While shrugging off the majority of my parents’ random worries with a casual “I don’t know” may be your first instinct, let us suggest you seriously consider your vitamin intake.
(We are not a parent, so you can take our suggestions without the slightest hint of an eye roll.)
Although having survived puberty—BO and all—bone growth continues into your early twenties. And vitamins are essential to this process as well as daily cell function and thusly tissue preservation. A balanced diet, high in nutritional value, satisfies your daily intake of essential vitamins as well as important fats, proteins, carbohydrates and fibre. Eating with vitamins in mind is a major step towards a healthy (and probably more delicious) lifestyle.
Here are four recipes inspired by three vitamins vital during young adulthood.
Vitamin A is probably best known for its maintenance of eye vision. So, yes, there is some truth to the power of carrots to improve your eyesight. They’re a great source of the vitamin as are the equally brightly coloured sweet potatoes. Vitamin A also plays a role in bone growth and teeth development
Recipe suggestion: roast carrot and sweet potato medley
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Chop as many carrots and sweet potatoes as your heart (or stomach) desires, washing, and in the case of the potatoes, scrubbing the skin beforehand. Scatter across a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika (another source of vitamin A) and bake for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
Infamously associated with oranges, vitamin C assists with immune system support and collagen production as well as serving as an antioxidant. Despite maintaining buzz word status, there is still a lot to be uncovered with regards to antioxidants and disease prevention. Simply speaking, they neutralize free radicals—unstable, harmful molecules—and thus prevent cellular damage. Find your vitamin C in citrus fruits, and if you like a little heat, chilis.
Recipe suggestion: spicy deviled eggs and citrus BBQ sauce
Between academics and the emotional toils of college, brain health is top priority as a student. Folate, one of the B vitamins, helps produce red blood cells and is often highly recommended during pregnancy. In the case of your brain, the technicalities of biochemistry aside, this form of B vitamin is required to create serotonin, a neurotransmitter or brain chemical responsible for mood. Folate naturally occurs in dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli as well as dried legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans.
Recipe suggestion: spinach pesto pasta
Bring a pot of water to boil and prepare your favourite pasta, saving half a cup of pasta water. In a food processor or blender combine half a cup of your favourite nut, a quarter cup of olive oil, one bundle of fresh spinach, half a cup of Parmesan cheese and one clove of garlic and blend until smooth. If too chunky, add more oil, or if too watery, add more nuts or spinach. Toss the pasta, saved water and pesto together to finish.