Natural Foods that help your brain concentrate
There’s no denying that as we age, our body ages right along with us. 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. Listen to the buzz about foods and dietary supplements, and you will believe they can do everything from sharpen focus to enhance memory, attention span, and brain function.Good powers of concentration depend on keeping the messages flowing freely between brain cells.It may sound trite but it’s true. 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. A heavy meal may make you feel tired, while too few calories can result in distracting hunger pangs. Benefit your brain: Strive for a well-balanced diet full of a wide variety of healthy foods. Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower also seem to help memory. In fact, drugs which mimic the effect of this chemical have been found to boost memory in people with Alzheimer’s. There’s no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter. But certain substances can energize you and help you concentrate. For example coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, give you that unmistakable wake-up buzz, though the effects are short-term. And more is often less: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable. Your brain weighs just 3lbs or so- a fraction of overall body weight- but it gobbles up about 20 per cent of your daily calorie intake.Simply ensuring an adequate and steady calorie intake throughout the day is therefore the first step to keeping focused and alert. A brain healthy diet is essential for keeping your memory and intellect sharp and your mood buoyant.
Sugar Can Enhance Alertness
Sugar is your brain’s preferred fuel source — not table sugar, but glucose, which your body processes from the sugars and carbohydrates you eat. That’s why a glass of something sweet to drink can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking, and mental ability. Have too much, though, and 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 Brain
Breakfast provides the body and brain with fuel after an overnight fast- that’s where it name originates, breaking the fast! Without breakfast you effectively running on empty, like trying to start the car with no petrol. Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Nutritionist’s advice that breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking and a healthy breakfast should provide calorie in the range of 20-30% of your guideline daily allowance. Apart from providing us with energy, breakfast foods are good sources of important nutrients such as calcium, iron and B vitamins as well as protein and fiber. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals, so try to include a portion of daily five at breakfast, whether that be a banana or glass of fruit juice. Students who eat it tend to perform better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers’ brain-fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don’t overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.
Fish really is Brain Food
You probably must have heard it before, but just in case, know that fish can greatly enhance your brain power. Fish is an excellent source of protein filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which assist in brain functioning and can lower the risk for dementia and stroke. However, a protein source linked to a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are keys for brain health. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: A diet with higher levels of them has been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks and slower mental decline; plus, they may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older. For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.
A Daily Dose of Nuts and Chocolate
Nuts and seeds are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is linked 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. Enjoy up to an ounce a day of nuts and dark chocolate to get all the benefits you need without excess calories, fat, or sugar.
Add Avocados and Whole Grains
Every 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, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up brain cells. Whole grains, like popcorn and whole wheat, also contribute dietary fiber and vitamin E. Though avocados have fat, it’s the good-for-you, monounsaturated fat that helps with healthy blood flow.
Blueberries Are Super Nutritious
Research in animals 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.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements?
Store shelves groan with 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. Researchers are cautiously optimistic about ginseng, ginkgo, and vitamin, mineral, and herb combinations and their impact on the brain. It is advised to check with your doctor if you must take any supplements.
Want to power 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.