At 9 am you feel awake and thriving but by 3 pm a classic afternoon slump hits. Staying focused throughout the day isn’t easy but it can be. Here’s some food for thought; some foods are better than others at supporting your brain. Try adding these 11 brain power foods to your diet for optimum attention span all day long.
Olive Oil, Red Wine & Dark Chocolate
They sound naughty but in the right ratios, they’ll give you a brain boost. Each of these foods contains polyphenols which are a just the fancy name for a scientific-compound with many benefits to our bodies. In particular, their levels of protective antioxidants can help prevent cellular damage from things like pollution, smoking and bad diets. A dash of olive oil in your cooking, a glass of red wine with dinner and a few squares of dark chocolate for dessert will help keep your brain at its best.
Wild Salmon & Almonds
Both of these foods are packed full of omega-3 oil DHA. What makes this so great? It’s an essential fatty acid in your diet which helps with the maintenance of current brain cells and even stimulates the growth of new ones.
Fatty Fish & Cheese
Salmon is back on the menu with another vitamin boost for you. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna contain Vitamin D which is great for reducing inflammation, protecting neurons and guarantees smooth cognitive functions. Around 3 ounces of salmon provides 450 IU, a can of tuna 150 IU and even cheese has up to 10 IU to a server.
While these are adequate doses per serve, they won’t reach the recommended 1,000-2,000 IU we need daily. An outdoor sofa on the patio will give you more incentive to get some sun which is the most effective source of Vitamin D. It should be without sunscreen – as this prevents absorption – so keep it to under an hour each day to lower your risk of skin cancer. The early morning sun, before 10 am, is the safest so why not build a habit of having breakfast outside. All it takes is gorgeous backyard furniture to create a morning retreat.
Avocado on toast for breakfast or brunch is an Aussie classic and a healthy start to your day. They’re full of good fats which promote a healthy blood flow – essential to a high-functioning brain. Plus they feature Vitamin K and folate to protect against blood clots and fuel your memory and concentration centers.
Eggs & Broccoli
Prepare for more science in your day. Eggs and broccoli are both great sources of choline. Choline is one half of acetylcholine; aka an essential neurotransmitter. Eating a serve of these each week is sure to get your brain functioning as it should.
Walnuts & Spinach
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant that research believes may ward off Alzheimer’s by protecting your neurons and brain cells. For a dietary dose include walnuts and spinach in your meals.
It’s like a cross between the brain boosting functions of avocado and walnuts. Peanut butter (especially the natural variety) is another great source of monounsaturated, good fats just like your friendly avo. It’s also another way to add some Vitamin E to your day.
Blueberries, Strawberries & Acai Berries
Pop them in your morning smoothie, layer them over your porridge or just grab a handful during the day. One thing is for sure, a serve of antioxidant rich berries will give you some powerful brain benefits. They’re great at preventing age-related memory loss by ridding the brain of toxins before they have a chance to settle in.
Starting your day with wholemeal oats, bread, and other low-GI foods is going to keep you fuller for longer as they are slower to be digested. A full belly is a perfect way to stay focused throughout the first half of your day.
Being low in iron means you have lower oxygen in your blood and this means there’s less oxygen flowing to your brain. No wonder it leaves you fuzzy-headed and fatigued. Doubling up on serves of dark leafy greens (e.g. spinach or kale) and beans or legumes is an easy way to pack your diet full of iron. They make great additions to soups, salads, and sandwiches at lunch too.
Everyone knows that hydration is important. But did you realize you stay hydrated from foods as well? Cucumber, watermelon and salad greens are all perfect sources of extra H2O in your diet.
Who knew so many regular, delicious foods could help to keep you focused? Give your brain a boost anytime with a simple snack.