in a “See? I’m eating vegetables….on my 3am deep dish pizza that I’m dipping in ranch and washing down with a Natty Ice” sorta way.
While most college campuses provide healthy options, it’s almost impossible to get all the nutrients you need daily. Because let’s be honest: what’s more appealing? A bacon cheeseburger, or a garden salad with dressing on the side?
But because of that (and the many other poor choices we make for our bodies) there is a serious vitamin deficiency in the diets of college girls. And it’s during this time that a girl needs all the vitamins she can get! So here’s a quick list of all the nutrients you must be getting daily to live stress-free and healthy!
Vitamin A: You can get this vitamin by eating liver, orange fruits and vegetables like cantaloupe and carrots and sweet potatoes, and dark green leafy vegetables like kale and collards and spinach. Vitamin A is crucial to eyesight and healthy skin.
B Vitamins (B6, B12, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin): You can get these vitamins by eating avocado, banana, beans, cereal, meats, oatmeal, poultry, seeds, cheese, eggs, fish, milk, and yogurt. These vitamins are key to a healthy metabolism, normal cell division, protein synthesis, and proper brain function.
Vitamin C: You can get this vitamin by eating broccoli, grapefruit and grapefruit juice, kiwi, oranges, pepper, potato, strawberries, and tomato. Vitamin C boosts alertness and increases concentration, which are things every college girl could use. Plus, vitamin C helps you heal faster!
Folic Acid (Folate): You can get this vitamin by eating spinach and greens, asparagus, citrus fruits, melons, strawberries, fortified grains, legumes, beans like chickpeas and black beans, nutritional yeast, eggs, and organ meats like liver. Folic acid is key to the development of the central nervous system by aiding the creation of DNA and RNA. Folic acid also prevents alterations to DNA that can lead to cancer.
Vitamin E: You can get this vitamin by eating margarine, corn oil, cod-liver oil, hazelnuts, peanut butter, safflower oil, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ. Vitamin E slows down aging of your body as well as aids in the formation of red blood cells. Plus, it makes sure the membranes of your cells remain strong.
Iron: You can get this vitamin by eating fortified breakfast cereals, beans, green leafy vegetables, and meat. Iron is especially important for women because we tend to deplete of iron quickly due to menstruation. Iron depletion can lead to fatigue, irritability, and headaches.
Vitamin K: You can get this vitamin by eating green leafy vegetables, soybean oil, broccoli, alfalfa, cooked spinach, and fish oil. Vitamin K promotes strong bones and helps maintain normal blood clotting.
Vitamin D: You can get this vitamin by eating fish and by, happily, lounging out in the sun (after slathering on the SPF, of course)! Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions as a hormone in the body. Vitamin D helps activate calcium and phosphorus, two vitamins that are instrumental in keeping your bones strong.
Now you’re probably asking how on earth you can get all these vitamins in daily. You can! Knowing which vitamins are good for you, I found a daily multivitamin that includes all the nutrients you’ll ever need without having to slave over what healthy foods you should eat. It’s called One-A-Day Women’s multivitamin and it is recommended by the Women’s Health magazine. Personally, I take it myself and there’s a huge difference between the way I felt before I started having a healthier diet versus my energy levels now after taking vitamin supplements. So check it out! (Just don’t take it until you have some food in your belly; vitamins can make you nauseous.) You’ll feel healthier and stronger and definitely stress-free knowing your body is getting the nutrients it needs to develop properly.