There is a profound link between what you eat and how you perform.
Improved concentration and focus make life easier and extra productive. The good news is that anyone can make it happen. The most remarkable power of the human mind lies in its capacity to focus on one thing for an unlimited period.
And eating the right foods at the right amounts could help you achieve that.
You may be looking to advance your concentration to carry out better at work, to top your exams, to enhance reading and comprehension, or simply to make life easier day by day. Eating the right food is very important for the optimal functioning of the brain.
That is why it is important that you take special note of this list below and plan out your meals accordingly.
1. Green Tea
Green Tea is considered as the healthiest hot drink as it is enriched with useful ingredients like catechins, vitamins, theanine, caffeine and so many. There are various benefits of green tea, and one of them is to enhance brain health.
Two main constituents of green tea are Alpha-theanine and caffeine.
Alpha-theanine is an amino acid that can boost concentration and alertness and also alleviates stress in the human body. L-theanine, at dietary levels, has a significant effect on the general state of mental alertness or arousal and importantly alpha activity is known to play an essential role in critical aspects of attention.
Another ingredient present in green tea is caffeine that acts as a strong stimulant on the brain cells to increase mental focus and selective attention. Having one cup of unsweetened hot green tea one hour before study time will make you more energetic and prolong your ability to stay focused.
2. Fatty Fish
The human body cannot synthesize Essential fatty acids and therefore must be obtained through diet to keep the optimal health of the brain. It is highly suggested that fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
The chief source of oily fish includes Salmon, herring, trout mackerel, kippers, and sardines. Omega-3 fatty acids increase brain concentration and are very advantageous for the aging brain.
Lower levels of DHA are associated with the increased possibility of the chronic neurodegenerative disease known as Alzheimer’s disease and also memory loss and therefore consuming moderate levels of EPA and DHA through different recipes of fatty fish is helpful to manage stress.
Increased intake of foods enriched with omega-3 fatty acid elevates the serotonin levels in the brain and serotonin act as a neurotransmitter to serotonin to improve memory, focus and learning abilities
3. Dark Chocolates
Dark chocolate is one of the best energy boosters in the stressed human body. Even scientists consider it as one of the healthiest go-to desserts. The potential component for an active brain in dark chocolate is L-theanine that helps you pay attention.
Dark chocolate is enriched with magnesium, which helps your de-stress, and also stimulates the secretion of endorphins and serotonin, which make you less confused and intensify the mood.
A safe amount of caffeine present in dark chocolates get better in mental performance, especially on alertness and concentration.
Another fruitful ingredient in dark chocolate cocoa is flavanols which help in the reversal of age-related memory decline and increased attention. Eating Dark chocolate is also associated with great visual-spatial memory and organization, working memory, scanning and tracking.
Blueberries also endow with various health benefits, especially for your brain. Antioxidants act against both oxidative stress and inflammation, and conditions contribute to neurodegenerative diseases & brain aging. It helps in the maintenance of optimal brain function and also improve memory. Oxidative stress up-regulates the brain’s aging process and thus have negative effects on brain function.
According to recent studies, the antioxidants in blueberries tend to accumulate in those areas of the brain that determine intelligence. It is highly recommended that eating blueberries in the morning hours improves mental task activity as compared to consumption of blueberries in the afternoon.
Studies suggest that a blueberry-enriched diet increases levels of serotonin in the brain, which help alleviate depression and also delay short-term memory loss.
Coffee is an invigorating drink that uplifts your mood and gives you that much-needed rush of energy during the day. Caffeine in coffee is a mild stimulant that increases the capacity to stay more focused.
It can positively affect overall mood, enhance alertness and performance and also stimulates learning abilities. Caffeine functions as a tonic to improve alertness and wakefulness and therefore eases the process of learning.
During stressful times, a coffee break will offer a good change of mind by enhancing concentration and stimulating moods. After taking caffeine, you are capable of enhanced intellectual effort and perfect association of ideas during work time. Caffeine present in the coffee blocks a brain chemical known as adenosine, which prompts thoughts of drowsiness.
Coffee consumption can facilitate alertness and better mood. However, do keep in mind that excessive intake of coffee might result in insomnia, fogginess and untimely urination.
This tasty and healthy superfood comes jam-packed with tons of powerful plant compounds, such as antioxidants, micronutrients, vitamins, iron and good carbohydrates. It also contains a high level of vitamin K and is estimated to offer a whopping 98% of the daily intake recommended by doctors.
Broccoli is particularly rich in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin K that contribute to the formation of sphingolipids – a kind of fat that is present in vast amounts within the brain cells. Recent studies have shown that elderly people with a higher intake of vitamin K had better memory and better cognitive abilities.
Besides vitamin K, broccoli comprises of a wide array of compounds that give it antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties for the protection of the sensitive neuronal cells from irreparable damage. One cup of broccoli every day can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease later on in life.
Additionally, this vegetable is also great for the immune system and strengthens the defense system of the brain cells.
7. Pumpkin Seeds
One of the least appreciated foods ever, pumpkin seeds contain effective antioxidants that safeguard the brain and body from damage by free radicals. Additionally, they are an important source of iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium.
Zinc plays an essential role in regulating signaling pathways in the nerves. That is why zinc deficiency has been associated with a wide variety of neurological disorders, ranging from Parkinson’s disease to depression.
Magnesium is another vital micronutrient that plays a pivotal role in developing memory and learning abilities. Low level of magnesium has been associated with several neurological disorders, including epilepsy, depression, and migraines.
Another essential substance found in pumpkin seeds is copper, which helps in the optimal control of nerve signals. When copper levels go out of balance, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease increases. Iron deficiency too is characterized by poor brain function and fogginess.
Pumpkin seeds are enriched with all the aforementioned micronutrients. Hence, their consumption bestows several benefits on the body and brain.
In addition to all the foods and drinks above, another very accessible agent for improving focus and concentration is water.
A glass of water is enough to get the brain working again. In the absence of complete hydration, the brain begins to get dull, and you feel sharp headaches, or can’t concentrate or recall things with ease.
That’s why it is advisable to carry a fruit infuser water bottle in your bag so that your hydration needs are met on the go. These simple few tips could help you think straight all day at work and improve your health and life in the long run.