Feeling foggy? Losing energy? Slowing down after 3pm? Concentration slipping? Memory fading?
Don’t worry, there are plenty of superfoods that can help kick your focus into high gear, boost concentration, increase energy, and bust you through that afternoon fog. Many may surprise you.
- Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, and several mood boosters. This treat also contains a compound similar to caffeine that increases energy without the same side effects. Reach for a small square or a dark chocolate drink instead of coffee.
- Eggs – Surprise! Eggs aren’t the evil, cholesterol increasing demons we were led to believe. Eggs contain good protein and omega-3s that are vital to healthy brains, solid memory, and good moods. Eat them without worry. You don’t absorb much cholesterol from food.
- Blueberries – Try them frozen for a sweet snack that perks you up with antioxidants and natural memory boosters.
- Green Tea – Green tea contains more antioxidants than blueberries and chocolate combined, but it does even more for energy and focus with a special combination of natural caffeine and L-Theanine. L-Theanine is an amino acid that improves mood, increases concentration, enhances focus, and offsets the caffeine, so you don’t get jittery. Want even more L-Theanine? Try matcha! This type of green tea has the most L-Theanine possible.
- Nuts – Nuts are a perfect snacking food. They combine protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber in a way that boosts energy and brain cells. Pick them over chips or candy and feel the difference.
- Water – Not often added to lists of superfoods, but every part of your body relies on the stuff, from brain to blood flow to clearing up metabolic waste that slows you down. Don’t overdo it though. Despite what many people say, there is not certain amount of glasses you should pound a day. Drink when you’re thirsty, but reach for clean, pure water over sugary sodas or juices.
- Rosemary – The scent alone has been shown to improve concentration, focus, and testing abilities. Bring a small plant to work with you and crush a leaf between your fingers when you begin to feel tired and less alert. Or add a drop of essential oil to that office diffuser. Sprinkle it into savory recipes too!
- Salmon – Many fish contain omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to proper nerve and brain cell function. The protein provides long-term energy too.
- Avocado – This decadent fruit is rich in healthy fats that are good for the heart and brain, but it also has vitamins and minerals that improve blood flow. Bet you didn’t know that guacamole would get your blood pumping, help you feel more energized, and improve your focus.
- Leafy Greens – Greens also contain a ton of antioxidants, but it’s the B vitamins we’re after for improved energy levels, mood, and brain health here.
- Banana – Bananas give a quick boost with complex carbs and some simple sugars, but the potassium in them is vital to healthy nerves and brain.
- Oatmeal – Whole grains contain protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and beneficial vitamins and minerals. Oatmeal is one of the best. It supplies slow-burning carbs for long-term energy. Try pairing it with banana for extra energy or cinnamon for an even slower burn.
- Yogurt – Full of protein and healthy fats, yogurt is a great snack food to get you going again. There is also growing evidence that a healthy microbiome affects mood, energy levels, and focus, so take care of your gut and you take care of your mind.
- Pumpkin Seed – Pumpkin seeds are a delicious snack rich in omega 3 fatty acids, protein, good carbs, fiber, and zinc, all vital to a sharp, healthy brain. Try cooking with pumpkin oil too.
Non-Food Ways to Boost Focus
There are many other foods to try, but we also wanted to highlight some activities that can improve your focus, energy, and concentration.
- Sleep – Make sure you’re getting more than eight hours each night. Sleep is when the body heals, repairs, and cleans house. If you aren’t getting enough, metabolic waste builds up in the brain and in muscle tissue. No wonder many of us feel foggy, tired, and slow halfway through the day.
- Meditate – Meditation is a great way to relax, release stress, and recenter. A short five to ten minutes of meditation is enough to have you feeling refreshed and ready for more. Enhanced mood, focus, concentration, and general health are just a few benefits.
- Nap – Power naps or cat naps are not a bad thing. Many companies are adding nap pods or nap rooms as they find people return from short naps re-energized, refocused, and renewed with more creativity and focus. Take ten to twenty minutes, but no more, or you might come back feeling groggy.
- Exercise – Get blood pumping to the extremities and the brain for a ton of energy and focus. It doesn’t take much either. Try a ten-minute walk, a game of ping pong, twenty jumping jacks, or a quick dance party with your coworkers to get some endorphins going. Any movement is better than sitting for hours, letting your blood slow, and encouraging your lymphatic system grind to a halt.
- Bathe or Shower – If you work from home or are lucky enough to have a shower at work, take advantage of it. A bath or shower can lower stress, especially when combined with relaxing or invigorating essential oils.