We all have trouble concentrating, usually at the beginning, middle and end of the work week; sound about right? Most people will have trouble focusing at some point, whether it is a short term or a long-term issue. Instead of turning to a prescription for help, try feeding your body with foods that can increase your concentration naturally, and help you get things accomplished. These foods are easy to work into an everyday diet, read more to see how.
1. Bone Broth
Bone broth - not what you were expecting huh? Well, this food has a variety of health benefits and can be used in a wide number of recipes. Soups, stews, casseroles, sauces, or you can purchase the broth in powder form and incorporate it into even more dishes and drinks. One of the biggest reasons bone broth boosts concentration is because it contains a special ingredient called glycine, that helps fight fatigue.
Other benefits of bone broth:
- Contains vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, vitamin A and K, zinc, as well ascollagen and cartilage.
- It has a variety of amino acids present to help with digestion and gut help which ultimately increases our energy levels.
- Although it doesn’t look like much, broth is high in protein, which helps fuel your body with the energy it needs for the day and keep you feeling full longer which also helps with weight loss.
Turmeric is one of my favorite things to add to my foods and smoothies because of all the health benefits it has. Turmeric is one of the most useful spices in the world and you’ll recognize it from it’s fantastically bright orange color. It is renowned for its ability to help prevent high blood pressure, illness, inflammation and even improve concentration. Most people recommend adding it to rice dishes, stews, and even vegan dishes such as lentils to add a little Indian spice and color, but I add it to almost everything. Turmeric can even be purchased in a capsule form to make it easy to work into your routine. This is especially helpful if you aren’t a fan of its strong, musty flavor.
One of the most active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and studies have shown that this spice helps increase memory in people who have dementia. According to Brain Md Life, turmeric is associated with powerful antioxidant properties and the special ingredient, curcumin, has been found to support the working memory, calmness, satisfaction and handle mental strains.
Dwight Schrute was right to be a beet farmer. Beets are considered to be a super food and are one of the most versatile vegetables around. No one thinks of cooking or adding beets to meals, I mean what do they go with, but it’s actually super easy to incorporate them into different recipes to get that added benefit.
Beets contain almost ALL of your daily vitamins and minerals and if you eat enough of it daily, can act as your daily multivitamin. According to health.com, “This dark red root may be the new kid on the block for promoting better memory, focused concentration and overall cognition,” says Shemek. “Beets contain nitrates that can dilate blood vessels, increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, thereby improving mental performance. Add beets to salads, roast them or add to juices for optimal brain health.”
Other health benefits:
- Helps fight inflammation associated diseases (obesity, heart, liver, cancer etc.)
- Improves digestion and your gut health
- Good for your mental and cognitive and support blood flow to the brain
- Reduces your risk of chronic diseases
- Improves the efficiency of mitochondria responsible for producing energy in your cells
As reported by the World’s Healthiest Foods:
“[Betaine’s]… presence in our diet has been associatedwith lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. As a group, the anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shownto provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies, as well asanti-inflammatory benefits for other body systems.”
4. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is both delicious, attacks your sugar cravings and is a great source of antioxidants. Cocoa has been shown to improve cognition functions and performance times with tasks requiring concentration. Luckily, dark chocolate is easy to incorporate into your diet and can be added to both sweet and savory dishes with ease.
According to the blog from Life Enriching Communities, the recommended amount of dark chocolate is approximately 1 to 2 ounces or 30-60g. Now it might sound backwards to support adding dark chocolate (70-85% Cacao) into your diet, but there are a lot of benefits that come with it especially for your mind. This super food has a variety of benefits, particularly for your cognitive functions, mood and brain. The right chocolate can keep your mind sharp, alert, focused, and keep you happy because who doesn’t like a little chocolate in their life.
Other health benefits:
- Lowers your blood pressure
- Loaded with organic compounds that function as healthy antioxidants
-Protects you from free radicals
"A 1.5-ounce bar provides 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium, which is good for energy production, strong bones, relaxed muscles and effective nerve transmission. That same bar also contains 34 percent RDA of copper, which helps the body create neurotransmitters and is associatedwith a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. "- Life Enriching Community
5. Kefir Drink
Not many people know about Kefir, one of the most powerful, probiotics around.
Kefir is a cultured dairy drink packed with probioticsand the nutrition for maintaining a healthy gut. Many studies have shown a link between a healthy number of live probiotic organisms in the gut and brain function. People who want to provide the ideal environment in the gut to increase brain function and concentration, can try drinking kefir daily or it even comes in a pill form.
Kefir, a fermented milk drink, is a type of probiotic. “Probioticsare actually adding bacteria to your gut that’s beneficial,” said Rudy Tanzi, Ph.D., professor of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Maintaining healthy gut bacteria can have positive impacts on brain health, because “there existsa gut-brain axis, where the gut controls inflammation in the brain,” according to Tanzi.
Even people who are lactose intolerant are able to drink kefir without issues! Win-win!
Using these delicious foods to increase your concentration naturally will help you tackle your brain fog and short attention span. Try some, or all of these foods, and see results without using over the counter drugs that can be dangerous, or caffeine and energy drinks that can make you crash hours later.