The Healthy College Student’s Checklist:

July 01, 2013 | By Naomi Bryant | General, Children's Health, General, Stress | Share
The Healthy College Student’s Checklist:

Keeping college kids healthy during the school year can be like running a marathon uphill. Poor diet, very little sleep, increase in stress and living in close quarters are just some of the health challenges college kids face today. Fortunately, natural medicine can give students an advantage when it comes to supporting the immune system, improving nutrition and managing stress and focus.

Immune system support

  • Immunizations are an important topic that should be considered for most college students. The congregation of new friends in the dorms, sororities and fraternities can be a very fun part of the college experience. Unfortunately, this close living can also promote the spread of illness quickly. We recommend you consider the following vaccines before going to school—Meningococcal conjugate (MCV), Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis (Tdap), and Influenza (“flu shot”). These vaccines in particular can help prevent diseases such as meningitis, influenza (flu), and pertussis which can spread more rapidly with close contact. The MCV and Tdap vaccines can be received before they leave for college and the flu shot is typically given in the fall months.
  • Probiotics are a great way to support your own defenses against illness. Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in the colon and communicate with over 80% of the immune system lining the digestive tract. People who take probiotic supplements were found to get less colds and flu. They also had less severe illness and for a shorter period of time. We recommend Ortho Biotic by Orthomolecular for a potent probiotic that does not need to be refrigerated. One capsule per day may be enough to keep the doctor away.

Nutritional Support

  • For college students, a multivitamin can provide many nutrients that are missing with a diet full of fast food, late night snack foods and in many cases significant quantities of alcohol. Phytomulti by Metagenics combines a basic multivitamin with extracts of fruits and vegetables for a more complete nutritional support supplement. One or two tablets per day can be a good nutritional insurance policy for a busy student.
  • Quick and healthy snacks can make a big difference when trying to maintain energy and stamina for busy college life. Try packing some tasty protein bars for a quick on the go breakfast or snack. BioGenesis’s Chocolate Covered Peanutbutter Crunch Bars are a popular choice at the NaturoMedica clinic.

Focus and Stress

  • Rhodiola is an herbal adaptogen that should be known by every college student. It has some great research that shows it helps decrease fatigue in stressful situations, reduce mental fatigue in students during examinations, and improve mental performance in those with sleep deprivation. Rhodiola does not replace good diet, exercise and sleep for good mental processing and stress management in the long run. However 200-400mg of Rhodiola daily may help in the short term get through mid-terms and finals week with less stress and better grades.
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