Food for Thought: Improve Your Concentration, Memory & Mood
Do you find yourself not being able to focus? Are you having issues remembering things throughout the day? Are you moody and irritable? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, I want to share with you some foods that you can incorporate into your diet that can help you concentrate, improve your overall brain health, as well as assist in getting you out of your funk.
Blueberries are one of the best foods for optimal brain performance. They are low in calories and loaded with antioxidants. The antioxidants and Gallic acid found in blueberries are what contributes to the improvement of focus and memory. They protect against degeneration of the brain, neurotoxicity, and oxidative stress. Blueberries have also been said to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. I usually toss a few in my smoothies (fresh or frozen will work), or eat a cup of them for a snack.
Avocados are a personal favorite for so many reasons, but when it comes to brain health, it is arguably almost as powerful as blueberries. The vitamin K and folate in avocados prevents clotting in the brain and keeps those cognitive functions sharp! Avocados also increase blood flow in the brain, and can potentially reduce the risks of strokes and seizures.
Green leafy vegetables have been shown to slow the rate of cognitive decline. These vegetables high in lutein, such as chard, kale and spinach, contribute to ongoing, lifelong brain health. They are also said to improve your emotional state and ward off depression.
Want to eliminate brain fog? Salmon can do the trick, but please note, not just any old salmon will do, only the Alaskan-wild caught salmon will provide these benefits without the mercury and toxins that are found in other types of salmon. You can thank the large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids for helping to keep the brain functioning smoothly. Salmon can also improve the mental alertness and focus of people suffering from ADHD.
Next up are mangoes! I, personally, have a love/hate relationship with them. They can be a messy fruit to eat, and the strings that get stuck in-between my teeth are bothersome. However, the juicy, delicious flavor, and the great brain benefits make up for those two annoyances any day. Mangoes contain an abundance of vitamin B6, which is essential for maintaining and improving brain function. This vitamin assists the neurotransmitters in the brain that determine your mood and affects your sleeping patterns. The Glutamine acid contained in them also contributes to memory and concentration.
Dark chocolate is another food that helps improve brain function. The caffeine and theobromin improves focus and stimulates the production of endorphins. This increase in endorphins along with the amino acid, tryptophan, gives you that euphoric, “good vibes” feeling. Although it has these benefits, it is one food that should be consumed in moderation.
Being in shape physically is great, but mental health and a healthy functioning brain is just as, if not more, important. Our concentration, memory, and mood are crucial in determining how successful we are in accomplishing our day-to-day activities, so eat up and get ya mind right!