As most college students have figured out eating a healthy diet at school can sometimes be a little tricky. Between late night pizza and the all you can eat college dining halls, we can forget to leave room for fruits and veggies, which are packed with the important vitamins and nutrients we need to function.
In order to keep our bodies working at their best, we need to provide them with the vitamins that they need. Even though it’s no secret gummy vitamins are absolutely delicious, they don’t always get us all the necessary vitamins.
If you can maintain a healthy diet, you can get most of your vitamins through food, which is the best way to absorb them. If you are already getting your vitamins from food, and take supplements in addition, this can result in having more than the recommended doses of vitamins, which can be harmful in some cases. I know, who would’ve thought.
Lots of research has also been done on the effectiveness of multivitamins, and it shows that they generally do not boost health. So save some money on pills and buy some vitamin-rich food instead.
So, help your body out and incorporate some of these foods in your diet and I’m sure you’ll feel better, get sick less and have more energy for those all-nighters. AKA: things we all need.
Who doesn’t want healthy hair, eyes and skin? Well, all you have to do is load up on some vitamin A foods and you are halfway there. Vitamin A is made up of two types of vitamins. There is the active form of vitamin A, retinoids, which you can get from tuna, eggs, butter, cheese, milk, and if you are feeling adventurous the highest amounts of vitamin A are found in beef liver.
The other part of vitamin A is beta-carotene, which comes from plants. Sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes and butternut squash get their beautiful orange color from their high amounts of Beta-carotene. Kale and romaine lettuce are not orange, but also have high amounts of vitamin A.
Since vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, make sure you are eating these foods alongside fats in order to maximize their benefits.
B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that are key players in energy production and immune function. In general, when you are taking a B vitamin, you are taking Vitamin B Complex. This is because there are several B vitamins with different names that are packed into the pill.
The different B vitamins are thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), biotin, folic acid and the cobalamins (vitamin B12).
If you wanna know what each of these B vitamins do check out this article.
So, instead of trying to take all of these separately, you can just focus on eating B vitamin rich foods. To get your vitamin B6 and B12, have one cup of plain yogurt and a banana or one ounce of sunflower seeds, or three ounces of roast beef.
Whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, beans, yeast and molasses are also great sources of all the B vitamins.
Try one of these B vitamin rich recipes next time you need that extra boost of energy.
Vitamin C is probably the most talked about vitamin because has also been known to lessen the duration and symptoms of a common cold, and even if you don’t have a cold, it helps support healthy immune function so you can avoid the health center. Vitamin C increases the amount of interferon, a protein in our bodies which interferes with replication of viruses.
The first thing people associate with getting over a cold is vitamin C so we’re always told to drink orange juice on the reg. Well, I’m telling you to skip the orange juice and have some strawberries, papaya, pineapple, kiwi or mango instead.
Vitamin C is not only great for treating colds, but it also strengthens blood vessels, gives skin its elasticity (hello anti-aging), helps with anti-oxidant function and increases iron absorption.
All of these foods contain higher amounts of vitamin C than oranges, so load up on them. And if you want some vegetables with the higher amount of vitamin C incorporate kale (#kale), bell peppers, chili peppers or broccoli into your diet.
Vitamin D is essential to have all the time because it is important for cell growth, immunity and keeping your bones strong and the reduction of inflammation. Studies have shown that people with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to get sick than those with higher levels. This is because having the optimal levels of vitamin D helps you fight infections of all kinds.
Stock up on foods like fatty fish (tuna and salmon), cheese, and egg yolks #brunchin to get your vitamin D levels up and keep from getting sick. Also if you’re #blessed enough to be living somewhere sunny and warm, go spend some time in the sun to simulate vitamin D production in your body … but don’t forget your sunscreen, we don’t need wrinkles up in here.
Next time you want a fab dose of vitamin D try this salmon and scrambled egg combo.
#SpoonTip: Vitamin D also helps balance seasonal moodiness. Can you say winning??
If you wanted a reason to eat more chocolate and drink more coffee: listen up.
Magnesium may not be the most talked about mineral, but it is extremely important. Fun fact: the average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium. So it’s pretty important it remains that way. Magnesium is vital in over 300 chemical reactions to keep the body functioning.
Magnesium is used by every single organ in the body. Most of it is stored in your bones, where it is used for biological functions. Many people are deficient in magnesium and don’t even know it. So to keep from being one of those people load up on legumes, whole grains, broccoli, squash, green leafy vegetable, seeds, almonds, chocolate and coffee.
If you are one of those peeps who craves chocolate on the reg, you may be deficient in magnesium. It could be your body asking for the magnesium that it needs, or you could be like me and just live off chocolate. Either way, you should eat some chocolate and keep your magnesium levels in check. That’s my expert opinion.
Foods with zinc are great to incorporate into your diet when you’re starting to feel that cold come on. Although zinc will not help prevent a cold, it is great for treating one. Zinc has been known to shorten colds if taken within the first day of symptoms. Since it has immune boosting and protective effects, it may stop the replication of a cold’s cell.
Foods that have high amounts of zinc are spinach, pumpkin seeds, cashews and cocoa. These foods protect your cell membranes by fighting off free radicals and supports overall immune function. So next time you’re sick, load up on these and your cold may be a few days shorter. Throw aside that Emergen-C and indulge in this this zinc-rich salad next time you feel a little under the weather.