Food for the mind: foods that improve concentration and brain function
Sometimes we all feel that we have lost the clarity of thinking, that thoughts are confused, that we cannot purposefully focus on things that are important to us. The reasons for this state of affairs can be very different. Most often it is, of course, the habit of distraction and delaying the performance of important tasks (read our article " Procrastination. Reasons and 10 ways to cope with it "), but it is possible that the body began to lack some elements and vitamins.
In everyday life, we perceive food only as a source of strength and a way to get pleasure. But the substances contained in foods every day affect all functions of the body, including the activity of our brain. And it is not surprising that a deficiency of some substances can cause increased distraction and impairment of the ability to concentrate. Today we will tell you about products that will help you improve brain function and normalize attention function.
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Despite the fact that drinking coffee is a lot and often not very good for the body, most people start their day with this drink. Well, that's pretty good, because it contains antioxidants and caffeine that are good for the brain. They improve attention by blocking the production of adenosine, which causes drowsiness.
Studies have shown that coffee drinkers perform better at work associated with increased concentration than non-coffee drinkers. In addition, coffee stimulates the production of serotonin, which improves mood, and also reduces the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Green tea affects the body and brain as well as coffee. But in addition to caffeine and antioxidants, it also contains the amino acids L-theanine, which reduce anxiety by stimulating the neurotransmitter GABA and increasing the frequency of alpha waves, which promote relaxation and reduce fatigue.
But note that if coffee helps to cheer up, then green tea, on the contrary, helps to relax and fall asleep faster. In addition to this, this drink has a wonderful effect on the work of memory. It also cleans blood vessels and normalizes the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
Dark chocolate, like cocoa, contains a whole range of beneficial substances for the brain - these are antioxidants, caffeine and flavonoids - a special type of plant antioxidants. They have a beneficial effect on the areas of the brain that are responsible for memory and learning. They also slow down the aging process of brain cells.
And, of course, we can't help but remind you that dark chocolate is also a great way to improve your mood. Eat a few pieces of chocolate during breaks. You can even combine this with the use of tricks to combat distractions - you will benefit the body and at the same time have fun.
Fatty fish is one of the healthiest foods for the brain in general and for attention and concentration in particular. Sardines, trout, salmon and other fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids improve the ability to perceive and assimilate information and improve memory.
These same acids are used by the body in the production of nerve cells. They also slow down the mental decline associated with age-related changes and prevent the development of Alzheimer's disease. The lack of these acids can lead to a decrease in brain performance and depressive conditions.
Eggs are a great source of brain-boosting nutrients, including choline, folate, vitamins B6 and B12. Choline is a micronutrient involved in the synthesis of acetylcholine, which regulates memory and mood. By the way, it refers to substances that are less likely to enter the body.
As for the B vitamins, they also play an important role in brain health. They prevent unfavorable age-related changes, dementia (acquired dementia), depression and anxiety conditions, which often serve as a serious cause of distraction and decreased concentration, from developing.
Turmeric contains the substance curcumin, which stimulates blood circulation and improves memory, prevents the development of Alzheimer's disease and cleans the body of amyloid plaques that form on the vessels.
Turmeric also promotes the production of dopamine and serotonin - sources of good mood that prevent the development of depression. Therefore, it can be used as an antidepressant.
Plus, turmeric stimulates the growth of brain cells, thereby enhancing the neurotrophic factor. In fact, this is the real prevention of age-related dementia, deterioration of attention and loss of the ability to concentrate.
Broccoli is also rich in nutrients, including unique antioxidants. It is especially important that literally 100 grams of this product contains over 100% of the daily requirement of fat-soluble vitamin K, which is necessary for the formation of sphingolipids (these are fats contained in brain cells).
Broccoli is great for memory, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and enhances the body's ability to fight brain damage. It is recommended to include broccoli in your daily diet and consume during periods of increased stress and fatigue.
Greens and leafy vegetables
Chives, parsley, and dill are an inexhaustible source of antioxidants and carotenoids that improve brain function. Our ancestors knew about their useful properties. This is probably one of the reasons why greens have always been the most important ingredient in a huge number of dishes.
No less useful are arugula, corn, lettuce and spinach, which are so popular in the West. They generally need to be included in the diet even more often, because they contain B vitamins and folic acid, which have a positive effect on attention, memory and overall brain health. It is worth remembering: the darker the color of the greens, the better.
It is not uncommon to hear nutritionists and nutritionists refer to flax as Russian fast food. And this is not at all just that, because it contains a record amount of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fiber, magnesium and B vitamins. This set of substances very quickly saturates the brain and incredibly improves concentration.
Keep in mind that flax seeds are densely coated and may not be absorbed very well. They are best consumed in a milled form: either a teaspoon at a time, or as an addition to soup, yogurt, salad or smoothie. A truly wonderful thing, and also very tasty.
Pumpkin seeds contain very powerful antioxidants that prevent free radicals from damaging the body and brain. Also, these seeds serve as a source of copper, zinc, iron and magnesium - all this is required for active brain activity.
Copper is involved in the control of nerve impulses and prevents the development of Alzheimer's disease. Zinc prevents the development of many neurological diseases, as well as Parkinson's disease and depression.
Iron maintains clarity and allows the brain to function normally. And magnesium is essential for concentration and learning; he does not allow depression to develop, prevents headaches and migraines.
Eating nuts is an excellent prevention of heart disease and an activator of effective brain function. They contribute to a manifold improvement in cognitive abilities and prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Regular consumption of nuts does improve memory.
Nuts are a source of vitamin E, antioxidants, and a variety of healthy fats, including omega-3s. It's not just that the same walnuts look like a brain, because with each nut eaten, the brain's work improves. And among other useful nuts are hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, almonds.
As you know, the efficiency of the brain and the performance of its functions largely depend on a good blood supply. The avocado, which contains fatty acids, promotes proper blood circulation as well as increases vascular elasticity and lowers blood cholesterol levels.
In addition to this, avocados contain dietary fiber. They are responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and controlling hunger. It is very useful to use avocado as a standalone fruit or add it to various dishes of your regular menu, for example, in salads.
Blueberries are good for the body in general and for the brain in particular. It has a high content of anthocyanins - plant substances with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases and slow down the aging process of the brain.
Thanks to the antioxidants in blueberries, this berry helps to improve connections between brain cells, improves concentration and memory. Today, by the way, blueberries are actively used in medicine, because they have established themselves as an effective remedy in the fight against short-term memory loss.
Oranges are the richest source of vitamin C, and one such fruit contains the daily requirement. Naturally, oranges are very beneficial for the brain, because vitamin C, as studies have shown, prevents the development of aging processes and prevents the occurrence of related diseases.
Plus, eating these orange fruits prevents free radicals from affecting the brain. And together with oranges, vitamin C is found in large quantities in strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi (it is generally called a vitamin bomb), guava and bell peppers.
But the list of goodies that improve brain function and the ability to concentrate is not limited to the listed products. In addition to these, we strongly recommend that you take note of some more herbs.