Listening to your body is probably one of the most important things you can do for yourself. In college, healthy food options can be hard to find. You can’t really afford to be picky about your food either. I always want to eat healthy, but sometimes I don’t have that many options. Salads are satisfying in the moment, but it doesn’t take long for my stomach to start to growling from hunger. Recently, I’ve been noticing that my habits might not be the best thing for me. I noticed that I don’t ever feel 100%. There’s always something that doesn’t feel good, whether it’s my head or my stomach.
Photo: Brooke Lark on Unsplash
I’ve been doing a lot of research over the past week, and by research, I mean watching a lot of health and fitness YouTubers. I realized that my stomach might not be in the best condition as a result of the food that I have been eating, and this can happen to anyone at any time. I think this is particularly relevant for college students due to the lack of healthy variety that we are offered. What you eat can impact not only your stomach and weight, but your mental health as well. Eating too much junk food can actually give you less mental clarity, make you more tired, and make it harder to focus. All of these things have been happening to me and now I understand why.
I would like to share some of the tips I have learned for those who are also feeling like me and may want to try and become a little healthier. The first tip I’ve learned is that you should probably cut down on your dairy and gluten intake because both of them, especially gluten, contribute to the brain fogginess that I’ve been feeling. I’m not saying that you should completely cut those out because I don’t even think I could do that. I love ice cream and pasta way too much. However, I definitely consume way more of those types of foods than is probably good for me. I recently bought almond milk as a replacement to use in my coffee and oatmeal, and I actually really recommend it.
The next thing I learned is that you should start eating anti-inflammatory and prebiotic foods. I know this sounds a little intimidating, but you are likely eating a lot of foods that fall under these categories already. You can google what foods are in each category, and some of them are really yummy. These food groups include berries, apples, bananas, oatmeal, green tea, and cocoa. Clearly, they are all pretty good foods. Adding more of these into your diet will decrease bloating and stomach aches, which will make you feel better overall.
I’ve started doing these little things, in addition to regular exercise, and I can tell you that I already feel a lot better. Most of the fruit is pretty cheap to buy on your own, and most dining halls offer some sort of fruit option. If you can buy your own snacks, you definitely should so you can bring them with you when you get hungry. That way you won’t have to buy junk food to snack on. Remember to listen to your body, especially when you get stressed, and take into account what you need to do to make yourself feel better.
My name is Emma Berry, I'm 20 years old and I am a junior at the College of the Holy Cross. I'm an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. I also joined the Pre-Business program, as I hope to get a job in the publishing field after I graduate. I basically run on iced coffee and when I have free time I love to just read or watch Netflix (and Game of Thrones).