College is a time when it’s hard to get a minute to ourselves; the all-nighters, back-to-back classes, and dreaded exam weeks are extremely stressful. All that stress can take a lot out of us and have us feeling sleepy and unmotivated. While the best solution is getting a full nights’ sleep (7 – 8 hours), this isn’t always possible, but that doesn’t mean running to the nearest convenience store to grab a Snickers bar for a sugar fix. Here is a list of healthy fatigue-fighting foods that will give a busy co-ed that extra boost without crashing:
A dose of probiotics may be just what you need to keep going. Believe it or not, irregular digestion is a big cause for fatigue. With all of that college stress, it’s not unusual for your digestive system to be a little off. Yogurt will restore the “good bacteria” in your digestive tract to have you back to normal.
Oatmeal, or wheat cereal
Plain, old-fashioned oatmeal may not sound too appealing, but your digestive system would beg to differ. The quantity of fiber in oats or whole-grain cereal will make your energy last longer while contributing no additional calories. To spruce up this traditional breakfast food, add a tablespoon of peanut butter for some protein. Protein and fiber are a great combination because protein provides energy and fiber makes that energy last.
The best energy-booster is carbohydrates. Choose whole grains packed with complex carbs rather than refined carbs because your body digests them slowly, keeping your blood sugar stable, where as refined carbs like sugary cereals or foods made with white flour give you a quick spike of energy then a big crash, leaving you even more tired than before! Super-grains like quinoa and couscous are great whole grain options that are extremely versatile.
These omega-3 fatty-acid-packed nuts reduce symptoms of fatigue, as does any food with “good fats,” such as salmon. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids bring many health benefits to the table; heart health, reduced risk of diabetes and obesity, immune system support, and balance of emotions (reduced anxiety, depression and stress.)
Yes, you read right. If you’re going to reach for a candy bar, make sure it’s dark chocolate, preferably with a high percentage of cocoa. Studies have shown that the polyphenols in this sweet treat raise your levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that promotes happiness, which results in more energy and less fatigue.
If you’re feeling unusually tired and unmotivated, there are many factors that may be contributing to that such as a poor diet, lack of sleep, not enough exercise, and stress. As co-eds consumed in our studies and social life, we often forget about the importance of staying healthy and this eventually takes a toll on our bodies, leaving us in a slump. If you want to make it through your busy weeks headstrong, snack on these five fatigue-fighting foods and don’t forget to get your sweat on!
Raquel Santos is a senior at Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @raqueltossi. To stay tuned to more articles for classy co-eds be sure to follow College Lifestyles on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.