Brain Food: How to Boost Concentration and Memory
Everyone knows the conventional way to train your brain. Just like the muscles in your body, your brain needs frequent exercise. The more you read, immerse yourself in new languages, solve puzzles and use everyday logic, the stronger your brain gets.
But, just like your physical health, exercise is only one half of the equation – the other half is diet. What many people don’t know is that certain foods can strengthen the brain. These foods have been shown to improve memory, retention, concentration and overall cognitive functions.
Best of all, the foods on this list are easy to acquire and just as easy to incorporate into your diet. Here are four examples of “brain food.”
Fish Rich in Omega-3
Omega-3 fatty acids are prevalent in several foods, but you will find them in particular abundance in certain fish like salmon and tuna. Over half of your brain’s makeup is fat; of that fat, roughly half is omega-3. It is a simplistic way of looking at a complex biological process, but, in essence, your brain uses Omega-3’s from your diet to craft more robust nerve cells, bettering your cognitive function.
If you keep a vegan diet or simply don’t like the taste of fish, you can try alternatives like flax seeds, walnuts, and avocados.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
This functional mushroom has been used in East Asian cultures for centuries and has recently gained popularity here in the West. It contains a potent array of antioxidant compounds that certain studies show can support your cognitive functions. People who swear by lion’s mane mushrooms often cite feeling increased concentration and improved memory.
The formidable fungus is popularly enjoyed in its powdered form, stirred into a hot beverage. If you’re wondering how much lion’s mane should I take then simply follow the instructions in the link.
Strawberries and Blueberries
In general, berries are considered excellent brain food – particularly strawberries and blueberries. According to studies, the same flavonoids that give these berries their vibrant colour also help boost your memory. Additionally, they are powerhouses of antioxidants, which help mitigate oxidative stress in the brain.
Anecdotally, you meet a lot of people who “simply can’t function” without their morning coffee. As it turns out, they may be onto something. An authoritative study in The Journal of Nutrition a few years ago outlined a positive link between caffeine consumption and brain health. Just try not to drink too much caffeine in the afternoon because it can affect your sleep patterns, which can adversely affect your concentration and memory.
It’s fairly easy to combine some of the foods listed above. Lion’s mane powder, especially, blends in well with other brain foods – mix it into your morning coffee or berry smoothie for a “smart” start to the day. You can also try making a strawberry vinaigrette for your salmon and salad. There are endless ways to combine brain foods.
Next time you feel foggy, reach for one of these easy-to-find cognitive superstars. Remember: you are what you eat!