Fuel your concentration Fuel your concentration

Fuel your concentration

Special 14 February, 2017 Isabel Vallejo

One of our cognitive skills that is most beneficial to our daily lives is the ability to concentrate. Good concentration requires discipline, willpower and perseverance.

Concentrating is the ability to focus intensely on an idea, object or activity without allowing other thoughts into our minds.

The following is a list of some foods that can help improve our concentration. They are rich in nutrients and fibers (which help satisfy our appetites) and fatty acids (which improve the connections in our brains). Enrique Pallarés Molíns, PhD in Psychology and professor emeritus at Universidad de Deusto in Spain, suggests eating the following foods to improve concentration:

1. Avocado

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial both to the brain (improving our neural communication) and to the heart (cleaning your arteries and improving blood circulation to the brain).

2. Yogurt

Yogurt contains an amino acid called “tyrosine,” which is responsible for producing neurotransmitters such as dopamine and noradrenaline, both vital to our sense of alertness and memory.

3. Plantains and bananas

Their high levels of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and fiber make them the perfect food for healthy brain functioning, as all of these elements are well-known for their positive effects on memory. Vitamin B6, also found in this fruit, helps stimulate the natural production of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, neurotransmitters that are all related to our concentration.

4. Tea

In addition to containing caffeine (found in another foods such as chocolate and coffee), tea has its very own amino acid, L-theanine, which improves our sense of alertness, reaction time and memory.

5. Green leafy vegetables

Spinach, arugula, seaweed and other similar dark-green leafy vegetables have a rich combination of antioxidants and vitamins C, E and A, which according to some research help to prevent declines in our mental alertness.

6. Eggs

Eggs have amino acids that are essential to the brain that the body does not naturally produce. Egg yolks are especially nutritious for the brain as they contain choline and lutein which benefit memory, thought processes and other cognitive functions.

7. Salmon

Salmon is known for its high concentration of omega-3s, fatty acids that strengthen neuronal connections. Other fats found in this fish prevent diseases such as dementia and stroke.