Brain Food: Which Foods Lead to Academic Success?

Brain Food: Which Foods Lead to Academic Success?

Rebecca Lipkin, Contributing Writer

Students who often feel fatigued, dizzy and have difficulty concentrating during classes could all be suffering from the same thing: bad eating habits. On February 9th April Engel, a nutrition professor here at Valencia, led a skillshop informing students on the five basic nutrition rules they should follow for academic success.

  1. Eat your breakfast. Good breakfast ideas include: eggs with whole grain toast and orange juice, oatmeal with berries or bran cereal with sliced bananas.
  2. Go for protein. Make sure to include protein in all meals.
  3. Snack sensibly. Try to avoid vending machines, instead eat things like cheese, nuts or fruit.
  4. Avoid concentrated sweets and choose your drinks wisely.
  5. Choose foods good for the brain, such as eggs, fish, berries and milk.

People that do not follow these rules can easily become iron deficient, protein deficient or hypoglycemic. Common symptoms of these are fatigue, shakiness, irritability, weakness, difficulty concentrating and headaches. All of which are not ideal if you are trying to succeed in college.

“I typically see a lot of students, especially females, just not eating enough total food in the day,” Engel says. To solve this common problem she provided a free website,, that will give students a personalized eating plan. Anyone can sign up for free and be told how much of each food group they should be eating a day.

“I will definitely change my eating habits not just because it can improve my grades but because I want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle,” said Alison Rivera-Santiago, a student who attended the workshop.

To learn more about nutrition take one of Valencia’s four nutrition classes offered on multiple campuses, to find these classes go to

Valencia offers a variety of skillshops throughout the year on many campuses, these can be found at