Do you find yourself forgetting the simplest of things, or hitting the ‘work wall’ early in the day, unable to concentrate, or complete tasks to the best of your ability? You needn’t worry, you’re not alone. With such fast paced lifestyles it is easy to become forgetful and very common to feel a dip in concentration, but it’s not all bad news.
Top nutritionist Amy Morris has put together her top tips to help you boost your brain power, naturally in just seven days. Amy says, “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!”
Day 1: Ditch coffee and replace 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, matcha 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 also show that a diet with higher levels of omega 3 has been 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 Uno Cardio Active Mind could help, and it also contains important B Vitamins which further enhance the brain boosting benefits.
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 a little food from all three of the macronutrient groups, such as 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: Go Nuts
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, depression 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 2.5 litres of water per day, and women 2.0 litres 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 7 hours of sleep, or more, a night is obtained. As any less and people start to suffer with more mood problems and difficulty concentrating.
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 good news if you don’t fancy becoming a yogi anytime soon, previous research from The University of North Carolina 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 who were given a particularly challenging computer test of sustained attention, 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.
About the Expert
Amy Morris is a Naturopathic Nutritionist for Water for Health. She is an expert on holistic health and alternative, natural treatments and therapies which treat the body as a whole for improved health and wellbeing. Founder of Great Health Naturally, Amy prescribes a range of natural and high quality supplements and foods to her clients, to naturally improve their health and quality of life. To learn more, please visit www.waterforhealth.co.uk