Do you find that your attention and memory is diverted from time to time? The ability to concentrate, be alert and stay on the task is important to achieve anything. And when cognitive functioning is considered, the ability to pay attention and remain focused is the “door” to other cognitive functions – if you can’t pay attention to something, you can’t understand, learn or remember. As we grow and develop, our ability to concentrate also improves. For example, 6-year-old children can concentrate on a task for only 15 minutes, but by the time they are 9 years old, they should be able to stay focused for about an hour. But if this is the case, why do we find that our ability to concentrate on the task fades quite frequently? We find it difficult to concentrate for many reasons, including our interest in the task at hand, our physical and emotional state, our environment, our neuropsychological mapping, and our level of dexterity in the task. A variety of physical and psychological factors can help improve this ability – food is one of those factors.
Foods to improve memory and concentration: To improve your power of concentration, try these foods.
Many of us start the day with a cup of coffee . And there is a good reason why coffee works as well as an “eye opener” – caffeine! Consuming caffeine in moderate amounts can not only improve your ability to concentrate, but it can also make you feel more energetic and alert, speed up your reactions, increase accuracy, improve short-term memory and increase your ability to solve problems. But keep in mind that the keyword here is “moderate.” Too much coffee can make you feel nervous. It is not a good idea to drink more than 400 mg of caffeine a day. A 225 ml cup of coffee contains about 95 to 200 mg, so do not drink more than 2-3 cups a day. Experts also suggest that pregnant women should avoid caffeine or limit their consumption to 300 mg in one day.
“Delicious chocolate can also help improve attention and concentration”.
This is because cocoa beans are a rich source of flavonoids, particularly epicatechin and catechin , which have antioxidant properties. Cocoa also contains caffeine . According to research, cocoa can improve attention and mood. So bite a delicious dark chocolate bar or drink an antioxidant-rich cocoa drink when you feel mentally fatigued and distracted.
It is said that tea is the most consumed beverage after water. Like cocoa, it is a great source of flavonoid antioxidants . Tea also contains the beneficial amino acid L-theanine , which can modulate certain aspects of brain function. Studies have shown that L-theanine significantly increases brain activity in the alpha frequency band. This means that you can relax without feeling sleepy, promote mental acuity and improve attention. No wonder that Buddhist monks commonly use tea to help maintain attention during long periods of meditation. You can also try a cup of tea when you discover that your concentration is fading. But don’t go overboard. Limit yourself to 2-3 cups a day.
Cranberries are another food that can be beneficial for the brain. Researchers have found that sustained attention improves after drinking a cranberry drink. But blueberries not only help you concentrate, they can also improve your memory. Research suggests that the neural circuits involved in maintaining attention are enhanced by ﬂ avonoids present in the cranberry may be responsible for these beneficial effects.
Iron is a particularly important mineral for the brain. It plays a role in the production of dopamine , a neurotransmitter that is not only involved in attention, but also in memory, learning, stress response and hormonal regulation. Studies have found that when women with iron deficiency were supplemented with iron, their cognitive performance as well as performance accuracy improved. Crabs, oysters, clams and fish are rich sources of iron. If you are a vegetarian, lentils, red beans, raisins and green leafy vegetables such as spinach also work well. And keep in mind that your body is able to absorb iron better from plant sources when it is accompanied by foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and sweet peppers that contain vitamin C. Adult men need about 8 mg of iron a day, while adult women need about 18 mg a day. Approximately 45 mg of iron per day is the upper limit that can be safely consumed. Excessive amounts of this mineral can be harmful, so let your doctor know before taking supplements.
6. Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseeds contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid. This essential fatty acid cannot be synthesized by the human body and must be supplemented through the diet. It is well known that alpha-linolenic acid is beneficial for your heart, but did you know that it is important for your brain as well? One study found that when children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were supplemented with flaxseed oil and antioxidants in the form of vitamin C, they benefited. And the symptoms such as lack of attention, impulsivity, restlessness and self-control improved. But keep in mind that it is better to avoid flaxseed oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding as it can have hormonal effects.