If you can’t concentrate, it’s possible that your brain isn’t getting the nutrition it needs.
Unfortunately, most diet and nutrition information is focused on shrinking bellies, not feeding brains!
Eat Right for Your Brain
To eat the right food for your brain, keep these simple principles in mind.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
They are high in vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients your brain needs.
Avoid white sugar and refined carbs which send your blood sugar level on a roller coaster ride.
Your brain needs a steady supply of blood glucose since brain cells don’t store energy.
Avoid MSG, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners.
These chemical additives are known neurotoxins.
Use a wide variety of herbs and spices to make your meals delicious and brain-healthy.
Rosemary and turmeric are particularly good for the brain. (4, 5)
Buy wild salmon and grass-fed meat for their brain-boosting omega-3 essential fatty acids. (6, 7)
Regular supermarket fish and meat can’t compare.
Your brain is largely made up of fat, so eat plenty of healthy high-fat foods like nuts and avocados.
Low-fat diets haven’t made us thin and they have been a disaster for our brains!
They may even contribute to Alzheimer’s. (8)
Avoid vegetable oils like canola and soy oil which are highly inflammatory. (9)
Use coconut oil instead.
It contains medium chain triglycerides that bypass glucose metabolism, getting energy directly to the brain cells that need it. (10)
Treat yourself to dark chocolate.
Flavonoids, caffeine and theobromine work together to improve memory and concentration. (11)
Address Nutritional Deficiencies
You might think that nutritional deficiencies are a thing of the past, but this is not the case.
The three most common deficiencies that can wreak havoc with brain function are omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. (12, 13, 14)
Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, is an omega-3 essential fatty acid that is a major building block of the brain.
A DHA deficiency has been linked to many brain problems and psychiatric disorders.
Memory loss, depression, mood swings, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have all been found to improve with DHA supplementation. (15)
Vitamin B12 is the most common vitamin deficiency in the US, particularly among seniors who often have poor absorption.
People who eat little or no meat are particularly at risk, since animal foods are the only dependable sources of B12. (16)
Vitamin D can lift your mood, improve memory, and increase problem-solving ability.
Yet it’s estimated that only 25% of Americans get enough. (17)
In the US, if you live north of Atlanta, it’s almost impossible to get all the sun exposure you need year-round.
Improve Concentration with Dopamine
Neurotransmitters are chemicals that brain cells use to communicate with each other.
One of the most important is dopamine.
Dopamine provides your “get up and go.”
If you have trouble concentrating, you may have a dopamine deficiency.
Low energy, motivation, and libido are all signs of low dopamine.
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So is needing pick-me-ups like caffeine, sugar, chocolate, or other stimulants to get through the day.
A protein-rich diet is an excellent source of the amino acids needed to create dopamine.
Besides all animal products, foods that promote dopamine formation include avocados, apples, bananas, beets, sea vegetables, green leafy vegetables, oatmeal, chocolate, green tea, and coffee. (18, 19)
The top supplements to improve concentration by boosting dopamine levels are tyrosine, phosphatidylserine (PS), and Ginkgo biloba.
Tyrosine is an amino acid which converts into dopamine.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a phospholipid that’s found in particularly high concentrations in the brain.
It acts as your brain’s gatekeeper, regulating which nutrients get in and how waste gets out of your brain.
Studies have found it can improve memory, concentration, learning, and ADHD. (20, 21)