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“Avocados are healthy”, “Sleep is important” - It’s easy to be healthy, right?

Date:04 April 2022
Author:Leslie Willis
What does it mean to be healthy?
What does it mean to be healthy?

Being healthy is good, it’s sustainable, and easy. It’s easy to buy vegetables, do sports, keep your mind at ease, and just be healthy. Or is it? The 7th of April is World Health day. A good reminder that we need to talk about being healthy, how to debunk common misconceptions and how to stay healthy of course. This year’s World Health Day theme is “Our Planet, Our Health”. So, let’s have a closer look at what it means to be healthy and how we can be healthy in a sustainable way. Maybe it is at least easier than we think.

Avocados are healthy, right?

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You might have known this already, but avocados are actually a very fatty fruit (yeah, they are a fruit, just looked it up!) As with supposedly every single thing in the universe, we need to keep the balance and be aware that just because something is meant to be healthy because it’s green and edible, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. This is especially important for our health. Apart from that, we should also bear in mind that avocados need a lot of water to be produced. 70 liters per fruit to be exact. That’s a lot of water to have on a piece of bread. That doesn’t mean that you should never eat an avocado again, but think about the value, health-wise and sustainability-wise, when you consume food. Just because something is healthy for us, that does not necessarily mean that it’s healthy for the planet too. 

*For the avocado case: Even though it requires a lot of water to grow only one, the amount of water needed to produce a steak is even higher.

Our consumption affects our own and the planet’s health!

Being healthy AND sustainable is expensive, right?

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When it comes to health, money and time of course also play an important role. Paying for fresh food or for a gym membership are part of that. Cooking a healthy meal requires time to buy the ingredients and to prepare everything. Doing that on a daily basis can get stressful, especially when you are busy studying, handing in assignments or working. What you can do is try to share the effort with your friends or colleagues at uni. Meet up to prepare food for the week, cook together and share the price. Share food if you have something left and don’t just throw it away. That way you can tackle the expenses and the time you need. 

Team up and share food!

How about mental health?

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Believe it or not, but the food we consume influences our mental health. (And maybe even the other way around.. At least I find myself buying that bag of chips when I’m down). The question is, is there a way that we can connect both of that? Maybe feel better to not crave unhealthy food? - Arguments against that hypothesis are welcome! Actually, physical education might be the answer. When we practice sports - be it yoga, going for runs, boxing, the list goes on - our mind will calm down, we’ll crave apples more than anything else. Win, win, win, right? If you struggle finding the sport that brings you joy, going for runs, doing home-workouts or joining Uni-sports are just some ideas to keep you moving. Did you know that there is a student sports card? You can get it via Leeuwarden Student City! Take a look at their sports schedule and find your new favorite way to exercise. ..and save the planet, ..and your health, ..and the world? (though that one might be a little too much for one person alone). You could also join the Online Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction group to unwind your mind! If you struggle a lot, you can always consider therapy too.

Your mental health is connected to your body health is connected to the environment.

It’s easy to assume ..anything

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Do you remember the Fairphone? That time when a company tried to produce a phone that was fair, the name says it. They had to close down because it wasn’t profitable. And this is the perfect example for sustainability coming with a cost that a lot of people don’t want to or cannot take. What does that have to do with your health? Well, often, we assume that things are easy but they are not. Everything comes with a price and a certain amount of effort that has to go into it. Unfortunately, we sometimes expect things to be cheaper - or we need them to be cheaper cause we couldn’t afford it otherwise. Being healthy is political, as is nearly everything we do. Making a choice is political. The question is, how can we make good decisions? How can we take care of ourselves and our environment? That’s definitely nothing you could solve in just one blogpost. However, being aware is a start. Just as taking little steps, one at a time and always being open to learning something new. If you ask yourself: What kind of decisions do I hope to make? How can I (together with other people) prepare for that? That is already a lot. 

Ask the right questions and don’t just assume things.

What now?

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Okay, so what now? I guess the first of the two things that I want you to take from this blogpost is to take good care of yourself and your environment. They are both connected anyway. “Our Planet, Our Health”, remember? Second thing: Everything that we assume is something that we should also question to some extent. Avocados are great, sleep too, but too much of either can be dangerous. 

Long story short: Stay healthy and sane!

About the author

Leslie Willis
Leslie Willis

I am Leslie, 23 years old and currently studying the MSC Voice Technology at Campus Fryslan. Before I studied in Germany which also is where I am from. I’m a language enthusiast and I love music and coffee ..and ginger beer!