Your Brain On Food
Most people know that a nutritious diet improves heart health, aids digestion, and helps with weight management. But how often do people think about how food affects the brain? The brain works hard 24/7 and needs the very best fuel to keep going. Studies have shown that people who follow a typical Western diet have a 25-35% higher risk of depression than those who eat more nutritious, traditional diets such as the Mediterranean or Japanese diets. To boost productivity and improve mental focus, consider incorporating these 3 diet changes.
1. Boost your hydration
Brain function and hydration are inextricably linked, as the brain is made up of 85% water. Proper hydration can decrease brain fog, fatigue, irritability, and problems with concentration. Research has even found that giving the body adequate water increases thinking speed by up to 14%. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water daily. People who exercise vigorously or sweat a lot should increase intake to make up for extra water loss.
2. This simple superfruit
Experts have found that eating blueberries can enhance concentration and productivity up to 5 hours after consumption. These berries are full of crucial antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Most significantly, blueberries are also high in flavonoids, which activate an enzyme that increases blood flow to the brain. Try putting blueberries in a smoothie, on cereal or granola, or use the ingredient while baking.
3. Check the color of your vegetables
One of the essential food groups for brain health is leafy green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, or arugula. One neurological study found that older adults who ate 2 daily servings of leafy greens had the mental focus of someone five years younger. Additionally, the potassium found in these greens can accelerate the connections between neurons, making the brain work faster. Besides eating a daily salad, try adding greens to smoothies, eggs, sandwiches, or make kale chips at home.
What else can I do?
There are many other nutritious foods that improve brain clarity and focus, such as omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, oranges, eggs, green tea, and even dark chocolate. Some people may also benefit from a supplement designed to improve concentration and focus. The right supplement can help to provide the right neurotransmitters, nutrients, and minerals to enhance focus and productivity. To learn more, speak with a pharmacist or healthcare provider.