Do you find yourself losing focus and concentration in the day? Before you start looking for a quick fix or reaching for the coffee, there is one aspect of your daily routine which has a huge effect on your concentration levels and that is your diet.
Here are 6 foods which help yo improve your focus, including as many of these in your daily diet will help improve concentration and keep you focussed for longer.
Blueberries are stacked full of antioxidants, a term that is hailed as beneficial but with no real explanation as to why. Oxygen is actually quite harmful, think of rust on a metal fence, that is from its interaction with oxygen. When we are exposed to oxygen, which is with every breath we take, it has the potential to create reactive oxidants. Anti-Oxidants will bind with the harmful oxidants known as ‘free-radicals’ and move them out of the body. The secondary benefit to this is the blood becomes more rich in beneficial oxidants, which improves blood flow to the brain and rest of the body, which will help to alleviate the mid afternoon ‘brain fog’.
Many people who look to caffeine as a pick me up will turn to the coffee pot for their fix, which is understandable. The caffeine content of coffee is high and the effects act quickly to help give you a lift in focus and motivation. The problem with coffee is the sensation wears off almost as suddenly as it arrives. When drinking green tea, or one of its derivatives such as Mate, or Matcha, the caffeine delivery is not as instantaneous, but more prolonged thanks to an interaction with Caffeine and the amino acid l-theanine.. This causes less of a buzz, but more of an extended period of increased focus and clarity, which will benefit productivity more than a frantic rush, and a discernible crash like that found in coffee.
Like blueberries, Avocados are also filled with antioxidants and will provide a lot of similar benefits such as improved mental acuity throughout the day. Avocados are also well known for their high content of fat, but this fat is the best type for you to have in your diet, as it helps to not only lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood, but has the benefit of being ‘cardio protectivee’, i.e, it actually benefits the health of the heart and blood vessels in the body.
help blood flow to brain. They are also a good source of fibre, which helps with gut health and has been strongly linked to reducing the risk of bowel cancer, one of the most common forms of the disease in the UK.
Dark chocolate contains a large amount of antioxidants, the benefits of which have been discussed. It is also a good source of caffeine so will help give a lift. Dark chocolate can help the body develop more nitric oxide, which widens blood vessels and helps with blood flow which in turn will help the brain and other organs work optimally. It also helps to reduce production of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’. Eating a small amount every day has been shown to reduce stress levels in as little as 2 weeks.
Nuts are seeing a resurgence as not only a food that is beneficial, but as one hailed as a ‘superfood’. No longer just seen as a casual snack, nuts should be considered a food to have frequently to aid long term health. The consumption of nuts is associated with reduction in oxidative damage, inflammation, vascular reactivity, and improvement in immune functions. Recently there has been evidence to show that regular consumption can help to slow cognitive decline, which reduces risk of conditions such as depression and attention deficit disorder in the short term and could help with long term conditions such as alzheimer's.
The human body is comprised of approximately 70% water, so it is easy to understand how important it is a constituent for health. Just 6-9% reduction in hydration can cloud mental focus, induce lethargy and cause irritability . Any further than this and the bodies function begins to very rapidly decline. Ensuring you are hydrated will help not only with your productivity, but will keep your skin clear, your organs functioning optimally, and your brain focussed and sharp, You should be aiming to see clear or light straw colour urine at least once a day.