By SARAH CORNETT – EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Take one part stress, one part heavy work load, and two parts sleep deprivation and you have a recipe for a college diet disaster.
While you may think those French fries from the Grill will help you make it through Finals week, junk food has been proven to decrease your brain’s ability to focus and perform.
So next time you’re barricaded in the library or locked away in your dorm room, try out these foods for the perfect study snack.
Nothing can be more dangerous to your concentration than a sudden desire for something sweet.
After hours of hitting the books, a sugary treat may seem like the perfect reward, but be warned. High sugar foods will give your body an immediate burst of energy; however, they can also create a long-term energy crash. Instead of reaching for that king-sized candy bar, satisfy your pesky sweet tooth with a yogurt parfait.
Simply take a small bowl and layer it with a low-fat Greek yogurt, berries, and granola.
The protein in the yogurt and granola will you keep you full and motivated while the berries will fill that spoonful of sugar craving.
Chips and Hummus
A popular spread that originated in the Middle East, hummus is composed of chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, sesame paste, and lemon juice.
These ingredients have a hearty helping of Omega 3 fatty acids which have been proven to boost intelligence and concentration.
Hummus can be traditionally eaten with pita bread or pita chips for a light and crunchy treat. Hummus is also a wonderful gluten-free option if you simply substitute the pita bread or chips for your favorite veggie.
This snack is both filling and delicious, so feel free to treat yourself.
At the start of this semester, prepare for your hectic life by stocking up on walnuts, almonds, and pistachios. If you’re the type of student who is constantly on the move, then these nuts may be your saving grace.
Nuts are all naturally high in protein but low in calories and saturated fat to keep you full and focused without putting on the pounds.
You can pick one type of nut or create a varied mix for scrumptious snacking. Keep a bowl in your room for light snacking or take a bag with you for quick munching on-the-go.
A bag of popcorn is a quick and affordable way to snack smart. Pick a brand that has smaller quantities of salt and butter so you can feel free to eat a large portion without feeling guilty.
For some added flavor, sprinkle some red pepper, garlic, or oregano on your snack. If you don’t have access to your own spice rack, feel free to add raisins, pretzels, or M&Ms for variety.
This delicious snack is reserved especially for chocolate lovers. If you’re in desperate need of a chocolate fix while writing that procrastinated term paper, try combining dark chocolate and bananas.
First, melt some pieces of dark chocolate into a bowl. Next, cut up a banana or two into bite-sized pieces. From here you are free to dip the bananas in as much or as little chocolate as you like.
Dark chocolate is full of theobromine, which has lasting effects that help improve your mood.
Bananas are full of potassium which helps bring oxygen to the brain to help you concentrate on memorizing those flashcards. They are also loaded with magnesium, which aids the brain in getting rid of the waste byproduct of protein metabolism.
With the constant chaos of Centre stress, it is far too tempting to rely on greasy junk food to get you through the week. However, this junk food can have detrimental impacts on one’e energry, concentration, mood, and overall health.
So the next time you’re deeply considering the usual Taco Bell trip, Speedway run, or visit to the Grill, try one of the tasty and healthy snack alternatives instead.