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10 Foods for Better Concentration

10 Foods for Better Concentration

The next time you can't focus on a project, nix the coffee and consider eating foods for better concentration. When most people feel tired and unable to focus on studying or other tasks, a cup of coffee or energy drink provides a quick fix. After a few hours (or less), you'll be back at the coffeemaker (or coffee shop) for another cup. To maintain focus throughout the day without taking coffee or candy breaks, fill your diet with foods rich in brain-boosting vitamins and minerals.

Foods for Better Concentration Offer Plenty of Other Health Benefits

Our diet helps determine our weight and contributes to good overall health. Everyday healthy eating is also essential for proper cognitive function. Eating fresh, real foods allows us to concentrate on work-related tasks, driving, exercise, and even leisure activities without missing a beat or becoming forgetful.

To increase the chance of staying vibrant and energetic well into old age, we need to eat the right foods on a daily balance. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish are just a few of the foods that keep our brains and body young.

Of course, a good diet alone won't stave off arthritis, fatigue, reduced mental function and other signs of aging. Stay active, get enough sleep, avoid alcohol, stop smoking and keep a positive attitude to retain your energy and looks as the years pass. Good food helps you reduce the chance of getting high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, cancer, and even the common cold.

Foods for Better Concentration -The Healthy Way to Keep Your Brain Sharp

Junk food and processed foods make you gain weight and fill your body with toxins that may cause cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Eating a bacon cheeseburger or binging on cookies once in awhile won't harm most people. It's that day in, day out consumption of  fats, processed foods, heavy creams and refined flour that causes ill health. And it's not just your appearance and physical health that suffers if you eat a bad diet. Your ability to think on your feet becomes cloudy, and you'll feel sluggish and forgetful.

Many of the same foods that increase energy and fight inflammation protect against memory loss and help you focus. Energy and brain function are closely related. When you're tired, you're unable to concentrate, so it's no surprise that foods for better concentration double as energy-boosters.  

Foods for Better Concentration Protect Your Brain From Alzheimer's

Overeating may do more than pile on the pounds. It can also cause mild cognitive impairment, a type of memory loss that may lead to Alzheimer's or dementia in seniors. Maintaining your ideal weight at any age will keep your memory sharp and reduce the fatigue that prevents you from functioning at your best.

Eating foods for better concentration, and using nutrient-rich herbs and spices in dishes and drinks, helps you avoid that scatterbrained feeling that makes everything from balancing your checkbook to remembering where you parked your car a challenge. Foods containing Vitamin E, zinc and B-complex vitamins can keep your brain power intact as you age, and may help people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's. Several spices and herbs contribute to better focus regardless of your age. Here's a list of ten foods and herbs that will keep you alert and focused without the expense of going to Starbucks.

1. Cocoa

A steaming hot cup of cocoa hits the spot on a chilly morning, and it offers nutrients to improve concentration and sharpen your mental function. The cocoa plant contains flavanols, antioxidant compounds that stimulate the brain and help prevent heart disease.  In an Italian study, subjects with mild cognitive problems were given 900 milligrams of cocoa a day. They scored higher on verbal fluency tests than subjects who received a lower dose of cocoa.

2. Fish

Eat baked or broiled fish to increase brain volume. (Sorry, fried fish don't have the same positive effect and may be harmful.) A UCLA study showed fish consumption boosted grey matter in areas of the brain responsible for mental ability and memory in elderly individuals. Eat fish just once a week, and the hippocampus, your brain's memory and learning center, will grow 14% larger.

3. Ginger

Delicious ginger root, used as a flavoring in main dishes and desserts, offers you a lot more than great taste.  

Alzheimer's, dementia and cognitive decline in older adults is caused by inflammation in the brain and oxidative stress. Ginger contains bioactive compounds and antioxidants to reduce inflammation and keep mental ability sharp as people age. According to an article published in the October 2014 edition of Drug Design, Development and Therapy, researchers in Libya found that the compounds in Zingiber officinale make it a good candidate for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Another study showed that middle-aged women who took ginger root experienced improved memory and quicker reaction time.

4. Periwinkle

A herb derived from evergreen shrubs, periwinkle contains the alkaloid vincamine. This alkaloid has proved beneficial to some people with Alzheimer's disease, according to studies. Vinpocentine, a synthetic form of the herb, is sometimes used. This alkaloid may help people with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, according to a double-blind trial. Other research indicates it may be helpful for age-related hearing loss and tinnitus by increasing blood flow to the inner ear.

Dr. Daniel Amen, a physician and brain researcher, worked with 130 former NFL players on a program to improve their brain health. Ex-NFL players are prone to Alzheimer's, dementia, depression, and memory loss due to the head injuries suffered during their playing days. Dr. Amen put players on an exercise and weight loss regime and gave them mental puzzles to sharpen their cognitive functions. For six months, he gave the players a variety of supplements, including vinpocetine, DHA and EPA from fish oil, ginkgo extract and a high-potency multivitamin. Results showed the players experienced improved memory, mood and cognitive function. Blood flow to certain areas of the brain increased. Researchers in  Hungary and India are looking for ways to use vinpocetine  to treat Alzheimer's and improve cognitive function.

If periwinkle herb can improve brain function in ex-NFL players, who endure blows to the head for a living, it can certainly help you boost mental function – and remember where you put your car keys.

Periwinkle is used as a tea or in supplement pills containing wheatgrass and other nutrients.

5. Green Tea

All varieties of tea come from the Camellia sinensis plant. The amount of processing and oxidization during manufacturing produces the different types of tea. Green tea isn't oxidized like black tea.  

Research presented at the 2015 International Conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases showed individuals over 60 who drank green tea one to six times a week were mentally sharper and less likely to develop dementia than peers who consumed other beverages. The amino acid L-theanine in green tea increases your attention span and helps you focus in a laidback way, unlike some energy drinks that can make you go from way tired to way hyper.

6. Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables, including kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard, are high in magnesium, which improves focus and guards against cognitive decline and attention-deficient disorder (ADHD). Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) discovered that magnesium regulates a brain receptor that oversees learning and memory. Spinach and other leafy greens are also rich in Vitamin E, which has been shown to increase brain tissue and the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which helps regulate the flow of information in the brain.  

A 2006 study at the Rush Institute for Health Aging in Chicago showed that subjects who ate a median of 2.8 servings of green vegetables a day had 40% less mental decline than subjects who ate the lowest amount of vegetables (0.9 servings or less). An individual who ate plenty of green veggies had the cognitive function and memory of someone five years younger, according to researchers.

7. Blueberries

Blueberries contain inflammation-busting flavonoids to protect your brain against cognitive decline and boost memory. Regular consumption of berries and other fruits containing flavonoids reduce the cognitive decline that occurs with age, delaying or even eliminating the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's.

Research conducted on more than 16,000 women with an average age of 74 measured their cognitive function every two years during a long-term study. Doctors found that women who consumed the most berries, including blueberries and strawberries, avoided age-related mental decline by as much as two and a half years over peers who didn't eat berries.

8. Oatmeal/Groats

Oats (Avena sativa) obtain their flavor after being roasted and hulled, but this process doesn't remove the grain's bran or germs. The remaining fiber offers many health benefits, including better digestion, more energy and reduced blood pressure. Full of carbohydrates and protein, it gives you more power for your morning run or trip to the gym. Since it makes you feel full, you'll eat less throughout the day, aiding weight loss.

Eating oatmeal gives you a healthy shot of glucose, feeding your brain with enough blood sugar to keep you focused and keep your memory sharp, according to University of Toronto researchers. If you have a work presentation or test first thing in the morning, eating oatmeal for breakfast will help you perform more effectively.

For even more nutrition and enhanced concentration, eat whole oat groats instead of plain oatmeal. Unlike rolled or steel-cut oats, groats have only the hull removed from the grain, and take longer to cook (about an hour for a bowl or pot). Groats have a nuttier, grainier taste and retain more fiber and other nutrients since they aren't as processed. You can find groats online or at health food stores.   

9. Bananas

Potassium, long-hailed as a natural brain-booster, regulates electrical conduct in the brain. It's an electrolyte and the third most common mineral in the body. A medium banana has 12% of the daily recommended requirement of potassium, along with 25% of memory-boosting Vitamin B6. A diet rich in bananas and other fruits may guard against oxidative stress and help protect you against Alzheimer's and dementia.

10. Wheatgrass

The chlorophyll in wheatgrass has hundreds of nutrients. Instead of taking a multivitamin or separate vitamin pills and supplements, try taking a wheatgrass pill one to three times a day. You'll get all the vitamins included in a multivitamin and lots more. Chlorophyll contains Vitamins A, E, K, C and B-complex vitamins. Vitamin A and C have antioxidants to protect your cells from free radical damage, keeping you stronger and better able to focus. Fat-soluble vitamin E also protects cells from damage, and may  protect your brain against Alzheimer's disease. A January 2014 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that Vitamin E slowed cognitive decline in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's.

B-complex vitamins are important for people of all ages, but older adults may have trouble absorbing these nutrients and need to take a supplement containing them. Lack of Vitamin B1 (thiamine) in the diet causes memory loss, confusion and lack of coordination; lack of Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) may cause depression and chronic pain, and lack of Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and Vitamin B9 (folate) increase the chance of irritability, mental sluggishness and memory loss. Wheatgrass contains all B-complex vitamins, but some wheatgrass pill manufacturers add extra B vitamins for an even bigger brain power boost. B vitamins are also touted for their ability to brighten mood and increase energy. Regardless of your age, be sure to eat foods rich in B-complex vitamins, including green vegetables, salmon, beans, eggs, almonds, lentils and whole grains.

Wheatgrass has hundreds of other nutrients including enzymes, amino acids, choline, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium. A wheatgrass tablet provides more nutrients for cognitive function than a regular multi-vitamin or energy drink.

Eat Foods for Better Concentration and Take HappyGirl, REVV and Zeal O2

Wheatgrass Love offers three all-natural wheatgrass and herb products to keep you healthier, happier and more focused. We only use the finest wheatgrass and manufacture our supplements to adhere to the strictest safety and quality standards.

Zeal O2 Natural Weight Loss Supplement and Energy Booster provides hundreds of nutrients to keep you strong and energetic during your weight loss program and beyond. With additional B-complex vitamins working in conjunction with zinc, potassium, magnesium and B vitamins already in wheatgrass, you'll feel fuller without eating a lot and you'll be better able to focus on daily tasks. The proprietary blend in Zeal O2 contains citrus aurantium (bitter orange) to suppress appetite and speed up your metabolism, plus ginger, green tea extract, gingko biloba and cayenne pepper for better endurance and mental function. Order Zeal O2 here:

HappyGirl Natural Mood Enhancing Supplement combines high-grade wheatgrass, with its hundreds of brain-boosting nutrients, and a proprietary blend with over a dozen herbs for better concentration. Our HappyGirl herbal formula has green tea extract with L-theanine, ginger, cayenne pepper, gotu kola, damiana and other ingredients to increase concentration and guard against Alzheimer's and dementia. Most of the herbs that boost concentration also neutralize mood swings and help keep you calm in stressful situations. Order HappyGirl here:

HappyGirl is a natural depression remedy suitable for men, women and seniors. Use for occasional mild to moderate, non-clinical depression.

REVV Natural Energy Supplement harnesses the power of wheatgrass with added B-complex vitamins to ignite vitality and concentration anytime. These chocolate mint wafers improve concentration with cocoa, caffeine and periwinkle herb and they taste great. We've even added L-taurine, which has been shown to safeguard the brain and reduce the chance of cognitive decline. Order REVV here:

Order Zeal O2, HappyGirl and REVV online or call 877-303-1717. Stay focused and healthy with foods for better concentration and Wheatgrass Love!