You are what you eat. We have all heard this phrase before but how often do we really think about the nutritional impact our diet has on our bodies and mind? It is a well known fact that eating a poor diet full of unhealthy food such as fast food meals, high sugar snack bars and sugary drinks has a negative impact on our body’s weight and health but what about the impact those foods have on our mind and concentration levels?
Convenience foods that are highly processed such as readymade meals, fast food, and snacks such as chocolate, biscuits and crisps are all full of refined sugars and salt that make the energy levels of the body spike and cause dehydration.
These food not only contain sugars and salt they also often contain very high quantities of unhealthy fats. Fats that the body doesn’t use very well and so therefore if it can burn the energy from them stores them as fat on areas of the body. These foods also have a negative impact on our minds and concentration as energy bursts are followed by slumps of energy and lethargy and dehydration causes tiredness, poor concentration and headaches/migraines.
Eating a balanced diet full of nutritional goodness will benefit you and your body and by including foods from the list below you can help to boost you mind and concentration levels as many of the foods contain high levels of healthy fats known as omega-3 fatty acids which our bodies need to keep our hearts, eyes, skin and brain function healthy. Did you know that when eaten in moderation, as part of a balanced diet omega- 3 fatty acids can also help with the symptoms of depression, anxiety and arthritis?
Eating foods that will provide slow release energy will help your concentration as your body and mind will function at steadier pace. This combined with foods high in omega -3 fatty acids will help your brain to function in a healthy way that can have a positive impact of both performance and results.
So what are the best foods to boost mind and concentration?
Is jammed packed with goodness not only does it contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids it is also high in fibre and full of potassium. Avocados are great in a green smoothie, mashed on toast or sliced and added to any salad or even eaten as they are.
Such as mackerel and sardines are bursting with protein and omega-3 fatty acids that will not only boost the brain but the protein will help keep you fuller for longer. Smoked mackerel (though a little more saltier than un- smoked) and eggs make a nutritious breakfast or add sardines in a tomato sauce to salad for lunch.
Nuts and Seeds
Are a great way to increase your healthy fat intake but again should be eaten in moderation. Walnuts, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, chia and pumpkin seeds are just a few of the nuts and seeds that contain the good fats. Sprinkle on anything from breakfast, lunch or dinner or have as a snack during the day or after exercise.
When you fancy a sweet treat choose a dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids. Not only is a much healthier choice of sweet treats it is also packed with serotonin that can help to boost mood and help with relaxation. A couple of squares of good quality dark chocolate will satisfy a lot longer than a full bar of chocolate packed with high levels of processed fats and sugars.
Is one of the best breakfast choices you can choose when it comes to slow release energy. It is full of fibre and is very low in fat when made with water or low fat milks. Add in a sprinkle of nuts and seeds and you have a powerful brain boosting start to your day.
Make a great alternative to bread for a lunch time meal or make the healthiest chocolate biscuit snack by smoothing a thin layer of dark chocolate over a cracker and save for when energy levels fall, add nuts butters or slices of avocado to also provide a double mood boosting concentration hit.
Are an excellent source of slow release energy that pack a high level of vitamins and nutrients too such as potassium, magnesium which help to keep our bodies functioning well. They are also full of fibre for good digestive health.
Will provide a steady slow release of energy that will help you to feel fuller for longer after eating. Choose wholegrain pastas, bread or rice when making lunches and dinners and don’t forget to add in plenty of vegetables and a protein source too to create a balanced meal.
Whatever you choose to eat choosing a balanced diet and including a mix of the above ideas will help to improve your mind and concentration levels no matter what the day brings.