In an age of smoothie bowls, organic products, yoga-lovers, and plant-based diets, the term "healthy food" has been thrown around a lot. Everyone claims to live a "healthy" lifestyle, while eating their "healthy" breakfast and drinking their "healthy" enhanced water. 

Webster dictionary defines "healthy" as "good for your health." But what defines healthy for each individual? One person may be healthy by eating a homemade pizza instead of a frozen one, while eating pizza in general may be unhealthy for another. 

As a nutrition major, I hear the phrase "healthy food" all the time, so I was curious to see what it means to college students across America. 

1. "Food that provides life-sustaining nourishment..."

blueberry, berry
Ashley Peek

"Foods that provide life-sustaining nourishment to the body and aids the body by providing energy to be used to accomplish daily tasks."

— Elaina Bedford, Marquette University

2. "Nothing fried..."

strawberry, banana
Ashley Peek

"Low-fat/no trans-fat, nothing fried, no empty calories, and has proper vitamins."

— Jordan Abu, Rutgers University

3. "High in different nutrients..."

cream, blueberry
Ashley Peek

"Healthy foods are high in different nutrients, vitamins, and are lean. So basically foods that give you energy, but are also cost-effective."

— Sophia Lisovaya, Texas A&M

4. "Doesn't always have to be fruits and vegetables..."

sandwich, lettuce, bread
Ashley Peek

"They make me feel energized and happy with my life choices. It doesn't always have to be fruits or vegetables, protein is just as important."

— Alia Paavola, University of Wisconsin-Madison

 5. "Gives me energy for the day..."

salad, strawberry, yogurt
Ashley Peek

"Food that gives me energy for the day."

— Alyssa Peek, University of San Diego

6. "Makes me feel good..."

salad, vegetable, lettuce, cabbage
Ashley Peek

"Foods that make me feel good and that I don't regret eating a few hours later. But, of course, all things in moderation. Too much of anything can be bad for you."

— Jocelyn Hsu, UC Berkeley

7. "Sometimes the healthiest thing for you to do is reach for a cookie..."

chocolate, cream, ice
Ashley Peek

"Food that makes you feel good and gives you energy. Certain "health foods," like kale for example, might be healthy, but for me it's just a sad leafy green. I would rather have broccoli or spinach.

Sometimes the healthiest thing for you to do is reach for a cookie, instead of depriving yourself we should just be more mindful."

— Emily DiNuzzo, Pace Westchester

8. "Benefits the body..."

pineapple, strawberry, berry, fruit salad
Ashley Peek

"Anything that benefits the body."

—Gavin Benway, Texas Christian University

9. "Not based on its calories or fat..."

banana, strawberry, sweet
Ashley Peek

"I would define healthy food not necessarily based on its calories or fat, but based on the nutrients and health benefits it can provide for a person."

—Isabella Rodriguez, Illinois State University 

10. "Gets me high on life..."

cheese, milk
Ashley Peek

"Healthy foods give me the energy to make me feel alive. They get me high on life so that I feel like I can conquer anything."

—Maddy Strider, University of Florida 

11. "Lower in calories..."

berry, sweet, blueberry, strawberry, cream, raspberry
Ashley Peek

"Most are lower in calories in order to prevent weight gain and other harmful consequences."

—Jennifer Glorman, University of Alabama

12. "Packed with nutrients in every single bite..."

blueberry, strawberry, berry
Ashley Peek

"They are packed with nutrients in every single bite. No calorie is wasted in these foods."

—Melanie Shriva, Penn State 

13. "Fruits and vegetables..."

Ashley Peek

"Foods that are filled with good things for the body, so a lot of fruits and vegetables."

—Malik Cunningham, CU Boulder

14. "Gives me energy to do daily things...

tea, coffee, beer
Ashley Peek

"Healthy foods are foods that give me energy to do daily things. They do not make me feel sluggish or tired. Instead, they make me awake, alert, and focused."

—Natalia Bruno, DePaul University 

15. "Natural, fresh, and not processed..."

strawberry, chocolate
Ashley Peek

"Natural, fresh, not processed foods that benefit your body."

—Becca Moore, Miami of Ohio

16. "Of or from wholesome ingredients..."

chocolate, cake, sweet, pastry, cookie, cream, candy
Ashley Peek

"Foods that are of or from wholesome ingredients. Fruits, vegetables, and grains that come naturally from the Earth are healthy. When cooking or baking healthy foods, you should continue using the most wholesome ingredients."

—Faith Campiero, UC Irvine

17. "Provide energy in a beneficial way..."

ice, cream, chocolate, milk, milkshake, coffee, mocha, hot chocolate
Ashley Peek

"Healthy foods provide energy in a beneficial way. It's not because they have a lot of sugar or anything, they just allow the body to do its thing."

—John O'Neilly, Auburn University 

18. "Eating half a donut instead of the whole thing..."

candy, sprinkles, chocolate, sweet, cake, doughnut, sweetmeat, goody
Ashley Peek

"There are not so much healthy foods as there are healthy eating habits. So it is healthier to eat half a donut instead of the whole thing."

—Chase Baker, Pepperdine University 

19. "Help me be positive..."

strawberry, berry, salad
Ashley Peek

"Healthy foods help me be positive and happy due to all the nutritional benefits."

—Marissa Shields, Georgia State University

20. "Have the nutrients my body needs..."

berry, vegetable
Ashley Peek

"Everyone needs certain nutrients to stay alive. Healthy foods have the nutrients my body needs to function. They have vitamins and minerals without any empty calories."

—Clarissa Satloger, Purdue University 

21. "Contain a lot of antioxidants..."

banana, berry, strawberry
Ashley Peek

"Healthy foods usually have a lot of color and contain a lot of antioxidants."

—Brian Keller, University of Kansas

22. "Nourishing to the body..."

chicken, rice, oatmeal, popcorn
Ashley Peek

"Healthy foods can be anything that is nourishing to the body. Meats are just as nourishing as fruits and vegetables. And believe it or not, whole grain bread is nourishing too. People cannot limit healthy foods to things that are only super colorful."

—Liana Frankfurt, Clemson University

23. "Increase the quality of my life..."

chocolate, cereal, sweet
Ashley Peek

"Healthy foods are foods that increase the quality of my life. They make me happier, stronger, more energized, and give me a better outlook on life. All this is due to the good things that they put into my body. Treat your body well and it will reward you."

—Kelsey Mundowny, Boston College 

As you can see, there are so many different ways to define healthy foods. There is no wrong answer either. Overall, a lot of people said that healthy foods provide them with nutrients and energy to keep them going for the day. Still, even that varies.

Each individual body is different and reacts to different foods in different ways. Just like your body isn't the same as the next, your definition of healthy is unique to yourself as well.