Michelle Barbero | Staff Writer
On Thursday March 30, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in IRC 1, the Eat Outside the Lines team, a group composed of five interns at the Office of Health Education, educated students about five nutrition topics. Each of the five Dietetics students presented a topic that worked to promote healthier eating choices and debunk nutrition myths.
One topic discussed was when a person should eat. Skipping meals can cause negative changes within your body and mind. Not eating food for meals regularly can cause people to binge eat, which is when people eat more than they normally would in one sitting to make up for the meals the person skipped out on. In addition, skipping meals can lead to an increase in stress and a decrease in happiness, as well as a decrease in the ability to concentrate on coursework. The vitamins and minerals that people get from eating stable meals have an important impact on the mind. For example, chromium and zinc help people with depression, and iron helps people with ADHD and fatigue. It is also recommended to eat foods that are rich with protein so that one is exposed to amino acids that positively affect one’s mood. Carbohydrates are also important because they increase serotonin levels in the brain.
Another topic presented on nutrition’s effect on mental health more in depth. A problem that a lot of college students have is the inability to stop stress eating. Stress eating leads to the consumption of excess amounts of unhealthy foods. Some tips to stop stress eating include drinking water or tea, going for a walk to clear your mind, or engaging in a favorite hobby. Foods that are beneficial include walnuts, oatmeal, oranges, blueberries, cashews, avocados, dark chocolate, or asparagus. These foods help produce energy for the body. Comfort foods are only a short-term solution to stress, and can cause weight gain.
Besides stress, another topic that college students are mindful of is their appearance. A healthy diet does have an impact on hair, nails,
and skin. The Eat Outside the Lines team recommends that students try taking multivitamins, because there is no “magic pill” to help hair and nails grow. It is always better to try fixing your diet to include more vitamins and minerals before trying out supplements. Vitamin C helps with collagen synthesis, which helps the growth of nails. Protein assists with the growth of nails and hair, because nails and hair are made up of keratin, which is a protein. Iron will help make one’s nails less brittle.
The key to healthy skin is to stay hydrated by drinking water and to eat fruits and vegetables every day, as they are full of antioxidants. One common myth that was discussed is that dairy will cause and worsen acne. The team’s advice towards this myth is that if you do cut out dairy and see your skin clearing up, stick with that plan. But if you do this, you must make sure to find a substitute for dairy so that you still receive vitamin D and calcium.
Make sure to follow Eat Outside the Lines on Instagram for more information on upcoming events and nutrition tips geared towards college students.