Healthy foods are essential for health; they keep hair, eyes and skin healthy, boost immunity, strengthen bones, help achieve a healthy weight, and much more. In addition, healthy foods can be beneficial for the brain and help it function in the best way, as the brain controls the body in many ways, like feeling, talking, thinking, hearing, and even breathing.
Brain, this “super organ” does so much; it’s no surprise it demands a ton of energy to maintain things running smoothly. In fact, according to research from 2011, the brain operates 20 percent of the body’s calories. That’s a big energy budget for an organ that accounts for only 2 percent of the body weight. Plus, there is scientific evidence of a link between the brain and the gut (the gut-brain axis), which affects brain health. Several nutrients positively affect neural pathways like; omega 3, flavonoids, curcumin, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin E, vitamin C, choline, iron, calcium, selenium, zinc, and copper.
These nutrients exist in foods, and it helps the brain to function in the best way. Of course, no magic foods can give superpowers to the brain right away after eating it, but some foods may help focus more, get long-term concentration, or support mental health.
What Are the Best Food and Drink for Concentration?
It is hard to focus with hunger, as hunger can cause headaches, fatigue, and brain fog. It is essential to consume a type of food which helps in focusing. Eating the proper foods can significantly affect the performance of the brain and body; eating the wrong foods can result in the opposite, like restlessness, inflammation, and lower energy levels. Here are some types of foods that improve concentration, attention and memory:
Coffee has many health benefits, research suggests that moderate amounts of caffeine (from 75 to 250 milligrams) can positively affect alertness and mental focus; on the other hand, Studies recommend that consuming too much (4-5 cups a day) may cause sleep disturbances, jitteriness, and other negative effects. In addition, 100 milligrams per day for teenagers could lead to unpleasant side effects.
2. Green Tea
Green tea contains caffeine and L-theanine; L-theanine is an amino acid help with stress management and enhances brain performance; according to a study from 2001, L-theanine’s effects can be felt in 30 minutes. Matcha has double L-theanine than traditional green tea and is more elevated in alertness-boosting caffeine. Drinking a matcha latte while studying may help boost attention.
3. Maca Root
Maca root is traditionally used in schools to improve student performance in Peru. According to a review in 2012, studies have linked maca with improved memory and learning. And some human research has recommended that taking maca in the long term may boost mood and energy levels.
4. Dark Chocolate
Great news for chocolate lovers! Cocoa and Dark chocolate products may positively affect brain function. In addition, many researchers have also found that eating chocolate may help reduce mental fatigue.
Blueberries are called nature’s superfood; they have several health benefits, are full of antioxidants, protect your body from free radicals, and are high in nutrition and low in calories. In addition, studies have revealed that eating blueberries can decrease cognitive deterioration and fight Alzheimer’s disease in adults. Blueberries pair well with strawberries, Greek yoghurt, or fruit smoothie.
6. Fatty Fish:
Fatty fishes, including tuna, salmon, pollock, and cod, are among the most typically known foods for concentration. Fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids and DHA, which enhance concentration and memory. Nutritionists suggest at least two servings of fatty fish each week. Focus on fish low in mercury, such as the four mentioned above.
7. Leafy Green Vegetables:
Leafy greens, including kale, collards, lettuce, broccoli, and spinach, are a great energy source. A salad with leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, grilled chicken, and avocado is an amazing lunch option. This meal can help in focusing the whole day. Studies have shown that these plant-based foods are connected to reducing cognitive decline because they are rich in vitamin K, lutein, phylloquinone, and nitrate. Like berries, leafy green vegetables help fight dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Tomatoes have an antioxidant called Lycopene that helps prevent free radical damage. Loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C, tomatoes are another great addition to a fresh salad or a raw snack.
Here are some of the delicious foods which improve memory work;
Turmeric, the mighty golden anti-inflammatory herb, has been combined to improve brain function and memory. In a 2018 study, participants who consumed curcumin two times daily (for 18 months) had a 28 percent progress in performance on a memory test compared to those who took a placebo.
10. Pumpkin Seeds:
There are not enough studies on pumpkin seeds’ direct effects on brain function, but they are a rich source of micronutrients linked to brain health, learning, and memory. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, magnesium, iron, or copper, so they may be useful to snack on while studying. Pumpkin seeds also include antioxidants, which some studies suggest may help with memory enhancement.
Citrus fruits contain flavonoids that may help protect nerve cells from injury. For example, a small study in 2016 on young adults found that consuming a flavonoid-rich juice may help improve blood flow. Participants who consumed the juice also performed remarkably better on a test which evaluates cognitive function. There are no other differences noted on behavioral tests. Another study in 2015 showed older adults who consumed flavanone-rich orange juice for 8 weeks saw an advance in results in a brain function test.
Here are some foods that protect against chronic conditions and support overall brain function and mental decline:
Avocados are a great source of carotenoids. Research is still early, but experts believe adding avocados to the diet can positively influence mental function.
Fish are rich in Omega-3 fats essential for long-term brain health benefits. For example, diets that are rich in omega-3s are attached to better memory performance and slower mental decline. Most types of fish are really healthy and good for brain health.
Nuts are a healthy snack that supports the brain’s well-being, from blood flow to brain waves. Walnuts are loaded with zink and vitamin E and have been attached to an increase in reasoning skills. In addition, a 2017 study of Korean children and teens showed that those who ate more nuts and vegetables had enhanced reaction time.
Broccoli is full of glucosinolates and vitamin K, and brain-protecting antioxidants. According to a 2013 study, vitamin K can benefit brain function and memory during ageing.
Beetroots reduce blood flow to the brain and could have all sorts of negative effects during studying, and beetroots may help prevent that. A study from 2011 suggests that beets increase blood flow to the brain, specifically to the frontal lobe, which affects decision-making and memory.
What Are Other Things Which Can Improve Studying?
Here are some of things other than foods that can improve studying:
1. Good Sleep:
Getting a good night’s rest helps to focus tremendously. Research suggests that sleep impacts how the brain retains information. Getting good rest can help in staying focused the next day. In addition, healthy sleeping habits over a long period can result in stronger memory. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that nourishing adults sleep between 7-9 hours each night.
2. Breaks Throughout the Day
Taking frequent breaks puts less stress on the body. Taking multiple breaks throughout the day can cause more productivity. Following the 50/10 rule during a workday can be helpful; it works in 50-minute sprints and then takes a 10-minute break to drink water, stretch, take a short walk, or move around. Repeating this work-and-break cycle for a few hours may help with concentration.
When the body is calm, the brain is more likely to stay focused throughout the day. Meditation techniques, like mindful breathing, may help with mental clarity and awareness. Meditation can help with attentiveness too.
4. Eliminate Distractions
Living in a digital world makes people frequently check their notifications, emails, and social media. Sometimes, even the most small distractions can cause one to lose focus. So it is better to remove those distractions and reduce screen time.
5.Refrain from multitasking
It is always better to do something other than multitasking; working on multiple things can lead to completing less work. However, multitasking may also result in errors or mistakes because focusing on one task at a time is better.
Exercise and eating healthy can generally increase attention span, long-term memory, and brain function! Exercise helps with concentration by stimulating brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is responsible for moods, and dopamine is involved with reward-motivated behavior. However, there’s no way out of the fact that the foods people eat profoundly impact their cognitive performance. Healthy food choices are important for focusing, and our eating types can affect our ability to concentrate. These helpful food choices make it easier to improve focus, whether at work, working from home, or studying.
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