How can good nutrition help to improve your focus? NobleBlu’s Head of Nutrition, Rahul Shah, gives his key tips
Can what we put in our bodies improve our focus? In this article, our wonderful stockist NobleBlu's Head of Nutrition: Rahul Shah shares his advice on how to best utilise this.
Staying focused with the constant distraction of everyday life is a challenge that we all face. There are numerous distractions that stop us staying mentally alert and present in the moment. Nutrition and diet can help maintain optimum focus and alertness. A balanced diet that includes all the essential food groups (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) is essential in maintaining optimal cognitive function.
Your brain cells need nourishment
Brain cells need nourishment to work and this is where good fats (Omega 3’s) from nuts, seeds and oily fish have a key role. Other vegan sources of omega 3 oils are algae and flax seeds. Our brains are mostly made-up of fat. It is thought that 60-70% of our brain is composed of fat. Omega 3 essential fatty acids help the brain to build nerve cells and are essential for maintaining concentration.
Keep your blood sugar level with regular meals
Having regular meals also helps to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. The brain utilises sugar as fuel. Complex carbohydrates (whole grains, beans, vegetables) are the best fuel for the brain, and they are also a great source of fibre, and they generally take longer to digest, resulting in a steadier source of brain fuel compared to simple carbohydrates such as sugary drinks and cakes etc...
Eat foods which are high in antioxidants
Antioxidants, from colourful fruits and vegetables, help protect brain cells from oxidative stress, and can help maintain optimal cognitive function. Berries such as blueberries, blackberrries, strawberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, beetroots and avocados are packed full of antioxidants. Studies have found that antioxidants can reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
It’s not just fruits and vegetables that can benefit brain power. Cacao, from which chocolate is made, is packed full of antioxidants called flavonoids. Dark chocolate (over 70% cocoa solids) have one of the highest flavonoid contents of any food. Flavonoids have been shown to improve blood flow in the brain, leading to increased oxygen resulting in better mental focus and alertness. What a great excuse to enjoy a little chocolate every day!
Don’t overdo the caffeine
We can’t forget caffeine when it comes to stimulating the brain for alertness and brain function, but unfortunately the effects can be short lived. Over doing on caffeine can also cause restlessness, jitteriness, increased heart rate and sleep problems. Not ideal if you need to stay on top form!
A great companion to caffeine is L-Theanine, an amino acid found in black tea. Theanine has been found to improve brain function, reduce anxiety and stress. Theanine together with caffeine can provide a greater benefit in improving focus and concentration. Theanine can also help reduce the negative effects of caffeine.
Support your nutrition with a premium quality nutritional supplement
Nutritional supplements can help provide key nutrients to support concentration, focus and cognitive function. The term nootropic is often used to define substances that can improve brain performance. Fortunately, there are several natural products that can help boost brain function. Vitamins, minerals together with specific botanicals can help you achieve improved focus and mental alertness.
Our NobleBlu Focus supplement has been scientifically formulated with a unique blend of carefully selected vitamins and minerals to help avoid that mental slump that affects your concentration and general well-being. It’s your daily supplement for staying focused and mentally sharp throughout the day and can help to end that endless cycle of feeling tired and drained.
Key ingredients to look out for when choosing a supplement to improve focus:
When it comes to supporting cognitive function B vitamins are a great start to a supplement programme. B vitamins have been proven to support mental performance, concentration and reduce tiredness. The key B vitamins to look out for are Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6) and Methylcobalamin (B12).
Two minerals that are proven to support cognitive function and concentration are Zinc (naturally found in nuts, seeds, shellfish and legumes), and iodine (naturally found in seaweed, sea food and dairy foods).
Botanicals can also have a major impact in improving focus. Some herbs have been used for centuries in many countries to help achieve better mental focus and concentration. Studies have found that Gingko Biloba can have a positive impact on memory support and brain health. This botanical is thought to increase blood flow and increase circulation to the brain, resulting in improved cognitive function.
The use of mushrooms has been researched in relation to their effect on brain function and studies have suggested that Lion’s mane mushroom may reduce inflammation and improve cognitive function. Research has also suggested that Lion’s mane has a protective antioxidant effect and can help promote nerve health.
Adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwagandha can help the body to cope with stress. Alongside this benefit, studies have found that adaptogens can support brain function. A combination of nutrients and botanicals is a great way to support your brain health. Alongside a balanced healthy diet, good quality sleep, regular exercise good nutritional support can help you stay on top form in this ever-demanding world!
Rahul Shah, Head of Nutrition, NobleBlu
NobleBlu Focus | Supplements from Alesha Dixon for Balance of Life