What are the best foods to boost motivation and concentration?
The way you work and how you feel is directly linked to your diet, so it is important to know what to put inside your body to get the most out of it. Drive and focus are key ingredients to a successful day of work, so here are a few foods you can eat to boost your motivation and concentration.
Eating a handful of blueberries is one of the fastest natural ways to stimulate your brain and improve your concentration. This is because they are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients that protect your cells from damage. This damage can be caused by a variety of factors such as natural radiation and harmful substances in food.
What blueberries do so well, is that they can stabilise your brain function by protecting the neural tissue from the build-up of oxidative stress you gather throughout the day. Blueberries also have the ability to stimulate the receptors in your brain, which boosts concentration and reaction times.
I find that blueberries work great in naturally sweetening smoothies. Take a look at this great smoothie recipe.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate (not milk or white chocolate) is crammed with vitamins and nutrients that have a positive effect on how your brain works. Eating dark chocolate has been proven to increase the blood flow to your brain, meaning a boost in concentration and overall brain activity.
Dark chocolate also contains caffeine and theobromine, which can increase your brains awareness and in turn stimulate a short-term motivational boost. This is why it is one of the best things you can eat before a mathematical test or exam.
When purchasing dark chocolate, make sure it contains at least 70% cocoa to get the full brain-boosting effect. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the dryer the chocolate tastes, so make sure you buy a percentage that you are happy to eat.
If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, but still want to keep your diet as healthy as possible, why not try making a healthy chocolate moose desert. Here is a really good recipe that you could try.
Bananas are cheap, easy to get hold of and fantastic for your brain and body. So having bananas in your diet is a no-brainer.
Bananas are full of vitamin B6 and magnesium, which both contribute hugely to the maintenance of your overall health and wellbeing. What makes bananas so good for your brain is their high level of fructose. Once digested, your body converts the fructose into glucose, which your brain needs to function correctly.
Eating a banana in the morning before you go to work or school, will give your brain enough energy for the full day and decrease your chances of feeling depressed and/or stressed throughout the day significantly. Its mood stabilising ability is why it is one of the UK’s most eaten fruits.
Green, unripe bananas have not yet created the full capacity of vitamins and minerals. So make sure your banana is yellow before eating it.
Tuna is a fatty fish that is full of brain-feeding omega 3 at healthy fats. One of these fats is called DHA and is known to maintain the flexibility of cell membranes, which facilitate communication between your brain and nerve cells. Although you may think fat is bad, scientists believe your brain is made up of 60% fat, 25% of which is DHA.
People who have diets high in fresh, cold-water fish, typically have a higher IQ and memory than people who do not. So if you need an overall mental boost, fish is the way to go.
Don’t like tuna? No problem, salmon also holds the same brain feeding benefits, so it makes a great alternative.
Although avocados are often seen as a symbol of the millennial, they are in fact very beneficial for the brain. This is because they are full of healthy fats that increase the blood flow around your body. Having a strong and healthy blood flow is essential for your heart and brain health.
Avocados have a creamy texture but lack any interesting flavours so it is more suited to eat avocados as a side dish or as an ingredient to make it a bit more interesting. Alternatively, adding avocado to a smoothie is a great way to give your smoothie a smooth texture.
When it comes down to healthy foods, spinach is never too far away from the scene. Spinach is often known for its ability to help the body produce and protect muscle, but it is also a great food for the brain. They are full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, lutein and carotene, which can help feed your brain.
Spinach is also full of the same anti-oxidants found in blueberries, so if you are looking for a food that is less expensive and more savoury, spinach makes a great alternative.
7. Seeds (sunflower & pumpkin)
Seeds may be small, but they are mighty for the brain. This is because they contain a large concentration and variation of omega 3 fatty acids, which keep your brain running as it should. Seeds and nuts also contain high amounts of amino arginine, which stimulates the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. This gland produces growth hormones that keep your brain young and active.
Walnuts are the top nut for brain health. They contain the same brain-boosting fatty acids found in tuna and salmon. Walnuts are so powerful, they have been found to eliminate the signs of dementia and Parkinson’s disease drastically in older people.
What is so good about walnuts is their convenience. Unlike fresh or cooked foods, they do not quickly run out of date or need time to prepare. If you work at a desk, you could benefit hugely from having a bag of walnuts on your table and lightly snacking on them throughout the day.
9. Brown rice
Last but certainly not least, is brown rice. Brown rice contains more nutrients than its white rice alternatives, so swapping your traditional rice with brown rice is a fast, easy and cheap way to make your meal healthier.
Brown rice contains glutathione, which is responsible for keeping you alert and also known to get rid of any brain fog you may encounter throughout the day.
Adding a few of these foods to your diet will ensure that your brain is fully motivated and your concentration levels are high.