What foods best nourish our minds when we are preparing for the daily effort or an important day when we have to be especially concentrated?
Read what superfoods and super healthy eating habits increase concentration and alertness, when they are most needed.
Coffee is probably the most commonly used stimulant in the morning that gives us the necessary strength to be able to start the working day. A compound in coffee, which enables us to do so, of course is well known caffeine. However, it is also found in chocolate or cocoa. Yet, too much caffeine stimulates nervousness; therefore, don’t drink it in excessive quantities.
Carbohydrates in the body are converted into glucose, which from the gastrointestinal tract is transferred into all cells of the body and that is the reason why it is the primary source of energy. After ingestion of sugary foods they strongly increase the level of glucose in the blood, which in the short term help to improve memory, thinking and other cognitive functions. If you need an immediate “surge” of energy, take a natural sweetener such as honey or agave syrup and avoid white sugar. Do not overconsume sugars, as this may end up counterproductive – they can begin interfere with the memory.
- Breakfast – Never skip it!
Do you skip breakfast? Dismiss this unhealthy habit. Studies have shown that eating breakfast regularly improves short-term memory and attention. Students, who regularly have breakfast, have better academic achievement than those who skip it. For a complete start of the day, your breakfast should include fiber-rich whole grains, dairy products and fruits. However, remember to never overeat for breakfast; it has been proven that high-calorie breakfast hampers concentration.
Fish are real food for the brain, rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A diet rich in fish reduces the risk of dementia and slows down mental aging. Fish also improve memory and protect the heart. Treat yourself with two fish meals a week.
- Nuts and chocolate
Nuts and seeds are a great source of antioxidants and vitamin E. Some studies associated them with the slowdown of cognitive aging. Dark chocolate also has powerful antioxidant properties. Moreover, it contains natural stimulants such as caffeine, which improves the concentration. Treat yourself with about handful of nuts and a bar of dark chocolate.
- Avocados and wholegrain foods
Every organ in the body, especially the brain and heart, are dependent on blood flow. Wholegrain foods and fruits, such as avocados, encourage blood circulation and thus also boost the functioning of the brain. Furthermore, they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and the level of bad cholesterol in the blood. Wholegrain foods contain dietary fiber and vitamin E, on the other hand, avocados are very healthy since they contain monounsaturated fats – all of which promote blood circulation and have beneficial effect on the brain.
Research carried out on animals has shown that blueberries help protect the brain against free radicals damage. It may also decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, caused by the collapse of the brain cells, and is one of the main causes of dementia. Studies have also shown that a diet rich in blueberries, improves both learning and muscle function of aging rats, who also came to the mental level of much younger rats.
Eat a balanced diet
Only with a balanced diet you will obtain all the necessary nutrients, without which the concentration suffers. It may be impaired even we eat too little or too much. The overeating makes us tired, while the lack of calories makes us week and exhausted.
If your diet lacks vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene or magnesium, which improve brain function, than fill the body with nutritional supplements.
How to prepare for the big day?
Before your important day, if you want to be fresh and focused, start the day with 100 percent orange juice, whole grain bun with salmon and a cup of coffee. The night before, take a good night’s sleep and take care of hydration. You can sharpen your brain with exercise or clarify your thoughts with meditation and relaxation.