Sometimes, when balancing hectic work and social schedules, keeping your work-life balance in mind can be a little overwhelming. It is common for many people to have occasional loss of concentration, especially when they work long hours. However, if you find yourself having difficulty staying focused on a regular basis, it may be a sign that you need to make some lifestyle changes to increase your brain power. One of the easiest ways to do this is to tweak your diet and include foods like nuts and seeds or oily fish. Studies show that these can give you a serious boost and help you stay focused.
We caught up with nutritionist Amy Morris, who exclusively shared her top tips for increasing brain performance with us HI! On-line…
Try to include more nuts and seeds in your diet
Don’t skip breakfast: In trying to increase your brain power, make breakfast an essential part of your daily routine. Eating breakfast daily can help improve short-term memory and attention span. Multiple studies show that students who eat breakfast perform better overall than those who skip it. A good breakfast should ideally contain a small amount of food from all three macronutrient groups. Protein, carbohydrates and fats. Stick to fresh foods and whole foods for the best possible nutrition and benefits for your overall health and focus.
Throw away your morning coffee: Instead, start your day with a cup of matcha green tea. Not only are you still getting your caffeine fix, matcha tea can also help you recharge your batteries and improve your focus. Unlike coffee, matcha also contains a good dose of antioxidants, which are known to protect cells and DNA from damage. Matcha also contains a good amount of the amino acid L-theanine and can eliminate the negative effects of caffeine like nervousness. Try organically grown matcha from the Uji region of Japan – it’s hailed as the best source for this tea!
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Eat more nuts and seeds: This is a great source of vitamin E, which has been linked to lower cognitive decline in old age in some studies. Chia pods are a great way to get extra vitamin E from seeds, and unsalted nuts make healthy mid-morning snacks. An easy way to include these in your diet is with breakfast. When making your granola or porridge, add a handful of pecans, cashews, and almonds. Try to lightly grind them in your blender first for great taste, or choose unsalted nuts for a healthy mid-morning snack.
Drink more water: A lack of water in the body means a lack of water in the brain. This can lead to poor concentration, difficulty concentrating, headaches, depression and forgetfulness. The best water to drink is purified water, which is as free of chemicals and contaminants as possible. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends that men drink 2.5 liters of water per day and women 2.0 liters of water per day. However, this may need to be increased if you exercise a lot or have a very physically demanding job.
Meditation can be a great tool for reducing stress
Increase Your Oily Fish Intake: Several studies have shown that supplementing your diet with omega-3 fish oil can increase concentration, as it can increase blood flow to the brain during mental activity. Additional studies also show that a diet high in omega-3 levels may be linked to a reduced risk of dementia and stroke. The easiest way to get omega-3s is to eat oily fish like line and pole mackerel. However, if you need a quick fix, try an omega-3 fish oil supplement.
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Stress relief through meditation: A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that people who meditated intensely had better alertness and sustained focus even with everyday tasks. Don’t fret if you don’t want to become a yogi anytime soon – a separate study at the University of North Carolina found that meditating as little as 20 minutes a day for four days can be enough to improve your cognitive skills. Watch out for meditation groups in your area or subscribe to a vlog to learn the basics.
Sleep well: When measuring sleepiness, scientists found that people with sleep deprivation were less alert and less focused. They also found that it is harder to focus and pay attention, which makes it easier for you to get confused and not remember things as they happened. Research has shown that everyone’s concentration is best when they sleep at least seven hours a night.
More information is available at waterforhealth.co.uk