Eat Empowered, Healthy Eating Tips, Healthy Recipes

Brain-Healthy Foods to Help You Focus Better Today

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There is a lot happening in the world right now. For over four months, most of us have been home in mandated quarantine; and within that time we’ve had to do a lot more, with a lot less. We’ve been working from home, homeschooling our kids while being isolated from our families and support systems—all at the same time. That’s a lot. Plus, we’re worrying (perhaps non-stop, thanks CNN!) about our health and wellbeing as COVID-19 continues to spread.

The more the brain has to tackle (from to-do lists to stress) the more scattered it can become. Studies have shown that chronic stress can cause issues with concentration, sleep, and memory.

We can’t control everything happening right now, but we can do some things to help boost our brain function and help us focus.

Fueling your body properly can help your mental clarity, memory, and ability to focus. Add these 8 brain foods to your next grocery list and reap the productive, brain-boosting benefits.

Fish

This protein powered, vitamin D rich food is the ultimate brain booster.  Fish like salmon or cod are loaded with omega-3s. These healthy fats are involved in the formation of cell membranes, the production of important hormones, and regulating genetic function. They’ve been linked to reducing inflammation, boosting heart health, and numerous brain benefits like decreased risk of depression and sharper cognition and memory. 

We love salmon, which is loaded with omega-3s. Try this Broiled Salmon with Spinach for dinner tonight.

Green Tea

Caffeine works fast to stimulate and awaken the brain.. We love a cup of green tea not only for its caffeine dose but also for its high antioxidant content, and its ability to provide a boost that’s not as jittery as coffee’s. The amino acid L-theanine found in green tea boosts the neurotransmitter GABA which may help reduce anxiety and improve focus.  

Whip up this green tea yogurt for a sweet, satiating treat. 

Leafy Greens

Apparently, your mom knew what she was doing when she advised you to “eat your greens!” Spinach contains potassium which can make your brain more responsive and kale is loaded with brain-boosting antioxidants like  beta carotene and flavonoids which help reduce memory loss.

This Cooked Spinach and Pine Nuts dish will satisfy your taste buds. Not a leafy veggie-lover? Sneak some into your morning smoothie and you won’t even know it’s there!

Nuts & Seeds

Just like fish, it’s  the omega-3s in both nuts and seeds that our brains love. They’re also rich sources of vitamin E, which may improve performance and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease—directly linked to the brain. 

Nut Seed Bread is the simple, gluten-free loaf you’re looking for.

Eggs

When the mind is wandering, try cracking an egg. They’re full of choline, a nutrient that boosts the brain’s ability to send commands to the body and improves its memory center. Choline is needed to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is critical for memory and learning, especially needed as you age.  

They’re a breakfast staple, but you can happily enjoy eggs at just about any meal.  Want an easy way to get more greens in? Start at breakfast with an Eggs in Zoodle Nest.

Dark Chocolate

What’s mouthwatering and made for the brain? Dark chocolate of course. Not only does it release endorphins and boost serotonin levels, this sweet treat is full of antioxidants and flavonoids essential  to brain health.  Studies have found that cocoa’s flavonoids  accumulate in the brain’s hippocampus which is directly tied to learning and memory.

Along with dark chocolate, this Superfood Bark contains nuts, seeds, berries and coffee making it a focus snack that truly can’t be matched.

Blueberries

Blueberries aren’t just low in calories and insanely tasty, they’re probably more famous for being great for the mind. The antioxidants in blueberries boost brain function and may slow memory impairments. A recent study found that the berry can reduce inflammation throughout the body, improve communication between brain cells and reduce age-related cognitive decline—boosting learning and memory.

Pair these Blueberry Ginger Overnight Oats with your morning coffee and you are set for a successful day.

Avocado

Avocados contain high quantities of fatty acids..  Research has found that high blood pressure has been linked to cognitive decline, but eating monounsaturated fats, like those found in avocados, may reduce high blood pressure. For an added boost, sprinkle some flaxseed or chia on top for additional omega-3s.

An Avocado Boat Egg Bake is such a fun way to feed the brain. Loaded with healthy fats and proteins, you’ll be satiated all morning long. 

 

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