Do you have trouble focusing on your work? Well you’re not alone. Whether you want to improve your nutrition during exam season or stay alert in your next business meeting, paying attention to what foods you’re eating can really pay off.
Here are 5 foods that may help support focus and concentration:
Salmon: When it comes to “food for thought”, fatty fish is often at the top of the list. Examples of fatty fish include: salmon, trout, albacore tuna, herring, and sardines, all of which are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with a lower risk of dementia and stroke, as well as a slower rate of mental decline; they may also play a key part in memory enhancement, especially as we age. For brain AND heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly!
Eggs: Eggs are a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate, and choline. Choline, which is rich in egg yolk, is an important micronutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory. In addition, the B vitamins present in eggs play a role in brain function as well. They may help slow the progression of mental decline in older adults by lowering levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that could be linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Avocado: Every organ in the body depends on blood flow, especially the heart and brain. Avocados contain healthy monosaturated fats that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol. This means that avocados can also reduce plaque buildup in your arteries and enhance blood flow.
Adaptogen coffee: Adaptogens are certain herbs or mushrooms thought to help your body adjust to physical, chemical, or biological stress. They're also thought to stimulate your body's stress-protection response and help its systems return to a balanced state called "homeostasis”. Studies conducted in animals and in human cell samples have shown that adaptogens may indeed demonstrate neuroprotective activity, have anti-fatigue and antidepressant properties, and can serve as a stimulant for the central nervous system. As promising as that may sound, we need more research on adaptogens and their possible health benefits.
Beets: The nitrates in beets may improve brain function by promoting the dilation of blood vessels and thus increasing blood flow to the brain. More specifically, beets have been shown to improve blood flow to the frontal lobe of the brain, an area associated with higher level thinking like decision making and working memory. However, more research is needed to determine whether beets could be used to improve brain function and reduce the risk of dementia among the general population.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes these 5 everyday brain-boosting foods may help to keep your memory, concentration and focus as sharp as can be.