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Eat These 7 Foods to Boost Your Focus at Work

Dine your way to sharper concentration
Woman holding a bowl of berries

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Selecting the appropriate dietary options can trigger a remarkable boost in both energy and brain health, which is especially advantageous in a professional setting. The outcome is a suite of mental benefits: crystal-clear thinking, a more retentive memory, heightened focus, and a substantial increase in productivity.

So, what should you reach for when you need a boost in concentration and vigor? Here are seven nutritious foods known to boost focus.

1. Fatty Fish

According to UCLA Health, diets rich in fatty fish have been shown to improve cognitive function and provide protective properties that benefit brain volume and structure. This is due to the omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish like salmon, trout, and sardines. Some studies have shown that a diet rich in fatty fish can even help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Reaping these benefits doesn’t require a long time at the grill or stove. Instead, you can find prepared and packed salmon, trout, and sardines that make a quick and tasty lunch on the go. For a breakfast boost, salmon pairs wonderfully with a poached or over-easy egg and toast.

2. Blueberries

Enjoy the brain-boosting benefits of blueberries; no cooking is required. Grab a handful anytime you need a quick hit of energy and focus. If you want more than plain blueberries, sprinkle them on your morning oatmeal or yogurt.

According to Medical News Today, studies have found that eating just a handful of blueberries daily could strengthen cognitive health. Blueberries contain plant-based compounds known as anthocyanins, which increase blood flow to the brain and improve brain function.

3. Leafy Greens

According to Mayo Clinic, dark, leafy greens—like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard—can boost brain power by decreasing inflammation and improving blood flow to the brain. This, in turn, improves memory and prevents age-related memory loss thanks to these greens’ antioxidants and high vitamin content, such as vitamin C.

Not everyone may be fond of leafy greens, but there are creative ways to include them beyond just salads. Try blending them into smoothies for a quick and nutritious breakfast or snack. If you’re looking for a more filling option, you can easily mix a handful of these greens into your favorite recipes, such as omelets, soups, or pasta dishes. This way, you can reap the brain-boosting benefits without compromising on taste.

4. Nuts and Seeds

According to Harvard Health, prior studies have linked vitamin E to better cognitive function and increased resistance to neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. Some of the best food sources of vitamin E include sunflower seeds and almonds.

Grab a packet of sunflower seeds or almonds for a quick midday boost, or add them to your favorite recipes. They work well in everything from baked goods to granola to salads.

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5. Avocados

Avocados are excellent for snacking and enhancing meals at any time of the day. Imagine starting your day with creamy avocado toast, adding a rich texture to your lunchtime salad, or incorporating avocado-based sauces into your dinner, complementing dishes from pasta to tacos.

But what’s the incentive to eat avocados so frequently? Avocados are a treasure trove of nutrients, boasting healthy fats, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as highlighted by a Frontiers in Nutrition study. This research focused on the dietary habits of older adults and discovered that regular avocado eaters exhibited superior cognitive function compared to their peers who ate avocados less often. With benefits like these, there’s every reason to say yes to that extra scoop of guacamole!

6. Dark Chocolate

When you’re craving something sweet, reach for dark chocolate. Both your sweet tooth and your brain will thank you. In fact, your brain health will see super-fast results from dark chocolate consumption; one study found that just two hours after consuming dark chocolate, study participants showed improved memory and reaction times, possibly due to dark chocolate’s high flavonoid content. Additionally, dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can help boost your mood and reduce stress, as well as caffeine. Cleveland Clinic recommends, for the most health benefits, to enjoy dark chocolate in moderation and to eat as dark a chocolate as possible, in portions of no more than two ounces at a time.

7. Whole Grains

Lastly, whole grains are digested slowly, which can help supply your body and brain with energy over time rather than providing a quick hit that results in a crash, as other foods might. As such, whole grains help your brain work more efficiently, with greater focus and concentration over time.

If you often crash after lunch, consider swapping your regular lunch option for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, or whole-grain bread and pasta. A little light lunch prep can ensure you have a brain-boosting lunch ready, whether a simple sandwich, light pasta, rice-based dish, or quinoa salad.

The Bottom Line

Incorporating whole grains, dark chocolate, fatty fish, avocados, blueberries, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens into your diet can lead to a delightful balance of nutrition and cognitive benefits. These focus-enhancing foods have been proven to promote brain health, allowing you to enjoy a diet that tastes good and sharpens your mind.

Interested in delving deeper into focus? Join us for our “Mastering Your Focus” event on June 27th where you’ll have the opportunity to hear from experts on the strategies they use to enhance their own focus and that of their teams. Discover how you can take your focus to the next level.

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Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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