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Foods to boost your concentration and mental alertness

Whether you’re at the office desk all day, studying, running around or home alone with the children, the foods you eat may be having a large impact on your ability to concentrate. Research shows that compounds found in certain foods may just help you stay focused and alert.

Needless to say, eating a diet full of junk food and processed carbohydrates is far from ideal for your health, let alone your concentration. Eating a healthy balance diet containing lean sources of protein, healthy fats, nutrient dense carbohydrates and plenty of fruit and vegetables is a great foundation. However, try including these foods to really help focus the mind;

1.    Eat oily fish 2-3 times a week

Oily fish is rarely a regular feature in people’s diet but it really should be! The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are found in salmon, herring, mackerel and trout. These fatty acids are believed to be responsible for maintaining cognitive function and reducing the decline in mental health associated with the aging process.

2.    Drink coffee (Max 3 cups)

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, which boosts concentration and alertness. Whilst this is news that may not come as a shock to you, you may be surprised to hear that research shows moderate regular consumption has overall positive effects on concentration. However, limit yourself to 3 cups a day to avoid negative side-effects such as headaches and irritability.

3.    Eat dark leafy greens most days

Granted, this doesn’t sound glamorous or exciting however, research has shown that eating a diet high in vegetables may be associated with a slower decline in memory and concentration. Apart form this, dark leafy greens are packed with nutrients that provide no end of benefits to your health and performance. If they just don’t appeal, try adding them to a smoothie.

4.    Drink water (2-3 litres per day)

Dehydration and the perception of thirst is associated with a decline in focus and concentration, headaches and general grogginess. If you don’t like drinking water, squash, fruit and herbal teas and coconut water are also great.

5.    Berries

Berries, particularly blueberries are packed with antioxidants, which protect the body from oxidative stress. They have also been associated to the delay in memory decline and an improvement in learning capacity and motor skills.