The claim that certain foods can help you concentrate might seem a bit fishy, but it turns out that you can keep your brain in top notch longer by adding “smart” foods to your diet. We’ve all heard the concept of “brain food,” and scientific studies have backed up evidence that the brain does indeed function much better when given the food it needs to focus. While there’s no one magical food that will do the trick on its own, eating a diet that is rich in certain nutrients can provide your brain with great memory and concentration benefits. Here are seven foods that promote better concentration:
You’ve probably heard it before, but just in case, know that fish can greatly enhance your brainpower. Fish is an excellent source of protein filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which assist in brain functioning and can lower the risk for dementia and stroke. Fish also plays an essential role in slowing mental decline and enhancing memory. Try to eat three servings of fish per week to get the benefits.
In addition to being a rich source of potassium and manganese, as well as vitamin C and fiber, bananas have been shown to enhance memory. One study found that eating bananas helped students learn their school material more efficiently and get better scores on exams, probably due to their high levels of potassium. Additionally, bananas contain vitamin B6, which aids in the body’s production of serotonin and norepinephrine and dopamine, all of which support concentration.
Caffeine not only energizes you, it has also been shown to improve concentration and memory. One study showed that coffee provides long-term memory benefits for women. So you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in your morning cup of java, but make sure to keep your daily coffee intake at 3 cups a day or less.
Loaded with antioxidants and iron, spinach is one of the healthiest greens available. Its minerals have been shown to improve concentration, and regular spinach consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of brain deterioration and memory diseases like Alzheimer’s. Vitamins such as magnesium and vitamin B12 play a significant role in the creation of healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the brain. Furthermore, the folic acid in spinach aids in protecting the neurons in your brain, keeping it in top shape.
People who eat a lot of berries have a good chance of seeing their memory improve and last longer. Blueberries are especially potent with antioxidants and other memory-boosting agents such as anthocyanin and flavonoids, which have been shown to enhance spatial memory and learning. Similarly, studies have shown that the antioxidants in cranberries help protect the brain against free radicals that have been known to cause memory loss.
This “brain herb” is has been used medicinally for thousands of years to improve both concentration and memory. Scientific studies have shown that ginkgo, derived from the ginkgo tree, is helpful in managing certain types of dementia and other brain-related deterioration problems. Gingko biloba, sold in capsule form at health food stores, works by increasing blood flow to the brain and blood vessels, creating an abundant supply of crucial oxygen and nutrients.
Loaded with folate and vitamin B6, whole grains can serve as a great brain stimulator. They contain fibers and vitamins that help improve blood flow and circulation throughout the brain. Whole grains also aid in blood-sugar stability, which helps memory function. Good sources of whole grains are 100% whole grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, popcorn and oatmeal.