How to incorporate your 7-a-day into your university diet
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As a university student, it can be hard to eat regularly, let alone consume your 7-a-day. An obvious tip is to plan your meals out weekly, you’re more likely to factor in your 7-a-day this way. This will help you visualise the foods you’re eating and identify whether you need to incorporate more fruits or vegetables.
Here are a few tips that can help you do this.
A great way to incorporate your 7-a-day into breakfast is through something simple like porridge. Add your favourite fruits, nuts, and seeds. Some of my favourite things to add are apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar or strawberries, raspberries, and honey.
Alternatively, if sweet breakfasts aren’t your thing, a delicious savoury breakfast idea is an omelette with spinach. Spinach is a great source of iron and vitamins A, C, and K. It would pair well with some chilli flakes, feta cheese and a slice of toast on the side.
A personal favourite is avocado on toast. Avocado has a creamy taste and is an easy way to consume 1 of your 7-a-day. You can crush it in a bowl mixing it with some chilli, lime juice and some feta to taste. This would pair nicely with eggs on the side.
While it is easy to grab a meal deal, making lunches the night before is beneficial for saving money, developing your cooking skills and making a meal that caters to your tastes.
Pasta remains a staple student dish because of how easy it is to make and can be a great lunch prepared the night before. Adding some of your favourite vegetables to your pasta or the sauce base is quick and simple. My personal favourite is broccoli, it is a great source of vitamin K and C. Make sure to steam it, so you don’t lose any of those water-soluble vitamins. Other vegetables that are easy to throw in are mushrooms, aubergine, peppers, courgette, or spinach. Just fry them up and add some seasoning to taste.
A nutritious, vegetable-dense dinner is stir fry. You can add an array of vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, baby corn, peppers, green beans, and mushrooms. Depending on your taste, maybe opting to add some meat, prawns, or fake meat alternatives. Stir fry is easy to make and tastes delicious with some spices, such as soya sauce, paprika, lime juice, and garlic powder.
Great additions for this dish to make up more of your 7-a-day include peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, and lentils. They have a long shelf life and can be used to add substance to other meals like any curry, stew, or even bolognaise.
Snacking is something that a lot of us tend to do, especially while studying. The problem is when we find ourselves reaching for the wrong snacks. It is easy to grab something unhealthy that will leave you unsatisfied but there are healthy alternatives that can provide a great energy boost.
Frozen grapes are a great example of this, once frozen they are a lot more enjoyable and it’s a great way to change up the way you eat fruit. You could also try dried fruits such as raisins or mango with some nuts. This tastes great and is easy to throw in your bag when you’re in a rush. Fruits like apples, pears or bananas can be made more appetising with a nut butter of your choice on the side.
Again, if you prefer something savoury, sugar snap peas are a healthy snack. They can be eaten raw and are a great source of fibre. Either eat them on their own or grab your favourite dip. Alternatively, edamame beans are easy to make in the microwave and when seasoned with some salt and pepper make for a delectable snack.