Ever wonder why you struggle to focus in the mornings? Feel sluggish after lunch? There’s probably a good reason why and chances are, your diet is a key culprit. Here's 3 foods that can help to keep your memory and concentration in tip-top shape.
1. Wholegrain foods
Your noggin uses up 20% of your metabolic energy and your ability to focus requires an adequate supply of glucose to the brain. Choosing foods with a low glycemic index (GI) means that the energy released into the bloodstream after consumption takes longer. This can help keep you alert throughout the day and is generally better than relying on sugary spikes and caffeine overloads. Brown rice, pasta and wholegrains are a great place to start.
2. Oily fish
Your body is unable to produce essential fatty acids (EFAs) and therefore must be consumed. These fatty acids are found naturally in the form of DHA & EPA, and are foundational for brain function and nervous system health, including memory, focus and concentration. Oily fish like salmon and trout are a great source of EFAs but if you're veggie or vegan, it's not a problem. Try adding plant-based seeds like chia, flaxseed and hemp into your diet.
Specific B compound vitamins (B6, B12 and folic acid) reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid your body produces and high levels of this chemical is a marker for cardiovascular and Alzheimer's disease. Studies have shown that these B compound vitamins can reduce homocysteine concentrations and in turn, can slow brain shrinkage in individuals with mild cognitive impairment.
Vitamin B rich foods include eggs, chicken and leafy greens. If you're struggling to get these in your diet every single day, our vegan Energise vitamins will do the trick, with the added benefit of being caffeine-free. Click and see for yourself.
So, whether you're preparing for that work presentation, studying for that exam or trying to optimise your focus, incorporating these foods in your diet will do you good. Just remember, there is no magic pill or remedy that will prevent cognitive decline but there are certain foods that you can eat (discussed above) that can keep your brain in good nick. A varied, healthy and balanced diet is arguably the best way for you to achieve this.
Dr Zobir Alexander, MB ChB, BSc (Hons) - Senior Writer