When it comes to student eating habits, the facts and figures vary widely. A good number take their nutrition seriously, some mean well, forcing the odd apple or banana begrudgingly between their lips, and others, well… they’re still in the Hula hoops for breakfast stage, relying on home cooking during family visits to keep them from collapsing.
It’s a common assumption amongst many students that healthy foods are expensive, but don’t be fooled by the Guardian’s healthy eating guide, because you don’t need to max out your overdraft on Kale, Spirulina and Acai berries to improve your nutrition. In fact, eating a healthy, study boosting diet is perfectly possible on a frugal budget.
So, cards on the table, is your diet up to the challenge of all the coursework deadlines and exams you’re going to face at uni? If not, then don’t worry. You’re still young, and you can change things. In fact, you can start now by studying our infographic – you’ll find plenty of tips and advice on finding the right food - at the right price - to boost your studies.
Are you eating well?
Less than 1/5th of students eat healthily.
74% of students eat one portion of fruit or veg a day.
1/3rd eat little or no fruit and vegetables.
Lack of time, equipment and utensils restrict creativity in the student kitchen.
1 in 10 students miss one meal a day.
Students spend an average £20 on alcohol and £10 on food per week.
Over half of students cite lack of funds as the reason they don’t eat well.
Exams and deadlines are key factors in students neglecting their diet.
79% of students try to eat well.
Get your five a day!
When it comes to studying, your mind needs to be sharp. And that goes doubly so during exams. Making sure you eat five portions of fruit, vegetables and pulses a day is a great way to boost your brainpower. So what makes a portion?
5cm slice of melon
1 apple, banana or orange
2 plums, satsumas or kiwi fruit
A handful of raisins or sultanas
5cm slice of cucumber
2 broccoli spears
3 tablespoons of sweetcorn, carrots or peas
4 tablespoons of spinach or green beans
7 cherry tomatoes
3 heaped tablespoons of baked beans, kidney beans or chickpeas.
Food for thought
Swap the energy drinks and chips for some of these brain boosters….
Fish Omega-3 fatty acids improve memory, focus and problem-solving.
Avocados Monounsaturated fats mean healthy blood flow to your brain.
Berries Flavonoids boost recall and reasoning skills.
Nuts Fatty acids in walnuts and pistachios energise your mind.
Eggs Chock full of memory enhancing choline.
Dark chocolate Increases blood flow to your brain.
Bananas Contain the perfect amount of glucose for peak mental performance.
Green tea A smooth and stable caffeine boost compared to coffee.
Eating right when money is tight
Scour the reduced aisle in your local supermarket for bargains.
Always buy fresh veg rather than peeled and prepared produce.
Eat with the seasons. Salads in the summer and hearty vegetables in the winter.
Stock up on cheap tinned foods such as chickpeas and sweetcorn.
Use frozen vegetables to bulk out meat dishes.
Frozen berries are cheap and can be stored. They’re delicious when added to natural yogurt.
Add tinned chickpeas or lentils to a curry base instead of meat.
Buy basic ingredients in bulk with your housemates.
Eat well, live well
A good diet won’t just boost your studies, it will keep you feeling energised, improve your mood, and generally help you get the most out of student life. It’s one of many factors that will help you enjoy your uni experience. Having a safe, comfortable and relaxing place to stay is just as important, so check out our locations to see what we can offer you.