Improving Your Mental Focus:
Can Diet and Supplements Help?
By Beverly Lerch
The signs of concentration problems are easy to spot – you may be forgetful, you’ll find it difficult to engage in a single task for a prolonged period of time, you’ll feel like you have a mental block or no more capacity to engage with intellectual tasks. Fatigue, stress, insomnia, poor diet and your environment can all have a profound impact on your focus and memory.
The good news is that some of these negative factors can be changed easily. Take diet, for example. It plays a paramount role in brain function and a few simple changes could boost your concentration capacity. Here are the foods and the diet changes that can help you accomplish the best results in terms of enhancing your cognitive abilities.
The Importance of Beneficial Fats
Lipids play a key role in enhancing brain function. Thus, you should opt for the foods that can supply your brain with beneficial fats.
Nuts rank among the essentials. Research suggests that eating nuts on a regular basis can strengthen your memory, increase learning capacity and enhance a number of other important brain functions.
Almonds, cashews and walnuts are all great choices. They contain beneficial lipids, proteins and magnesium. Low magnesium levels can make you feel lacking in energy, which can be detrimental to brain function.
Fatty fish like salmon are also a great choice. They’re a potent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids are highly important for brain function and for reducing fatigue. Niacin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin are also found in fatty fish and these can help your body convert food into energy much more efficiently.
Try Exogenous Ketones
Exogenous ketones such as these ones are obtained through supplementation. In the absence of carbs, the body is capable of producing ketones on its own (this usually happens when you go on a ketogenic diet). Ketones, however, can also be consumed and such supplements have become quite popular due to the health benefits they bring to the table.
Clearing brain fog is one of the benefits you can achieve through the intake of exogenous ketones.
Research suggests that the human body’s ability to produce and oxidize ketones evolved as a survival mechanism during times of starvation. The process provides energy for brain function and slows down the breakdown of protein and carb stores. When ketone levels are high, they can dominate the fueling of the brain, surpassing even glucose (which is considered a primary brain food).
Consume Foods Rich in Vitamin B3
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B3 is up to 35 milligrams. Some of the best sources of this vitamin include potatoes, asparagus, green beans, eggs and cheese. Vitamin B3 has long been recognized as a focus enhancer.
Vitamin B3 is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and there’s also some evidence it could help combat anxiety and depression. There is some evidence that the maintenance of high vitamin B3 levels can improve concentration and memory.
If you want to get even better results, add sources of vitamin B6 to the mix. The vitamin enhances the production of dopamine and serotonin – two neurotransmitters that play a key role in brain function. Soy and bananas are excellent B6 sources.
Don’t Forget Green Leafy Veggies
Is there anything that green leafy vegetables cannot accomplish? A salad per day is an excellent choice for individuals interested in boosting the power of their brain and here’s why.
Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens and chard are all amazing superfoods. They’re rich in potassium, copper, iron and phosphorus. Kale in particular is a source of tyrosine – an amino acid that produces a quick mental boost.
The iron found in veggies like spinach will keep your energy up throughout the day. Spinach will give you best results when combined with a clean protein source like fish or poultry.
Don’t forget that getting the best results will necessitate multiple lifestyle changes. Improving your diet is one of them but it will fail giving you optimal results if you don’t get enough sleep. Finding a healthy way to cope with everyday stress and anxiety (working out is an excellent example) will also enhance your efforts and help you deal with challenging mental tasks.