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Written by Ripe London on May 1, 2019

Top 4 Foods (& Drinks) to Help Improve Concentration & Memory

People are working more than ever, relying on their brains where previous generations might have employed braun. This busy-brained lifestyle of the modern era can easily cause people to neglect their body’s basic requirements. How many of you have skipped breakfast because you’re running late? Or missed lunch to catch up on important work?

The fact is, however, that your body is like a machine and without the correct input will cease to produce the right output. When it comes to concentration and memory, two essential attributes for both work and life, there are a number of nutrients that can be called upon, and even more food sources. This article will look at 4 foods and drinks that can help with concentration and memory, improving your performance as an employee and a person.

1. Water

First is water. It is essential for cognition and, as a result, a necessary inclusion in this list. Our bodies are made up of 85% water and rely hugely upon it. After all, the only result of prolonged dehydration is death. But did you know that losing just 2% of body weight in water can cause a 30% drop in cognitive function? It wasn’t long ago that exam invigilators starting letting students keep bottled water on their desks for this reason. They also quickly realised that the labels on bottles made convenient cheat sheets. This was perhaps a eureka moment of some quick-thinking well-hydrated examinee, considering hydration can increase reaction speed by 14%, but there has been no research to suggest this!

As far as the science goes, the brain is similar to the body in that it is mainly made up of water. When the brain becomes dehydrated, it actually starts to shrink. This limits the electrical connections available within the brain, affecting concentration, memory and mood. On top of this, the cells in the brain use around twice as much energy as others. Water is the most efficient source of this energy and we should drink about eight glasses of day if we want to stay at our sharpest. That being said, you can get hydrated from other sources.

2. Blueberries

Blueberries often get mentioned in ‘best foods for...’ lists. This is because they are considered a superfood. Blueberries contain a number of antioxidants that have been shown to lower the risk of certain cancers and heart problems. They also have short term benefits for exercise by dilating the blood vessels, allowing oxygen to be distributed through the body more effectively. However, their benefits go beyond the body and can boost your brain too.

Research has shown that blueberries can increase concentration and memory for up to 5 hours after consumption. This means that a morning portion of blueberries could hold the key to the mid-afternoon crash many workers complain about. The flavonoids in blueberries are among its most valuable contents. When consumed, flavonoids activate an enzyme in the body that increases blood and water supply to the brain.

A test was conducted on 21 primary school age children, during which they completed cognitive tests on three separate occasions. The research showed that the children who were fueled by blueberry juice performed better in tasks that involved recall and avoiding distractions. This means that adding blueberries to your child’s diet could help them physically and academically.

3. Avocados

Avocados may get a bad name for their fat content but their pros far outweigh their cons. It’s important to remember that not all fats are bad for you. Avocados contain healthy fats, which are essential for every cell in your body, supporting healthy skin and increasing vitamin and mineral absorption. Monounsaturated fats, making up 75% of an avocado, also aid in the production of acetylcholine, which is a chemical in the brain responsible for memory and learning.

As well as memory, avocados can have an impact on your mood as well. Sufferers of depression might find some benefits in the high levels of folate that avocados contain. Folate prevents the buildup of homocysteine, a substance that causes circulatory issues within the brain. Homocysteine also interferes with the production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine which regulate mood, sleep and appetite. This means that adding a portion of avocado to your diet could improve your memory, mood and general health.

4. Leafy greens

Lastly, leafy greens have been shown to have huge benefits for the body and brain. As well as being low in calories, leafy greens contain vitamins that can improve your general health. Collard greens, for example, contain a good amount of vitamin K, which can lower the risk of blood clotting and improve bone health. Kale is another great source of this and is also known as a superfood.

The effects of leafy greens on cognitive degeneration are of particular interest to this article. Research has shown that the nutritional contents of leafy greens could slow memory loss in older people. This is not to say that leafy greens will ward off dementia, as little research has been done into this. However, the preservation of memory is a hopeful sign for anyone worried about becoming forgetful in older age.

Adding these four foods to your diet could improve your memory and concentration. Whether you’re looking to increase your performance at work, avoid mental degeneration in later life or just stay sharp, having a healthy brain is crucial. After all, the brain is one of the few things that has made humans so successful, so it’s worth maintaining as best you can.

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