Moving out of home for college is the first time many people are responsible for everything they eat. This can prove to be a challenge for many of us and it can be easy to fall towards fast foods, convenience foods that are ready to go, however many of these convivence options have added salt and are higher in fat and lacking in nutrients and so are not ideal. You would be surprised how easy it can be to cook a fresh meal at home yourself that is nutritious, tasty and fast. For some quick and handy, nutrition packed recipes see our recipes area. However, many of these are lacking in essential nutrients which are vital to keep your energy up for all the late-night parties and study cramming.
Here are some key nutrients to keep in mind when planning meals or doing your weekly shopping:
Protein helps the body to grow and repair and also provides us with energy. You can add protein to any meal as it is available in loads of different types of foods. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and beans all provide protein. Adding an egg to your morning toast or some nuts to your porridge. Having some fish or meat with dinner will also contribute protein. Adding a tin of beans to your dinner will give you protein and also fibre. Adults need about 0.83 g of protein per kg of body weight. The food pyramid recommends two portions per day of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans or nuts
Carbohydrates also give us energy to keep running from lecture to lecture while partying half the night. Carbohydrates are found in most foods but the main sources would be wholegrain cereals, breads, pasta, rice and potatoes. Opting for wholegrain or brown options of cereals, breads, pasta and rice will increase your daily fibre intake. Aim for 3-5 servings per day for women and up to 7 portions for men.
Fruit and vegetables are a great source of fibre in the diet for individuals with Coeliac disease as they are naturally gluten free. Keep the skin on your fruit when eating them where possible to add more fibre. Fruit and vegetables also provide a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to the diet such as vitamin C, folate, potassium. Aim to include 5-7 portions of fruit and vegetables in the diet each day. When choosing fruit and vegetables to include in your meal opt for a variety of colours. The more variety in fruit and vegetables included in the diet and the greater variety of colour ensures that you are eating a good range of different nutrients. It is important that we consume an array of nutrients in each meal throughout the week as they all work together. Frozen fruit and vegetables are just as good as fresh options so having a bag of mixed vegetables or fruits in the freezer is always handy to add into any meal.
Fibre is essential in the diet for gut health as it maintains a healthy balance of gut bacteria and aids immunity. Fibre also helps to prevent constipation. As mentioned before, fruit and vegetables are naturally gluten free sources of fibre in the diet. Fibre is also found in whole gluten free wholemeal pasta, bread, spaghetti and cereals. Nuts and seeds are handy snacks to take with you to lectures which are also packed full of fibre. Adults need about 30g of fibre in the diet per day. Adding a 2 dessert spoons of seeds for example gluten free milled linseed, chia seeds or flaxseeds can add roughly 6g of fibre to your meal. You can add beans, lentils or chickpeas to a stew, Bolognese or curry to add more