Here is a great tip for eating right: Start with breakfast. When your mother told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, she wasn’t kidding. Did you know 30 percent of the calories you take in go to metabolic activities in your brain, and guess what: Your brain is extremely active during your sleep cycle. When you wake up, you need to feed it, lest your awareness, reasoning and memory retrieval mechanisms will not function to their full capacity.
So what can you eat in the morning to give your brain and body what they need to start the day right?
My suggestion is oatmeal or a bran cereal with blueberries and nuts with low-fat milk. Oatmeal and bran cereals are rich sources of whole grains, which have been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. Anything that promotes healthy blood flow is great for you and your brain.
Depending on the brand, this breakfast choice can be high in iron, also important for healthy blood flow. The blueberries are not just delicious but an amazing superfood as they are full of antioxidants. Evidence has also suggested that those who eat blueberries have a higher learning capacity - great for finals week.
Nuts are also great for cognitive health and a source of healthy fats and protein.
After breakfast, meals should have a variety of naturally colored vegetables and lean meats. As a rule of thumb, the more colorful your plate is the better. Rich colors indicate high levels of nutrients, and these veggies - if roasted, sautéed or eaten raw - are low in calories and yummy.
Lunch: A great meal to have, either on campus at Mary Jemison Dining Hall or off campus, is a salad filled with veggies and a grilled chicken breast, tofu, or hard-boiled eggs
Basically, you can deconstruct your favorite sandwich; subtract the bread, add a few more veggies and put it on some fresh spinach, or any other dark, leafy green, which is full of iron and vitamin K. Remember to go easy on the dressings, as most store-bought dressings are highly caloric and full of sugar.
For dinner, again stick with the colorful vegetables and lean meats. If you must have bread or pasta during the day, have it at lunch and not with dinner. It is better to do this because after dinner those heavy carbs will not be metabolized since we generally aren’t as active in the evening.
Finally, if you need dessert, go for a moderate amount of low-fat frozen yogurt with dark chocolate chips and berries. Dark chocolate and most berries are superfoods because they are full of antioxidants and nutrients and provide a feasible way to satisfy that sweet tooth.