Nutrition critical for students during exam season

Courtney Dickson, Roving Editor Ω

The TRU Wellness Centre held Nutrition Suspicion in Old Main on Student Street on Nov. 21 and 22, an information booth featuring healthy food samples, games and prizes.

“During the last weeks of the semester, nutrition tends to fall by the wayside for students because they have other things on their minds,” said Chelsea Corsi, wellness coordinator at TRU. “People get really overwhelmed.”

According to Corsi, nutrition is one of the key factors in the managing of stress. Along with sleep and exercise, good nutrition enhances focus and attention, she said.

Shaylin Davidson, a second-year human services practicum student, organized the two-day event with the help of Corsi, Davidson’s practicum supervisor.

“There have been quite a few people trying the unique foods,” Davidson said. The foods available to sample included, but were not limited to, starfruit, kale and dates.

Nutrition Suspicion also provided inquiring minds with a mini-cookbook. The four meals listed were found at 5dollardinners.com, making them cheap to prepare.

“Students go for easy, cheap food,” Davidson said. “It only took half an hour to prepare all the healthy snacks we have here.”

There were more than 15 trays of unique fruits and vegetables cut-up and ready to try.

Nutrition is also important for long-term health. According to a Canadian Cancer Society study, healthy eating can prevent 30 to 35 per cent of cancers and eating the suggested servings of fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 per cent.

“Students looking for a healthy snack should visit Common Grounds in the Independent Centre. The TRUSU coffee shop carries healthy, freshly prepared options,” Corsi said.

In 2006, the B.C. government attempted to introduce the Healthier Choices policy, mandating healthy options in vending machines located in government-funded institutions. The idea of the program was that it would cut healthcare costs in the future.

As universities were part of the initiative, the University of British Columbia fought this idea. They predicted a huge loss of funding used for scholarships and bursaries that came from the sale of junk-food in vending machines.

“I would like to try putting a healthy vending machine in Old Main,” Corsi said. “There is one in TRUSU and I think it does fairly well.”

To combat stress and depression unrelated to poor diet, the Wellness Centre is in the midst of organizing six to eight weeks worth of Yoga for Your Mood sessions.

“There are certain postures that relieve depression and anxiety,” Corsi said.

Two Yoga for Your Mood classes will be offered Nov. 28 in the Grand Hall.

Students regularly visit the Wellness Centre with concerns regarding overall wellness, but typically stress. Corsi’s job is to assist those seeking help to create wellness plans for themselves.

“I’m not living [students’] lives for them, but I can help them make a plan to improve stress and eating habits.”

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