How to boost your brain power in seven days
PUBLISHED: 15:24 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:50 21 August 2018
This content is subject to copyright.
Improve your concentration and focus with these seven helpful tips from nutritionist Amy Morris.
Do you find yourself forgetting the simplest of things, or hitting a brick wall early on in your day? If yes, you’re not alone. Lifestyles that have us on the go 24/7, as well as technology that can give us an answer in seconds, have contributed to us becoming forgetful and struggling to concentrate, however it’s not all bad news.
Amy Morris, naturopathic nutritionist for Water for Health said: “By making small tweaks to your diet and lifestyle, you can boost your concentration and memory over the course of just one week. These small, often unnoticeable changes to your daily routine should leave you feeling better and more able in next to no time!”
Top tips for helping boost your brain power
Day 1: Ditch your morning coffee and replace it with matcha green tea. Matcha will still give you a caffeine fix, which can help to energise and improve concentration, but unlike your normal morning coffee, will also give you a good dose of antioxidants that are known for helping 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 such as jitteriness. The best sources of matcha are organically grown and come from the Uji region of Japan.
Day 2: Up your intake of oily fish. Several studies have shown that supplementing your diet with omega 3 fish oil can boost concentration due to its ability to help increase blood flow to the brain during mental activity. Additional studies have also shown that a diet with higher levels of omega 3 is linked to a lowered risk of dementia and strokes, and can slow down mental decline. Omega 3 fish oil can be obtained through eating oily fish, such as line and pole caught mackerel (this is also lower in mercury), however if you’d prefer a high quality omega 3 fish oil supplement, then a product like Uno Cardio Active Mind could help.
Day 3: Make sure breakfast is part of your daily routine. If you skip breakfast regularly, make sure it becomes a priority when trying to boost your brain power. Eating breakfast daily can help to improve short term memory and attention span, with several studies showing that students who eat breakfast tend to perform better overall than those who skip it. A good breakfast should ideally include food from all three of the macronutrient groups, protein, carbohydrates and fats. All choices should be as fresh as possible and in whole food form for maximum nutrition and benefits to health and concentration.
Day 4: Nuts and seeds are a good source of vitamin E which has been linked in some studies to less cognitive decline as you age. Chia pods are a great way to get in extra vitamin E from seeds, and when you make your cereal or porridge in the morning try topping with a handful of pecans, cashews and almonds, slightly ground in your blender first.
Day 5: Drink more water. Lack of water in the body, means lack of water to the brain. This lack of water can cause poor concentration, lack of focus, headaches and forgetfulness. The best water to drink is purified water that is as free from chemicals and contaminants as possible. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends that men drink two and a half litres of water, while women drink two litres of water per day. But this may need to be increased if you exercise a lot or have a very physically demanding job.
Day 6: Get a good night’s sleep. When measuring sleepiness, scientists found that people with sleep deprivation had lower alertness and concentration. They also found it is more difficult to concentrate and pay attention, making it easier for you get confused and not remember things as they happened. Research has found that everyone’s concentration is best when seven hours of sleep or more a night is obtained. Any less and people can start to suffer.
Day 7: Meditate to de-stress. A study published in the journal Psychological Science, found that people who meditate intensively had better attention and sustained focus, even during the most mundane of tasks. But, if you don’t fancy becoming a yogi anytime soon, there is good news. Previous research from The University of North Carolina in the USA also found that meditating for as little as 20 minutes a day, over just four days can be enough to improve cognitive skills. In one test, students were given a particularly challenging computer test of sustained attention and the students who had meditated performed 10 times better than the control group. If you are new to meditation, look out for meditation groups listed in your area, or watch how the experts do it on a vlog. Once you get the hang of it, you will learn it is quite easy to do and will help you also lower your stress levels if practised at the end of every day for even 10 minutes.