Brain Foods

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There are certain foods that can help you concentrate. Foods and dietary supplements are always being talked about but do they really work? As we age our body also ages right along with us. Hopefully we can improve our chances of maintaining a healthy brain by adding some “smart” foods and drink to your diet.

  • Caffeine can energize you and help you concentrate. This is found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks and some medications. That caffeine will give you the unmistakable wake-up buzz even though the effects are short-term. If you happen to over do it though, you can end up jittery and very uncomfortable. Oh by the way, I encourage you to drink organic coffee if you are a coffee drinker.
  • Your preferred fuel source is glucose, which your body processes from the sugars and carbs you eat. Something sweet to drink can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking and mental ability. Your memory can be impaired if you have too much. **Cancer patients should absolutely stay away from all refined sugar since science has proven sugar feeds cancer cells.
  • You need breakfast to fuel your brain. Eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention according to studies. Those students eating breakfast tend to perform better than those who don’t. Eat high fiber whole grains, dairy and fruits, but don’t overeat. High calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.
  • Fish is a protein source linked to a great brain boost, as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key for brain health. They have amazing brain power. Lower dementia and stroke risks along with slower mental decline have been linked with diets that are high in fish. Two servings of fish per week are recommended.
  • Adding nuts and seeds are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, and is linked in some studies to less cognitive decline as you age. Dark chocolate is another powerful antioxidant property and contains natural stimulants like caffeine, which can enhance focus.
  • Every organ in the body, especially the heart and brain, depends upon blood flow. Practicing a diet high in whole grains and fruits like avocados can cut the risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol. Reducing your risk of plaque buildup to enhance blood flow is another enhancement of including avocados and whole grains to your diet. Popcorn is also a dietary fiber and contains vitamin E but please use organic air popped popcorn.
  • Delicious blueberries are super nutritious and may help protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions.
    If your diet lacks essential nutrients, it can hurt your ability to concentrate. Do not eat too much or too little because this can also interfere with your focus.
  • A supplement is only useful to people whose diets are lacking in that specific nutrient. Many claim to boost health and researchers are optimistic about ginseng, gingko and vitamin, mineral and herb combinations but more proof is needed.

If you start that meal in the morning of 100% fruit juice, a whole grain bagel with salmon and a cup of organic coffee, this will power up your ability to concentrate. Along with your dietary requirements, get a good night’s sleep, stay hydrated, exercise to help sharpen thinking and meditate to clear thinking and RELAX.
– Dr Fredda Branyon

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