Lack of concentration or the inability to focus is a widespread concern, regardless of age, gender or country. Sadly, the average attention span today is only 8 seconds. Food is the fuel that controls your energy and mood, both of which can significantly influence your ability to concentrate. If you’re struggling to stay alert, then it’s time to start rethinking what you are eating. There are plenty of healthy foods that can optimize your concentration and boost your productivity during the day.
2. Green Tea
If you’re feeling drained by midday, then green tea is your ticket. The reason is that green tea is a balanced mix of caffeine and L-theanine that helps you focus and improves your alertness. L-theanine is an amino acid that reduces mental fatigue and stress. When combined with caffeine, the effect of the beverage is synergistic. Hence, with a cup of green tea, you experience increased focus, awareness, and energy, as well as greatly improved mental endurance.
Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, gives you the first boost of energy to start your day. Needless to mention, it’s crucial to start your day on the right note, i.e. having the right food for breakfast. Oatmeal is a highly recommended low-calorie option that helps you stay focused, feel fuller longer, and avoid gaining weight easily. Oats contain sugars that are released gradually into the bloodstream for sustained energy release. Hence they make a much healthier alternative to sugary cereals that cause sudden spikes in energy and then a crash in blood sugar levels. To make your morning oatmeal more interesting, add fresh fruit for a touch of sweetness or cinnamon for some spice.
This golden fruit is not only sweet and delicious but also useful in boosting your concentration. A wide array of research shows that eating bananas keeps your brain functioning at its optimal level and makes you seem smarter. Perfect to grab if you’re in a hurry and to consume while on the go, bananas are rich in potassium. This mineral is crucial for keeping your brain in tip-top shape. Bananas are also packed with other vital nutrients like Vitamins B6 and C which promote better brain health.
5. Whey Protein
A critical component in the healthy growth and functioning of your brain, eating lean protein daily has several benefits including improved focus and increased energy. Protein powders such as whey protein have beneficial effects on mental health. Packed with magnesium, zinc, high-quality protein and amino acids, whey protein improves your mood and alleviates stress. What’s more, whey protein is one of the most effective fat burners as it increases muscle mass in the body and helps to burn calories.
6. Fatty fish such as Salmon
A concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids, oily or fatty fish such as salmon helps to keep your brain focused and sharp. Hence, make sure to add salmon where you can to maximize your brainpower. Also, for a satisfying breakfast to start your day, pair up eggs with some salmon. A study revealed that people who consumed salmon on a regular basis had more grey matter in their brains. Besides being undeniably delicious, salmon is extremely versatile. It can be steamed, sautéed, grilled or baked. It can also be served raw in certain preparations.
Water is critical to survival, so, it is essential that you get enough of it. Years of research has found that staying hydrated is one of the easier tricks for keeping your mind sharp and improving your focus. Brain cells require adequate water to operate efficiently and hence to enhance mental function. Thirst and dehydration cause fatigue and hamper your ability to concentrate. Also, coffee and energy drinks dehydrate you further. So before you do anything, it is advisable to drink a tall 8-ounce glass of water. Squeezing some fresh lemon in it for a little extra kick is a good idea. In fact, the famous 8×8 rule states that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
8. Dark Chocolate
A rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium, dark chocolate is lower in fat and sugar than milk or white chocolate. Go for a chocolate bar labeled at least “70 percent” as it contains no less than 70 percent ground cocoa. The phytochemicals present in cocoa increase blood flow to the brain and have mood-enhancing effects. Dark chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine, which increases mental alertness. The magnesium content helps you to de-stress. So, dark chocolate eaten in moderate doses (one square of dark chocolate) daily can significantly boost your focus. It’s better for diabetics and really for anyone wanting to reduce sugar intake.
9. Flax Seeds
Packed with magnesium, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber, flax seeds aid mental clarity and hence focus. A superfood indeed, flax is specifically high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is extremely beneficial to brain health. There are many ways you can add flax seeds to your diet, like flax seeds water or by sprinkling them (in powdered form) on cereal, yogurt, and salads. Also, flaxseed oil consumed in the form of flax oil capsules promotes brain health.
Go nuts for brain health. 😇 These are absolutely great for your mind and body. Nuts are rich sources of the antioxidant Vitamin E, essential oils and amino acids. All of these constituents aid your focus and hence improve concentration. You just need an ounce of nuts a day to get this benefit. From a brain health perspective, the nuts to top the list are walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. In fact, these nuts also contain proteins and if eaten as a pre-workout snack, certainly help to fuel up. Ultimately, a healthy body and a healthy brain go hand in hand. Isn’t it?
On reading up the benefits of these foods, you would surely want to include them in your day to day diet. The fact that your brain governs everything, keeping it in a good shape is paramount. A healthy brain not only induces better concentration and but largely decides your quality of life and more importantly, how you deal with modern day challenges.
DISCLAIMER: Guest Post by Nikky Watson
I love all things fun. Drop-in sometime and you’ll know what I mean. For living and out of passion, I write and blog. Currently, I am writing for Mybodyexpert and other top blogs.
Twitter – @nikky_watson
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DISCLAIMER: Guest Post