5 Amazing Foods to Boost Your Focus

by Naïby Jacques

Come on, show of hands...

Who else is looking for solutions to stop forgetting things or stay alert?

This surely seems familiar: you find yourself in a room without knowing anymore what you came to do there. You often forget to get a couple of ingredients from your shopping list. You have an important report to write and suddenly, you are somewhere else —surfing he net, ruminating or daydreaming.

So you don’t complete your actions. It's not because you don’t want to maintain your attention, not because you have the IQ of a goldfish, not because you have had a "manufacturing defect" at birth. But it’s because we live in a world filled with so many visual or auditory distractions that it can be difficult to meet the requirements quickly and efficiently.

So when you fail to do something, you may feel stupid or incompetent. I know how you feel. It happens to me often. Just like me, you can see that the more focused people are more rigorous. These people are more productive. These people are more in control of themselves, displaying gritty confidence.

How to stop drifting off?

If you struggle to stay alert, halleluiah! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel: it may have to do with your diet. Let's talk about foods that can maximize your mental performance.

5 Ways To Boost Your Focus

1. Nibble on blueberries

Studies have shown that high consumption of blueberries (whole or juiced) greatly improves concentration and memory in adults and children up to two to five hours, after ingestion. This would be due to the anthocynanins, responsible for the red, violet and blue pigmentation you see in some plants. Anthocyanins stimulate blood circulation and help transport oxygen to the brain [1].

To maximize your intake of anthocyanins, choose fresh or frozen blueberrries rather than dried wild blueberries, which show a 44-49% reduction in anthocyanins, according to some studies [2] [3]. Eat them during breakfast, as a snack, in desserts or have a blueberry juice.

Recipe: nutritious breakfast smoothieNutritious breakfast smoothie

2. Munch on seeds and nut

Some seeds and nuts contain an ideal ratio of omega 6 fats and omega 3 fats. This ratio promotes the reduction of chronic inflammation and improvement in learning and memory [4]. It’s been established that, ideally, a maximum of four times as much omega 6 fats as omega 3 fats should be consumed.

Except that the current ratio in the West is around 30/1! To rebalance this, we must consume more omega 3 fats.

Seeds and nuts, such as hemp seeds, flax seeds and walnuts, are an excellent source. Their advantage: they are closer to the ideal ratio. Eat them as a snack, turn them into vegetable milks (in the blender: 1 quart cup of nuts/seeds in 1 cup of water) or substitute them with oil to make salad dressings. Further reading: 6 nut-based milks you can make at home.

3. Opt for an avocado

Avocados are often accused of having too much fat. But they are not our enemies! They are one of the healthiest fruits in the world. Not only do they contain good monounsaturated fats, which are important for your brain, but they also stabilize your blood sugar level and give you glowing skin. 

Avocados also contain vitamin K and E and folate, which help prevent blood clots in the brain and improve cognitive functions, especially memory and concentration. Eat them in guacamole, use them as mayo or make a delicious creamy salad dressing.

4. Add greens

Greens like kale, chard and spinach are extremely rich in antioxidants and carotenoids, which stimulate brain function and help protect your brain. Remember: the darker the greens, the better (sea vegetables are also very rich in these nutrients).

They are also filled with vitamins E and B and folate, that help protect your nerve cells and improve your memory, mental clarity, concentration or neurological performance [[5] [6]. Needless to say, you can eat them in salads. You can also add them in your smoothies or juice them.

Recipe: Alon's kale chipsRecipe: Alon's kale chips

5. Get a big boost with beets

This red root is a new player in the group of foods that enhance cognitive functions, including memory and concentration. This is because beets contain natural nitrates that can dilate blood vessels, increase blood circulation and improve the transport of oxygen to the brain, thus improving mental performance.

A study published in the journal Psychology & Behavior revealed that a single glass of beet juice is sufficient to witness its effects [7]. At the same time, they also help improve athletic performance [8]. Eat them cooked as a side dish or grated raw in salads. Juice them to increase your energy.

The Secret formula to staying focused for a long time

The world is going a hundred miles an hour, and we are so stimulated by our environment that it can be difficult to stay on course for long periods of time. You may feel as if your brain is a bit blocked or defective. But you can alleviate this problem if you consume foods that stimulate your gray matter. There is hope.

Of course, the answer doesn’t only lie in your diet (more in a minute).

In general, if you don’t suffer from a particular disorder (attention deficit disorder, Alzheimer's, depression, etc.), and even if you did, enough studies show how certain foods play an important role in your cognitive functions. The formula is simple. Refuel with all the right foods: healthy diet, wellbeing, good mood, restful sleep, and physical activities.

Start with your diet. Find delicious ways to incorporate foods with dark and vivid colors.

Boost your brain cells.

Stay focused.

And become even more brilliant.

Naïby Jacques
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Naïby Jacques

Passionate about holistic health, Naïby Jacques is on a mission to help people add more plant foods to their diet by giving clever life hacks with simple and mouthwatering recipes. Get her free e-cookbook 14 recettes crues, simples et satisfaisantes qui séduiront votre entourage (French only) on her blog De Bon Cru.

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