More often than not, we try and find justification for not being at our productive best. Lack of sleep, stress, and too much screen time are some of the reasons we associate with not being able to concentrate. While all of these reasons are valid, a lack of required nutrition can also play a role in making us less focused than we should be.Vitamins and minerals play a huge role in memory and how we process it. For example, vitamin B12 and folate are known to have an impact on retention.1 With this knowledge in mind, let’s take a look at five foods that can supercharge your concentration and help you perform better.
Vitamins and minerals play a huge role in memory and how we process it. For example, vitamin B12 and folate are known to have an impact on retention.2 With this knowledge in mind, let’s take a look at five foods that can supercharge your concentration and help you perform better.
If you hate your leafy greens, that’s unfortunate, because spinach is an excellent concentration booster. Spinach and leafy greens are an important component of the “mind” diet, which is recommended to prevent dementia and memory loss.3 Incidentally, the diet is also excellent for boosting brain power.
Yogurt is full of good probiotic bacteria. Bacteria of the lactobacillus species produce kynurenine, which has a very important role to play in mood regulation. As we know, mood and focus are directly linked to each other.4 Also, women who had better gut health due to probiotics reported better mental capacity than women who didn’t.5
They aren’t superfoods for flimsy reasons, these blueberries! Apart from being excellent antioxidants, the anthocyanin pigments in blueberries are very good for improving short-term memory and focus.6 So that’s another great reason to make blueberries and yogurt your go-to evening snack.
Children preparing for their exams are often even force-fed almonds. While this might be a little extreme, a few almonds a day can keep the brain doctor away. Almonds increase the neurotransmitter activity in the brain, which means that signals travel through the nerves faster and more efficiently.7 Thus, eating a few almonds a day can help increase your concentration levels. What’s more? Almonds are also excellent for preventing memory deterioration!
Okay, this isn’t one food as much as a healthy group of foods. Having a healthy breakfast every day is an excellent way to ensure that you stay focused on your day. This is because breakfast is the first meal your body receives after a long period of not eating.8 Including a host of vitamins in your breakfast can help you kickstart the day and stay focused on work for a longer period of time. We recommend a healthy breakfast with a combination of fruits, proteins, and a dash of carbs.
So there you have it! All of these foods, and habits, are easy to form and implement. Give them a few months’ time and watch as your performance levels soar.
|↑1, ↑2||Bryan, Janet, Eva Calvaresi, and Donna Hughes. “Short-term folate, vitamin B-12 or vitamin B-6 supplementation slightly affects memory performance but not mood in women of various ages.” The Journal of nutrition 132, no. 6 (2002): 1345-1356.|
|↑3||Morris, Martha Clare, Christy C. Tangney, Yamin Wang, Frank M. Sacks, David A. Bennett, and Neelum T. Aggarwal. “MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.” Alzheimer’s & Dementia 11, no. 9 (2015): 1007-1014.|
|↑4||Davis, Ian, and Aimin Liu. “What is the tryptophan kynurenine pathway and why is it important to neurotherapeutics?.” (2015): 719-721.|
|↑5||Changing gut bacteria through diet affects brain function. UCLA study shows. UCLA Newsroom.|
|↑6||Andres-Lacueva, Cristina, Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Rachel L. Galli, Olga Jauregui, Rosa M. Lamuela-Raventos, and James A. Joseph. “Anthocyanins in aged blueberry-fed rats are found centrally and may enhance memory.” Nutritional neuroscience 8, no. 2 (2005): 111-120.|
|↑7||Batool, Zehra, Sadia Sadir, Laraib Liaquat, Saiqa Tabassum, Syeda Madiha, Sahar Rafiq, Sumayya Tariq et al. “Repeated administration of almonds increases brain acetylcholine levels and enhances memory function in healthy rats while attenuates memory deficits in animal model of amnesia.” Brain research bulletin 120 (2016): 63-74.|
|↑8||Gajre, N. S., S. Fernandez, N. Balakrishna, and S. Vazir. “Breakfast eating habit and its influence on attention-concentration, immediate memory and school achievement.” Indian Pediatrics 45, no. 10 (2008): 824.|