Improving focus is a healthy goal for the new year that's good for you, your co-workers, friends and family -- anyone who interacts with you or depends on you. It's easy to get pulled in many directions and lose focus, but you can change that tendency. Including these foods on a regular basis will increase your concentration along with keeping your body healthy through the seasons. I've chosen a few everyday foods that are easy to find along with a special superfood.
Crack open a walnut and pay attention to how it looks -- it highly favors the brain. It is full of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are important as having a low supply in the body can lead to depression and anxiety. Real food often gives us what we need when we need it, and walnuts are no exception. Along with providing focus, they can also help with sleeplessness before bedtime. They can raise our melatonin levels up to three times what they normally are, allowing us to relax and get a good night's sleep. I suggest having walnuts on hand by themselves or in a trail mix. Choose a raw, unsalted version.
Ginkgo is an herb that enhances focus by increasing blood flow to the brain. This is achieved by allowing more oxygen to get in the blood. This herb is high in antioxidants and a great free radical fighter that has been used in Alzheimer's and Dementia patients. You can purchase Ginkgo in a supplement form, as tea, or also as a tincture with an extracted version.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants and vitamins. They are not only great for focus, but also for our eyes. Specifically, compounds called Flavonoids are contained inside blueberries and these flavonoids aid in decision making and reasoning skills. Studies are being conducted by scientists at the USDA to gain further knowledge on just how great blueberries are for the brain. I enjoy eating them plain as well as in smoothies.
Neurologists have long been studying the effects coconut oil has on boosting cognitive function. Our brain runs off of glucose converted to energy. If our blood glucose is low and insulin decreases, our brain will become compromised during this “starving” period. This is where the MCT (medium chained triglycerides, found in coconuts) comes in. This is due to the ketones that are present in coconut oil. The body will use these ketones instead of glucose. I add coconut oil to my cooking, into warm drinks and will sometimes just take it by the spoon. I notice its effects on my brain almost instantly.
It is not a complete post by me without at least one superfood. Spirulina is a blue green algae that contains our highest plant form of B12, which is great for energy production. It is also high in sulfur which is acts as an anti-aging property for the brain. Sulfur contained in Spirulina also helps boost mineral absorption and allows for maximum effect of other supplements and food. Sulfer is depleted in our soil and is even hard to get in organic foods. Adding Spirulina to your smoothies and raw chocolate or taking it in tablet form will be the perfect to keep you focused.