What you can do

Eat regular, well-balanced meals

These can include nutritious food such as fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy products, meat and eggs.

Eat a healthy breakfast

This can help you with better concentration and energy throughout the day.

Maintain adequate fluid intake

Make healthy choices such as carrying a water bottle around with you.

Prepare healthy meals with friends

This makes things more interesting and cheaper.

Plan healthy meals

Think about meals ahead of time and shop for groceries regularly.

Pack healthy snacks

Carry snacks with you so that you can eat regularly throughout the day and provide your brain with fuel for study. Fruit, vegetables and nuts make great snacks to help with energy and concentration.

How food affects how we feel

  • Glucose from the carbohydrate-containing foods we eat provides the brain’s main source of fuel. Without this fuel, we can’t think clearly. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans and vegetables, are a good choice because they give you sustained energy.
  • Proteins found mainly in meat, fish and soya products are broken down in the body to be used as amino acids, which are vital for good mental health. Brain messengers are made in the body from the proteins that we eat.
  • Essential fats, found mainly in oily fish, seeds and nuts, cannot be made within the body, so we have to get them from food. Sixty percent of the brain is made of fat and the fats we eat directly affect its structure. A lack of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to various mental health problems, including depression and lack of concentration.

Online support

Eating well when you start university can be a challenge, but it's possible to be healthy when you are busy and on a budget. Get some helpful tips from the Better Health Channel.

The right nutrition helps our bodies and brains work to their max. Read about healthy eating and its benefits at Reach Out.

For more advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing, check out Eat for Health.

Other tips

For healthy and affordable fresh food, check out the local markets, for example, the Queen Victoria Market close to RMIT City campus.