Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate Revealed
Berries, Caffeine, Fish, or Ginseng?If you pay attention to the hype about foods and dietary supplements you will believe they can do everything from sharpen focus to enhance memory, attention span, and brain function. Comment: Do they really work? As we age, our body ages also. The good news is that you can improve your chances of maintaining a healthy brain if you add “smart” foods and drinks to your diet.
Caffeine Can Make You More AlertThere’s no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter — but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize you and help you concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz, though the effects are short-term. Comment: But remember: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.
Sugar Can Enhance AlertnessSugar is your brain’s preferred fuel source — not table sugar, but glucose, which your body processes from the sugars and carbs you eat. That’s why a glass of something sweet to drink can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking, and mental ability. Comment: If you have too much, your memory can be impaired — along with the rest of you. Go easy on the sugar so it can enhance memory without packing on the pounds.
Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your BrainIf you are tempted to skip Breakfast, please note studies have found that eating Breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat Breakfast tend to perform better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of brain-fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Comment: Just don’t overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.
Fish Really is Brain FoodFish is a protein source that is linked to a great brain boost. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key for brain health. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: A diet with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks and slower mental decline. Comment: Omega-3 fatty acids may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older. For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly
Add a Daily Dose of Nuts and Chocolate
Nuts and seeds are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which has been linked in some studies to less cognitive decline as you age. Dark chocolate also has other powerful antioxidant properties, and it contains natural stimulants like caffeine, which can enhance focus. Comment: You can enjoy up to an ounce a day of nuts and dark chocolate to get all the benefits you need with a minimum of excess calories, fat, or sugar.
Add Avocados and Whole GrainsEvery organ in the body depends on blood flow, especially the heart and brain. A diet high in whole grains and fruits like avocados can cut the risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol. This reduces your risk of plaque buildup and enhances blood flow. This is a tasty way to rev up brain cells. Whole grains, like popcorn and whole wheat, also have dietary fiber and vitamin E Comment: Although avocados have fat, it is monounsaturated fat which is actually good for you and helps with healthy blood flow.
Blueberries Are Super NutritiousResearch shows that blueberries may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies also show that diets rich in blueberries improved both the learning and muscle function of aging rats, making them mentally equal to much younger rats.
Benefits of a Healthy DietIt may sound old school but if your diet lacks essential nutrients, it can hurt your ability to concentrate. Eating too much or too little can also interfere with your focus. Comment: A heavy meal may make you feel tired, while too few calories can result in distracting hunger pangs. Help your brain: Have a well-balanced diet full of a wide variety of healthy foods. Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements? Store shelves are full of supplements claiming to boost health. Although many of the reports on the brain-boosting power of supplements like vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene, and magnesium are promising, a supplement is only useful to people whose diets are lacking in that specific nutrient. Comment: Some researchers are somewhat optimistic about ginseng, ginkgo, and vitamin, mineral, and herb combinations and their impact on the brain. However, more proof is needed. Check with your doctor.
Get Ready for a New DayPower up your ability to concentrate. Start with a meal of 100% fruit juice, a whole-grain bagel with salmon, and a cup of coffee. In addition to eating a well-balanced meal, experts also offer this advice:
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Stay hydrated.
- Exercise to help sharpen thinking.
- Meditate to clear thinking and relax.