Coffee is a staple in many of our routines. We rely on it to wake us up and power us through our 2 p.m. brain fog. But after the caffeine rush wears off, our brains are left cloudier.
To combat the fog, we’ve compiled a list of foods that help you focus. As a perk, all of these options are quick and easy solutions for at-work munching. (And some are excellent alternatives to coffee…)
Edamame is the official name of boiled green soybeans- a Japanese staple. Along with packing 9 grams of fiber per serving, edamame is also rich in choline, a component required for the production of a neurotransmitter that helps relay information throughout the nervous system.
Research shows that higher choline intake is linked to increased verbal and visual memory. Edamame works well as a snack or main dish and is perfect for desk dining.
Matcha is green tea on steroids. Instead of brewing tea and removing the leaves, matcha is a powder that is blended into tea, meaning you ingest the leaves and fully absorb their nutrients. And matcha is loaded with nutrients.
The antioxidant levels in matcha are 17 times that in wild blueberries and even 6.2 times greater than that of goji berries. Matcha also contains up to 5 times more L-theanine than conventional green tea. This amino acid has psychoactive properties, allowing it to induce alpha wave activity in the brain.
This alpha wave activity can relieve stress, promote relaxation, and lower blood pressure. The L-theanine in matcha also counterbalances the jittery affects of caffeine, delivering mental focus without the nervousness.
Flax seeds are known for their high omega-3 fatty acid content, but they’re also high in magnesium and B-vitamins. These nutrients are essential for mental clarity, which leads to focus.
In order to process as many nutrients as possible from flax seeds, be sure to grind them or buy flax meal. Add to yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies. We promise you won’t know it’s there.
Avocados are the new craze and for good reason. Although high in fat, avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, which is essential for healthy blood flow. Our brains depend on blood flow to function, and the nutrients in avocados not only promote brain health, they lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
One cup of avocado delivers 14 grams of monounsaturated fat along with 234 calories- so enjoy in moderation.
Okay, so water isn’t technically a food, but it’s super important for countless health benefits. Over 70% of our body is water, and every single bodily function is dependent on it, including brain activities.
Water gives the brain the electrical energy it needs to function, including for thought and memory processes. When our brains function fully hydrated, we think faster, focus better, and experience greater clarity and creativity.
Drink up! Our brains are 85% water, and according to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult loses more than half a gallon of water per day from normal functions.