Brain foods that increase concentration while studying

Contents 

  1. Introduction into brain foods for concentration
  2. Brain foods that can increase concentration during study
  • Herbs – Sage
  • Red and blue berries
  • Coffee
  • Dark chocolate
  1. Summary of brain foods and healthy lifestyle during study

1. Introduction into brain foods for studying 

Whether you are a GCSE, A-level, or a university student, studying is going to take up a lot of your spare time. The important thing is to get the right balance between healthy lifestyle and study to avoid burn out and keep your brain and body working at its best. This blog will look at some of the health foods and health food supplements you can introduce into your diet to improve concentration, focus and energy.

2. Brain foods that can increase concentration during study

Herbs – Sage

We know certain herbs can alter mental states and cognitive function. Herbs can help with sleep, relaxation, anxiety and can also help with improving cognitive function and concentration. Sage or Salvia Officinalis is one of those herbs. It can be purchased as a health food supplement, as a raw food or even as an oil. Sage works by inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, making more acetylcholine available in the synapses of the brain. This mechanism of action helps improve brain function, cognition and increases concentration. Prescription only drugs that help with concentration, like modafinil, have a similar mechanism of action. Sage is a food and herb alternative that has been used for thousands of years in traditional herbal medicine as cognitive enhancing nootropic. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003706/)

Red and blue berries

Red and blue coloured berries including blueberries, blackberries and cranberries are foods that are particularly nutrient dense and high in antioxidants. They contain high levels of anthocyanins and vitamins that exhibit potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are important when it comes to brain health, brain function and concentration because they help protect against the oxidation of cells including brain cells. Free radical damage is another way to describe this damaging process which can lead to cells within the body and brain not functioning to their best. Antioxidants help to protect against this and in doing so help to optimise concentration and brain function. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632771/)

Coffee

The drinking of coffee is engrained on our culture. The affects are very clear, it increases energy, concentration and alertness due to the caffeine content. There is a study from 2017 that has reviewed over 200 research articles and found that 3-4 cups of coffee a day is beneficial to health. Although the benefits of coffee are clear on improving concentration, it is a good idea not to drink after 4pm so that your sleep is not affected. Good sleep is an important factor when studying as it helps to reduce anxiety during this stressful time and allows your brain to recover so that it can work to its optimum the following day. (https://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5024)

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is a good alternative to eating milk chocolate high in sugar. Dark chocolate has mood boosting and cognitive enhancing properties which can help in times of extreme pressure like that of exams and intense study periods. The raw ingredient in dark chocolate, Cocoa, is rich in antioxidants and minerals making it a good food to add into your diet whilst studying. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4696435/)

3. Summary of brain foods and healthy lifestyle during study

These are just some of the foods that you can consider adding into your diet whilst studying to help increasing concentration, focus and energy. There are also a few other essential points to remember on top of eating the best foods for concentration during study and examination times. These factors include eating a Mediterranean diet, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep and exercising regularly. Things to avoid include eating fast foods and highly sugary foods as they can cloud concentration and mental focus in the long run. All these points are essential to maintaining good mental health and optimising your concentration and focus during study.

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