When we’re struggling to focus, one of the possible causes we rarely consider is poor diet. However, one of the most common symptoms of micronutrient deficiency is low energy and inability to focus.
So let’s have a look at some focus friendly foods and how to integrate them into your diet!
Studies show that a handful of walnuts a day has a staggeringly positive association with improved cognitive function, at any age. They’re also high in omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for brain development and function. The simplest way to incorporate these is just to snack on a few each day. Alternatively, you can toast and chop them and add them to a salad (with blue cheese is excellent!) or toast and finely chop and use as a meat substitute in a plant based ragout!
Other great sources of omega-3 fatty acids are: salmon, avocado and pumpkin seeds!
Blueberries are very rich in antioxidants, especially anthocyanin which has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function. Again these are a great snack (hey why not a handful of blueberries and a handful of walnuts mixed!) by themselves. I also love to add a large handful of frozen blueberries (much cheaper and you don’t have to worry about them spoiling) to a smoothie with banana, chia seeds and peanut butter.
Along with being rich in our brain-friendly omega-3 fatty acids, Eggs are rich in choline, an essential nutrient for brain development and cognitive function. What’s more, eggs are a great source of vitamin B12 which is essential for nervous system function and without which you’ll feel very tired, very quickly. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how to incorporate eggs, but a firm favourite is a frittata as you can add heaps of extra veggies including sweet potatoes (a great starchy carb) for a nutritionally complete meal.
Dark chocolate and Matcha Green Tea
I’m lumping these two together because they have similar properties and benefits: both are high in antioxidants and give a long lasting, gentler caffeine boost. A cashew milk matcha latte with a little coconut oil to cushion your blood sugar in the morning with breakfast and a couple of squares of high quality dark chocolate when you hit that afternoon slump could be a great help!
A rather surprising mention goes to peppermint tea, which, studies show, by drinking it or even just smelling it can aid alertness and calmness. Try this and matcha instead of coffee and see how you go!
If you’re not already incorporating at least a few of these foods into your diet, give it a go! What we put on our plates has a more powerful effect on how we think and work than we might think.
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