Eat good, read good

New school year, why not new eats too

September brings the turning of a new leaf as seasons move on, school starts and routines fall into a different beat. As times change and rearrange, why not do the same to your diet?

Any time is a good time to eat healthier. Especially if it’s known to affect how you focus in class, or anywhere for that matter. So come, let’s cleanse the summer months and learn how to eat a few leaves this fall instead of just stepping on them.

Thankfully, there are options to eat well on a time and monetary budget around campus. Ian Vickers from Diversity Foods Services explains that healthy options are a must.

“All of our food is created considering how students can best optimize their nutritional content,” Vickers says. “We try to process the food minimally to protect the integrity of the nutrients and we want to feed students fuel that they can learn on and not just empty carbs.”

Start at the salad and burrito bar to customize a dish with fresh veggies or go to Café Bodhi for 100 per cent in-house produced soups.

Around town there are great options like Good Food Box from the Winnipeg Foodshare Co-op where $8 to $20 boxes of in-season fruits and veggies can be delivered straight to a depot near you, including one in the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association office.

According to Dr. Danielle Stringer, a kinesiology and applied health faculty member at the University of Winnipeg, the consumption of these types of foods is crucial to how the body will function, including our state of mind.

“Nutrients in food play so many diverse roles in the body and there isn't a single system in the body that isn't affected when nutrition is poor,” Stringer says. “Food acts as a fuel for the brain, so the better the quality of the fuel it has access to, the higher performance you will get from it.”

Nutrients are what get people going. Not just a single kind but a balanced combination of them all. In order to achieve an array of nutrients, Stringer stresses that variety is crucial in a diet as is staying away from sugar, sodium and skipping meals.

“It’s important to eat an adequate amount of food. This can be challenging for students, I know, who are often times on tight budgets or are feeling the stress of life, school and work,” Stringer says. “But it is so important to give your body the energy it needs to concentrate.”

Eating is necessary. And eating right can empower the brain to do its thing in a more effective way. Whether it needs to be thinking about new classes, new jobs or new bus routes, it can gather the nutrients necessary to do so from a new and improved diet.

This fall, crisp, bright, unprocessed food is making a comeback.

Published in Volume 70, Number 1 of The Uniter (September 10, 2015)

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