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Last Updated on March 11, 2021

12 Healthy Brain Foods To Improve Your Concentration

12 Healthy Brain Foods To Improve Your Concentration

There are several ways food can impact your brain functions, such as memory, concentration, and alertness. This makes eating healthy brain foods essential to improving your concentration and maintaining mental well-being.

The human body is composed of trillions of cells. To keep cells alive as well as generate and maintain their biological order, they require a constant supply of energy. This required energy is derived from the chemical bond energy in food molecules (based on what you consume), which thereby serve as fuel for the body’s cells. During this process, the body break downs the proteins, lipids, and polysaccharides that make up most of the food we eat and reduces them to smaller molecules before our cells can utilize them—either as a source of energy or as building blocks for other molecules. This energy-generating process allows the cells of the human body and brain to remain healthy.

The average human brain contains 100 billion cells, and those cells operate congruently to the aforementioned trillions of cells in the total human body. The cells of the brain thrive on nourishing foods and more so on those that are conducive to further developing the brain and its functions.

Here are 12 healthy brain foods you should eat if you want to improve your concentration.

1. Water

I’ve proposed drinking more water as a solution to many conditions, and improving cognitive function is a no-brainer (pun intended). According to H.H. Mitchell in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water.[1] Not only should you consider how much water you drink but also the quality of what you’re drinking! I suggest exploring alkalized water or natural spring water for the best results.

2. Salmon or Fatty Fish

Fish is one of the most essential healthy brain foods. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help build membranes around the cells of the body, including brain cells. Therefore, they can improve the structure of brain cells called neurons. In a 2017 study, people with high levels of omega-3s had increased blood flow in the brain. Researchers also identified a connection between omega-3 levels and better cognition, mental processing, or thinking abilities.[2]

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You may also consider fish oil supplements like this one.

3. Coffee

There are two main components in coffee that help your brain: caffeine and antioxidants. Caffeine can increase alertness, elevate mood, and sharpen concentration. Partially due to the antioxidants contained in Coffee, over the long term, it is also linked to a reduced risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

4. Blueberries

Firstly, I suggest freezing your Blueberries before consuming them. Why? Studies conducted at the South Dakota State University proved that freezing blueberries makes their powerful antioxidants more available to the human body. This is because anthocyanins—the antioxidant compounds that make blueberries blue—are found in the skin of the berry.[3]

Blueberries and other deeply colored berries deliver anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The antioxidant benefits of Blueberries may delay brain aging and improve memory.

5. Turmeric

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can directly enter the brain and benefit brain cells. Research has shown that Turmeric and Curcumin may help improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s. It may also help clear the amyloid plaques that are a hallmark of this disease.[4]

Additionally, turmeric boosts serotonin and dopamine to improve mood. Moreover, you can help develop new brain cells because Curcumin boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a type of growth hormone that helps brain cells grow.[5]

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6. Green Tea

Very much akin to coffee, Green Tea boosts brain function in terms of alertness, performance, memory, and focus. Contained in Green Tea is L-theanine, an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps to reduce anxiety and encourages relaxation.

Another benefit of L-theanine is that it also increases the frequency of alpha waves in the brain, which further helps you relax without making you feel drowsy. Green Tea is also rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that may protect the brain from mental decline and reduce the risk of mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.[6]

7. Eggs

Eggs are probably the most common and well-known example of healthy brain foods. Eggs are great for the brain as they are rich in Vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12 and folic acid. Recent research suggests that these vitamins may prevent brain shrinkage and delay cognitive decline.[7]

8. Oranges

Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, which is a key factor in preventing age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off the free radicals that can damage brain cells.

9. Broccoli

Brocolli is loaded with plant compounds, including antioxidants, and is extremely high in vitamin K—delivering more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) in a 1-cup (91-gram) serving. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that is densely packed into brain cells.

Broccoli is also rich in compounds called glucosinolates. When the body breaks these down, they produce isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates may reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Broccoli also contains vitamin C and flavonoids, and these antioxidants can further boost a person’s overall brain health.[8]

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10. Dark Chocolate

Thinking of healthy brain foods, chocolates will probably not come to mind. However, dark chocolates are actually healthy for your brain. Dark chocolates are rich in cocoa, also known as cacao, and cacao contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant.

As I’m sure you have noticed in many of these foods, antioxidants are especially important for brain health. This is because the brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which contributes to age-related cognitive decline and various brain diseases. Cacao flavonoids overall appear to be good for the brain. Flavonoids may encourage neuron and blood vessel growth in parts of the brain involved in learning and memory. They may also stimulate blood flow in the brain.[9]

11. Walnuts and Nuts

Many nuts are beneficial for the brain. However, walnuts are the top nut for overall brain health. They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. Among other benefits, DHA has been shown to protect brain health in newborn babies. It also improves cognitive performance in adults and helps prevent or ameliorate age-related cognitive decline.[10]

12. Avocados

Not only are avocados delicious, but they are also a source of healthful unsaturated fat and as a result, they can help support the brain. Eating monounsaturated fats may help reduce blood pressure, and since high blood pressure is linked with cognitive decline, avocados can be quite beneficial.[11]

More Ways to Improve Concentration

Aside from eating healthy brain foods, there are also other ways to improve your concentration. It requires more than simply consuming the right types of healthy brain foods to improve concentration. The quality of your sleep also plays a big role in the brain’s performance (beyond just concentration), too.

The majority of brain repair is done during sleep states. During sleep, the brain reorganizes and recharges itself and removes toxic waste byproducts that have accumulated throughout the day.

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Another excellent way to improve brain function is with regular exercise. Exercise has been demonstrated to improve memory and thinking ability among older adults with mild cognitive impairment or reduced cognitive function. Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase brain volume in most gray matter regions, including those that improve cognitive function and support short-term memory.[12]

Do you like solving puzzles? That’s another excellent way to reinforce the connections between our brain cells, form new ones, and improve short-term memory. As an example, you use your memory in the process of completing a jigsaw puzzle when remembering shapes, sizes, and pieces and visualizing where they fit in to place in the puzzle.

The takeaway here is that there is a multitude of ways to improve brain function, and I suggest exploring all options.

Final Thoughts

Aim to incorporate some of these ingredients into your dietary habit. There are also supplements that you can consume to support the overall sustainability and development of your brain and its cells.

However, this particular article focused on consumable foods. While reviewing this list of healthy brain foods, I suggest considering an all-encompassing approach to improved cognitive function which included exercise, sleep, hydration, and, of course, diet. Let’s all nourish our brains together!

More Healthy Brain Foods You Should Try

Featured photo credit: andrew welch via unsplash.com

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Adam Evans

BioHacker, competitive athlete, researcher in many fields including health and fitness, science, philosophy, metaphysics, religion.

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Published on March 18, 2021

7 Best Brain Supplements that Actually Work

7 Best Brain Supplements that Actually Work

As important as it is to look after our body, it’s also important for us to be looking after our own mental health. Doing daily exercises, eating plant-based or organic meals, amongst other activities are a good way of promoting our brain health. But for many other people, they feel that they can be getting more out of it.

There is a tonne of top brain supplements available for you to look out for. With plenty of brain supplements available on the market, we wanted to pick out the ideal supplements for you to purchase. As such, the ones we recommend offer the following:

  • Nootropics – Every one of these supplements is a nootropic, meaning that they are drugs that have a track record of improving cognitive function.
  • Science-backed – One of the big problems with brain supplements is that there is no oversight. The best memory supplements, therefore, are the ones that have been researched and have studies to support the use of them.
  • Price vs. Value – All of these nootropics are able to work on various parts of the brain, offering plenty of value at a reasonable price. They’re one of the best memory supplements and can stave off age-related brain problems such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Below is a list of the best brain supplements to improve your memory, sharpen your focus and grow your brain further.

1. Blended Vitamin & Mineral

When it comes to supplements, it’s hard to find a supplement that offers a blend of vitamins spread over many vitamins. This isn’t the case when you’re purchasing from the Infuel brand. Infuel Focus Boost offers a great blend of vitamins and essential nutrients that can help in whatever you hope to achieve.

The vitamins, which include Vitamin A, B complex, C and D, that Infuel Focus Boost provides will allow you to stay focused and sharp throughout the day. You’ll also find that your energy levels, memory retention and overall clarity will be increased with this brain supplement.

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2. Fish Oil

Another one of the best memory supplements to consider is fish oil supplements. Fish oil supplements provide a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

These types of omega-3 fatty acids have been tested thoroughly and have been linked to several types of health benefits. One such improvement is brain health.[1]

Out of the various supplements available, Nature’s Bounty is an ideal pick. They are softgels which means your body will be able to absorb all the nutrients. The company also prioritizes purity so you can expect no filler or unnecessary ingredients in these pills. Paired with the fact they are trusted by wellness experts is enough to say this is a quality brand.

3. Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a type of antioxidant that occurs naturally in the skin of purple and red fruits such as grapes and other berries. You can also find this in red wine, chocolate and peanuts.

Even though you could get resveratrol from those sources, health experts still recommend supplements to ensure you get higher doses of it. Studies show that taking resveratrol is able to prevent the deterioration of the hippocampus,[2] the part that is connected to our memory.

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One brand that caught our attention for providing this supplement is Toniiq. The company takes pride in their 600mg capsules providing the highest quality of resveratrol you can find. Better yet, they are ethically sourced and cultivated using an extraction process that ensures a 98% purity. While it’s not 100%, it’s a big stretch as other brands that produce resveratrol tend to contain 50% or less purity.

4. Phosphatidylserine

Also known as phospholipid, it’s a type of fat that our own brain has right now. That said, because our brain will deteriorate with age, taking supplements of this type can actually help in preserving the health of our brain.[3] By preserving your brain, you’ll be able to keep up with typical brain functions as you would normally.

Out of the various best memory supplements available, Double Wood’s phosphatidylserine was a notable one. It’s made in the USA and tested for purity. It’s non-GMO, soy-based, and the capsule is gelatin.

5. Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid that our body produces ourselves. But like many supplements on this list, boosting its production with a supplement has proven to be beneficial for us. In this case, this is one of the ideal focus supplements to go for as studies show taking these supplements to boost focus, improve memory and slow down age-related memory loss.[4]

Out of the various top brain supplements available, our pick is the NaturaLife Labs supplements. They are GMO Free, and Vegan friendly. Beyond that, these supplements are highly potent at 1500mg. It’s also made 100% pure acetyl-l-carnitine so you shouldn’t expect fillers or binders when taking them.

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6. Ginkgo Biloba

You probably haven’t heard about Ginkgo Biloba much because it’s actually a herbal supplement that stems from the tree of the same name.

Think of it as a supplement hidden in plain sight as it’s incredibly popular amongst people who look past the unique name and figure out what it does. Research shows, taking these supplements increases blood flow to the brain which in turn improves brain functions of the brain.[5]

Nature’s Bounty offers these top brain supplements too and is a great brand to purchase from. Similar to what’s mentioned above with the previous supplements, these are pure and high-quality supplements.

7. Creatine

Creatine is the last on our list and is something that you might be familiar with. After all, it’s commonly found in protein powders, meats, fish, and eggs too. Creatine is also found in our own bodies and plays an important role in our energy levels and metabolism.

That said, not every person is big on eating those kinds of foods. As such, supplements provide a good way to get the creatine your body needs. Not only does creatine help with energy levels, but also sharpen our brain – namely an improved memory and thinking skills.

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You can look to protein powder for creatine, but you can also consider capsules as well. With capsules, you don’t have to think much about adding liquids. Optimum Nutrition’s Creatine capsules are a notable option as they provide 2.5 grams of pure creatine per serving. They’re also easy to swallow making it an ideal supplement to try out.

Bottom Line

When looking for brain-boosting supplements, you don’t have to look far. Paying attention to your diet can help you out in keeping up your brain functionality.

However, adding one or two of these supplements into your daily supplement routine would help you in boosting your brain functionality, memory, and stave off the various age-related brain problems.

Featured photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon via unsplash.com

Reference

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