08
Feb
10

What’s in a Noodle?

Raman Noodles picture

Are you mad about food?  Instead of being what you eat, you actually may think like you eat.  Studies are showing that food is an important factor in mental health.  As college students, you may tend to blow off several issues of physical and mental health.  Do you get enough sleep?  Are you eating properly, or is pizza, raman noodles and peanut butter and crackers your principle diet?

Now Mental Health is not something most people feel comfortable talking about.  Being young, strong and vivacious, may allow you to stretch yourself to limits older folks only dream about, but if you aren’t managing your health, it can soon manage you.

According to statistics, 10 percent of students entering college already have trouble with depression.  Each year about one in five Americans experience a diagnosable psychiatric disability, which includes major depressive disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002.  Major mental illness often occurs between ages 18-25—a time when many young adults are seeking postsecondary education, preparing for future careers, and developing social relationships.  So the statistics tell you that the developmental age for college students can cause some to become unhinged and disconnected from reality.

But back to food!  Yes food can be part of how to stay healthy mentally.  The Mediterranean diet is supposed to help us keep healthier in many ways, but research has shown that it has a direct impact on dementia (http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/08/mediterranean.diet.brain/index.html).  Now that study really is about old folks and their health habits.  Yet we all know the average diet of a college student is subpar.  Yet most of us know that unless our grandmom is living with us, we have little chance of eating such a vibrant diet.

“Irregular class schedules, part-time jobs, and variable homework loads can disrupt normal eating patterns among college students, leading to unhealthy habits that may be hard to break. Despite these difficulties, it is important for students to find time for nutritious and varied foods.” (Read more at the following site: http://www.diet.com/store/facts/college-students-diets-of)

How many of you have realized your grades are dependent on how well you retain information?  Well if you eat well, you are able to retain more information and do better on tests, let alone manage stress and anxiety.  Without proper sleep, exercise and nutrition, you can really disable your noodle.  Comment with your experiences!

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