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Monday, June 22, 2015

5 Foods for Better Focus

The connection between nutrition and the brain continues to be a focus of brain science, and one that we can no longer ignore. ADHD is not just a "kiddie" illness, as more adults than ever are on ADHD medications for performance. Women, in particular, struggle with focus as hormones change, with many women complaining of perimenopausal/postmenopausal brain fog or memory loss.
The good news is that you can eat to gain a more focused mind.
 
Fish
Fatty fishes win as one of the best foods for focus to include in a brain-healthy diet. High in vitamin D3, omega-3 fats, and protein, fatty fishes like salmon and tuna provide key nutrients to a starved brain. Aim to get two to three servings of fish per week, and include different varieties like whitefish, halibut, or other fish lower on the food chain, like sardines and anchovies. Just be sure to avoid these 12 fish you should never eat.

Eggs
Another brain superfood is the egg. Eggs contain omega-3 fats and B vitamins that are critical to brain processing and neurotransmitter balance. Eggs are a great source of protein, with a single egg coming in at 7 grams of the good stuff. Include eggs in your daily diet at least four times a week.

 
Steak
Steak has lost its glamour as a food superstar, but small quantities of grass-fed steak do have high amounts of omega-3 fats, along with a nicely absorbable form of iron. Many people forget the importance of iron in cognition, learning, and memory. Beef may be hard to digest, but a small (4-ounce) serving of grass-fed steak once or twice a week should keep your brain and gut humming.

Spinach
Spinach is not just a step-sibling to kale: As another source of vegetarian iron, spinach also contains more folic acid, vitamin E, choline, and essential amino acids than kale—and those are all necessary brain nutrients. Spinach also has more magnesium than kale, boosting levels of this key micronutrient. And the best part about this brain superfood is that it can be used in so many ways—juices, smoothies, salads, and stir-fries.

 
Nuts/Nut Butter
The importance of healthy fats as a part of a diet geared to optimum performance is well established. Finding foods that provide them can be challenging, but adding just a few—only seven—almonds, walnuts, or cashews to your diet gives you a quick brain boost. Nuts are high in essential fats and are sometimes easier to grab as your "fat source" during a busy day. (Plus, it's super easy to make your own nut butters, without any of the questionable additives.)

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