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With a mixture of exams, homework and stress, eating healthy may not be on everyone’s mind. Even with a campus surrounded by cheap junk food, students can find alternative ways to eat healthy without emptying their pockets.

“Healthy eating is well correlated with better performance, students who eat better do better,” said Stephanie De Maio, a registered clinical dietitian at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

The top five:

Try: Granola bits and omega-3 yogurt

Kick: Oily in-the-bag potato chips

Omega-3 enriched yogurt can be a great substitute for saturated fat filled chips. Omega-3 is full of nutrients that helps your immune system.

Try: A variety of nuts (walnuts are the best)

Kick: Butter or caramel flavoured popcorn

Nuts can provide vitamin E and a source of fiber. Nuts are also versatile and can be used in any meal for extra flavour.

Try: Avocados spreads and dips

Kick: Butter spreads

Avocados are filled with antioxidants and vitamin E that can boost your energy during exams or stress. On top of that, avocados taste great as spreads and dips for light snacks.

Try: Olives

Kick: Gummi bears

Olives are a good source of monounsaturated fats, which help the body receive iron. They are also a low-calorie snack themselves and are great for meals on-the-go.

Try: Salmon for dinner

Kick: Red meats for dinner Fish is a great alternative dinner to fast food or red meat, which contains polyunsaturated fats. Cooked salmon is a great source of omega-3.

Choosing the right foods during stress-related times in particular, is important for students to have energy De Maio explains. “Eating healthy is linked to your immune system,” she said. “We don’t want students to miss class.”

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