We’ve all been there. It’s lunch time and instead of satisfying that rumbling belly with something healthy, you decide to split a pizza with your co-workers or go check out that new taco joint that just opened down the street.
Then you stumble back to work like a zombie straight out of an episode of The Walking Dead, feeling physically and mentally drained. The only problem is that you still have work to do, and sleepwalking through the rest of the day just isn’t going to cut it.
The good news is there are a few healthy snacks you can enjoy to help stave off your mid-day hunger attack and kick-start your concentration at the same time. As it turns out, eating healthy isn’t just good for your waistline and physical development, it can also help improve brain power too. That’s because your brain needs nutrients, just like your heart and muscles do. Indeed, like everything else in your body, the brain can’t function properly without the right amount of energy.
With that in mind, here are a few options to help you stay focused throughout the day.
Whole grains are a great source of energy for your brain. That’s because they keep blood sugar levels steady, and release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, as opposed to foods high in sugar, which typically cause a crash later in the day.
They may be small, but berries pack a ton of health benefits. Not only are they some of the most antioxidant-rich foods you can eat, but they can also help protect your brain from memory loss. As a matter of fact, according to research at Tufts University, berries may delay short-term memory loss and protect your brain as you age.
It seems that many of us have been brainwashed into to believing that fat of any kind is bad for us; however, the kind found in oily fish—like salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring—for example can help maintain brain capacity, concentration, and alertness.
Apparently, Popeye knew what he was talking about with his love of spinach. Green veggies like broccoli, kale, and asparagus are high in vitamins that are associated with improved memory and alertness. Research even suggests that foods like kale, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce may even help to prevent dementia.
Pomegranates have recently gained superfood status by many experts, and it’s easy to see why. According to a recent study, individuals who drank pomegranate juice very day performed better on a memory task compared to those who did not. They also displayed increased brain activity.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts in general are a great source of nutrients, vitamins, and omega-3 fats which can boost brain activity. The best part? They don’t take any preparation. Just open a pack and go for it. Pumpkin seeds, which are a rich source of zinc, are also known to help give your brain a boost.
No amount of food is going to turn you into Stephen Hawking; however, biting into the right foods can go a long way toward keeping you mentally alert and maintaining focus as you go about your workday.