How to Improve Mental Focus
Mental focus is one of those things that we would all like to improve. If you’re like most people, you probably have times throughout the course of the day when your mind wanders or you just can’t remember what you were doing.
Or perhaps you cannot find the solution to a problem you know you should remember. Regardless, learning how to improve mental focus is something that can be easily improved through eating the right foods and avoiding others entirely.
How to improve mental focus
Let’s get right to it with some great tips:
Cut Out Sugar
One of the first things to do when you’re trying to improve your mental focus is to cut out sugar. This means that you have to cut out those supposedly healthy foods that are full of sugar. It’s not just the sugar that makes some of these common “healthy” foods so dangerous for your health, but the sugar’s effect alone should be enough to make you remove them from your diet.
Sugar causes inflammation and pain in the joints and blood vessels. This inflammation has been linked to increased rates of obesity, heightened blood sugar levels, diabetes, heart disease, and more. However, it also impacts your brain’s ability to focus. Sugar buzzes, for instance, significantly decrease your brain’s ability to process information or even concentrate for a significant period of time.
In addition to this, if you are constantly eating sugar, your brain will start to stop running so efficiently when you do not give it the sugar that it has come to crave. This is part of what causes the sugar withdrawal. According to Healthy Eating, most of the sugar withdrawal effects will be eliminated within the first week or two. After that, you will find that your mental focus is significantly improved.
Drink Lots of Water
Over nine tenths of your body is made up of water. When you start to get dehydrated, the cells in your body no longer function as well as they do when they are hydrated. This can actually lead to slowed thought processes. Significant dehydration can cause a variety of sensory and mental problems, including hallucinations and mood swings.
Preliminary signs of dehydration include lethargy and an inability to focus. If you find yourself in a mental slump and having a hard time focusing, you need to get up, stretch, and drink a big glass of cool water.
Eat Eggs, Fish, and Other High Protein Foods
Eggs are rich in protein as well as B vitamins. B vitamins and protein both perform critical functions in regards to keeping your brain healthy. They also jump start your metabolism and help you to get fueled up for the day. This is part of the reason that they make such an excellent breakfast food.
Fish, particularly fresh fish, are also excellent. Certain fish like anchovies, mackerel, and salmon are high in omega 3 fatty acids. A significant portion of the brain is made up of DHA, one of the omega 3s present in these fish.
When there are sufficient levels of DHA, the brain cells are better able to communicate, meaning that you can focus better and produce the necessary hormones. DHA is also transformed into serotonin and dopamine. Without these chemicals, you cannot concentrate for more than a brief period of time.
You can also get a significant boost for your brain by eating other high protein foods like beef. Beef is also high in vitamin B as well as the amino acid l-tyrosine. The l-tyrosine also contributes to the production of dopamine.
Additionally, beef digests at a much slower rate, and it is ideal for keeping your energy levels steady throughout the day. This is one of the reasons that steak and eggs was considered a staple of the working farmer and cowboy’s breakfast for years.
Depending on how much sugar is in your diet and how much you eat these foods already, it may take a little while before you notice the benefits in your improved mental concentration. Make an effort to consume these brain friendly foods throughout the day as well as keep your water levels up.
The sugar withdrawal will fade in time, and you will be stunned at how much better you feel.
Emily Davidson, “How and Why to Cut Out Sugar,” Healthy Eating Naturally, healthyeatingnaturally.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/how-and-why-to-cut-out-sugar/ (2011).