Eating Healthy on a Student Budget

Anxiety and depression is on the rise world wide. So many of us who suffer from these mental illnesses are on medication and will at some point or another find that the meds make us feel worse. The longer you are on medication the more harmful they become to your physical and mental health.
Getting the correct micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals and fatty acids) that your body needs has a direct and scientifically proven impact on not just your physical but also mental health.
Worldwide studies have shown that getting the correct micro-nutrients can calm prison inmates, help patients with PTSD and anxiety and halt mental deterioration in the elderly. Starting early sounds like a good idea, right?
Starting early ensures that you get the best out of life and it is a lot easier than you think.

So what is a healthy diet and how can you, as a newly independent student, have one on a limited budget? A great start is to eat an unprocessed diet full of whole fruits and veggies and healthy proteins like fish and legumes.

Being a student often means eating take-out, quick and easy (not always healthy) meals, instant noodles and generally food on the go. Late nights and early mornings often mean eating what is easily available and cheap. These often mean that it is highly processed and full of salt, sugar and preservatives that you do not need.

Here are five easy, fast and healthy ways to improve your diet as a student as well as a few tips on how you can reduce food waste

  1. Buy cheaper protein. Having a steak is great but expensive and totally not needed. Eggs, milk, cheese and tinned fish is a great way to get in the needed protein without breaking the bank. Also try to eat at least two vegetarian meals a week and include beans and other legumes.
  2. Eat at home. This one is a no brainer. By eating at home and cooking yourself you know exactly what is going into your body. You can manage the salt content that is often very high in pre-packed and processed foods.
  3. Plan your meals and prep ahead. This way you can go to the shop with a list of what you need, and you can take an hour or so and make your lunches ahead of time.
  4. While we are at the shops, buy frozen fruit and veggies. They last longer and are just as good as the fresh stuff. You might be tempted to buy some tins but avoid these as much as possible as they tend to have way more sugar and salt. You just don’t need that.
  5. When eating fresh there is one BIG rule. Buy what you need. Because the food is unprocessed and does not contain preservatives it will go off and pretty quickly at that. If you love bananas but you know you will not eat an entire pre-packed bag, go to the loose fruit side and take three or four only. Food that goes off before you can consume it is money wasted.

Now go out, manage your own health and be a better person.