by Hannah Lank
Too often university assignments fuel students’ junk food cravings. Yet regardless of what your body may be telling you, Oreos and Chips Ahoy aren’t actually what you need to get you through writing that 15-page essay. You’ve probably heard this before, but let me say it again: you will regret eating ten Oreos about ten minutes after you’ve indulged. And, no, they won’t help you focus.
But say you’re actually hungry at 11 pm. Studying uses up a lot of brain energy—you need to replenish those stores. There are certainly “healthier” snacks that’ll take your mind off food and back to your notes.
The first one, the classic, is popcorn. It’s easy to make, satisfies your salty craving and certainly isn’t as bad for you as store-bought cookies. The air-popped version even allows you to control the amount of added salt and fat. If you’re craving something sweet, you could munch on some kettle corn. Although addictive, it at least contains fibre.
Second on my list of top-choice snacks is dark chocolate-covered dried fruit. Dark chocolate and fruit both offer the obvious nutritional benefits. If you buy single serving-portioned packages, you’ll control how much you eat when your mind is elsewhere—namely not on portion control. Again, like popcorn, if time and energy permits prepare your own homemade version.
Melt dark chocolate chips in a glass or stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Once melted dip your favourite dried or fresh fruit in the chocolate before setting aside and allowing the chocolate-dipped fruit to set.
Lastly, I recommend the surprisingly satisfying unsweetened Greek yogurt with fruit.
As a university student, nutritional value and portion control aren’t a top priority. I get it. But what you fuel your body with will impact your academic performance, so put down that box of birthday cake Oreos and grab a healthy substitution instead. You’ll quieten both your stomach and guilt.