We tend to think about food as a gratifying reward after work. But food can do more than satisfy our hunger. It can boost our concentration and make us more focused and more productive. Discover some of the best foods for brain power and concentration.
While some foods boost your concentration right away, others can have a long-term effect on your brain health, which can lead to better all-round focus and memory. Adding salmon as a regular food to your diet can help you stay focused.
Another great thing about salmon is that you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in combination with salad, eggs, and many other nutritious foods.
Choose wild salmon when possible and try not to overcook it, as that may destroy its potency. Discover a wide range of salmon recipes here.
It’s only recently that the benefits of beets on the brain have been uncovered. These dark red roots may not seem like much, but they contain plenty of nitrates which improve blood flow and brain oxygenation. Make beets a key ingredient of your salads. Also, add them to your blender recipes. And if you’ve never roasted beets before, you should definitely try.
Beets are not usually expensive, which is why you should preferably buy organically farmed beets. It’s a healthy investment that’s worth every dollar.
Will eating a banana before work really boost your concentration and help you work better? It turns out so. A study published a few years ago found that students who ate a banana before an exam did better than the rest.
But was that because of an actual component in the banana or simply because bananas are for many of us mood enhancers? You probably heard already that bananas have plenty of potassium. As it happens, this mineral is essential to keeping the brain healthy and focused.
So, eat a banana before you start working and don’t be surprised if your productivity improves.
Out list of foods good for concentration continues with these popular nuts. Walnuts improve both brain health and mental alertness. They pack vitamins, antioxidants, and other goodies. Eating a handful as a snack can have a positive effect on your brain.
Walnuts are a constant feature of many ready-made nut mixes, but remember that not all of these mixes are equally healthy. Some contain more dried fruits than nuts, making them pretty rich in sugar.
So, enjoy walnuts on their own or together with other nuts like pecans and almonds. For even better results, you can enjoy walnuts with a banana and then make yourself a cup of green tea.
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Adding extra virgin olive oil to your diet is really one of the best working from home tips around – a culinary one admittedly. With its potent antioxidants, olive oil sustains brain function and improves learning. More than that, it can add a rich flavor to salads, fish, and countless other dishes.
If you’re the courageous type, you can try to take a spoonful of olive oil every morning, preferably on an empty stomach.
However, don’t expect the same immediate concentration boost that you get from coffee or green tea. Rather be ready for the manifold benefits of a well-oiled, richly-nourished, smoothly-running brain. One that can focus more easily.
To get the most out of olive oil, enjoy it cold or at room temperature.
6. Dark Chocolate (>70%)
Rich in flavonoids and caffeine, dark chocolate helps improve performance on mental tasks. What’s more, it’s also a possible mood booster. While dark chocolate can give you a cognitive boost shortly after consumption, to take advantage of its long-term benefits you should eat it regularly.
Don’t go over the top, though. Dark chocolate usually contains sugar and packs plenty of calories. Preferably, choose 70% dark chocolate or above. Just to be sure, pay attention to the label, as much of the dark chocolate sold in supermarkets actually contains only around 50% dark chocolate, which leaves plenty of room for added sugar.
Take two squares of dark chocolate before you start working.
7. Green Tea
While green tea doesn’t have as much caffeine as coffee, it has just enough to boost your focus and performance. Not just cognitive performance, but also physical performance (in case you’re doing sit-ups or push-ups in between articles).
Another benefit of green tea is that it contains the L-theanine amino acid, which has been shown to reduce anxiety and induce a state of relaxation. So, with green tea you get both the stimulating effects of caffeine and the relaxing benefits of L-theanine.
It’s for good reason that many consider green tea one of the healthiest drinks in the world. What’s more, because of its lower doses of caffeine, green tea can be easily savored three or even more times a day.
You can drink a cup before you start working and another when you’re halfway done, to keep you going. But remember that some people are more sensible to caffeine than others.
If you’re one of them, try to limit your green tea craving to one or two cups a day, and avoid drinking it late so it won’t affect your sleep.
Last but not least, don’t forget about coffee. The ubiquitous drink remains one of the best productivity enhancers around. A cup of coffee seems to have just the right amount of caffeine to improve our concentration.
But don’t forget that the after-effect of coffee can actually decrease focus.
Each of the foods for brain power and concentration on this list can bring you notable results, either right away or in the long run. Consume them regularly and try to mix them if you can.
For example, you can have a beet salad with olive oil and salmon for breakfast and then some walnuts and dark chocolate for dessert, followed by a cup of green tea.
That said, you may find that you can achieve higher levels of concentration by spreading out these foods, i.e. eating walnuts first, then an hour or two later drinking some green tea, followed by dark chocolate in the afternoon. It’s the sort of diet professional content writers can thrive on.