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Ways To Focus By Consuming Brain Foods

Very few people are aware of how our minds are affected by what we eat. Did you know that our brains weigh about 3 pounds, but they consume about 20 percent of your daily calories? These ways to focus by consuming brain foods are well worth a read if you’d like to make better choices about your diet in order to improve focus, concentration, and memory and also which foods to eat to help to prevent mental decline.

Ways To Focus By Consuming Brain Foods

Brain FoodConcentrate on these foods

Good concentration skills depend on a steady flow of messages between brain cells.  The first step in improving concentration and focus is by eating healthy food at regular intervals throughout the day.

The brain also needs myelin, a fatty substance that insulates the nerve fibers so signals can be more easily sent from one brain cell to another. These nerve fibers are like electrical wires in a well-oiled machine.

You can do your part by eating healthier and keeping the “machinery” of your brain in top shape.

A diet that includes myelin includes oily fish, walnuts, pumpkin and flax seeds. So don’t skip meals, pack snacks with seeds and nuts and you’re on your way to improving your concentration.

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Did anything surprise you from these ways to focus by consuming brain foods? A lot of this nutritional information has been featured on this site, but this was the first time I’ve read about Acetylcholine as being  the “messenger” – in that it keeps our brain cells on high alert for new information. It’s found in eggs, liver and soybeans. Other memory boosters include vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower – the cruciferous family.

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Ways To Focus With Superfoods

We are what we eat, and that’s just as true for our brains as it is for the rest of our body and vital organs. Here are some ways to focus with superfoods from the Huggington Post. The Huffington Post actually called it Brain Food: Superfoods to improve cognitive function. There are a number of foods that have been proven to improve brain function, encourage focus and also to protect against age-related cognitive decline.  These include walnuts, olive oil, berries, sardines, coffee, spinach, avocados, water, wheat germ, beetroots, garlic, dark chocolate (yes really), and ice-cream (not really).

Ways To Focus With Superfoods

Superfoods For Your BrainBut before you dismiss the diet-brain connection as mere conjecture, keep in mind that study after study has found a relationship between what we put in our mouths and how well we can perform important thinking and memory tasks. While certain nutrients may specifically assist brain function, there is also the totality of our diets to consider. One recent U.K. study found that a diet high in saturated fat actually caused damage to neurons that control energy and appetite in mice. And several well-regarded studies have shown that meal timing is an important predictor of performance. For example, research shows that eating breakfast can improve the memory and acquisition skills of schoolchildren.

Click here to view the SlideShow on Huffington Post

Can you think of any more ways to focus with superfoods? This is a great list but not exhaustive  – there are additional foods including other types of nuts, whole oats (porridge), and other slow digesting carbohydrates, milk, yogurt and other dairy products. Again, there are plenty more that are featured on this site under the Food For Focus category.

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10 Ways To Focus On Brain Fitness

Like any other organ or muscle in our body, our brains need exercising – and physical exercise, as we know, is an excellent way of doing this as blood, and therefore oxygen, is pumped around the brain feeding all the cells with exactly what they need. Here are 10 ways to focus on brain fitness, which are short and sweet but well worth a read. They may be particularly applicable to retirees or people out of work but still read them if you don’t fit one of those categories!

10 Ways To Focus On Brain Fitness

How To Keep Your Brain Fit1) Keep up with current events. Watching or reading the news can really make your mind work.

2) Play a stimulating game. Crosswords and Scrabble are two games that make you use your brain to do some problem-solving on a different level. They even have apps for that!

3) Ditch the calculators and other cheats and use your brain for the stuff you learned in school.

4) Do logic puzzles. Anagrams and other logic puzzles are a great way to pass the time while you’re drinking your morning coffee. They use a part of your brain you don’t always get to use.

5) Get out into your garden. While gardening is often manual work, the manual labor takes your mind offline to make you to think, really think, about things that are going on in your life.

6) Do some yoga. Yoga has long been touted as being amazing for your body, allowing for tons of relaxation and stretching. Did you know it’s also good for your mind? Yoga allows us to relax and engage with our innermost thoughts.

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Of these 10 ways to focus on brain fitness, I’d have to say, I’m not fully convinced by the first point. Whilst I think it is necessary to keep up to date with current events, the majority of the news is negative. Try it yourself – pick up a newspaper and read the first few pages. Circle everything that is negative in red, and everything that is positive in green. If we’re faced with negativity like this on a daily basis, it has a negative effect on our outlook, and it’s been proven to counter productive. When I was having trouble sleeping, I was advised to stop watching the news, my chiropractor told me to stop watching the news – and I keep on reading about successful people who advise not to read or watch the news. What’s your view? I say, the most important snippets a couple of days a week, otherwise, ditch it.

On a lighter note, if you read the whole article, you’ll have seen that green tea is mentioned. Green tea as far as I’m concerned, is a magic potion. It has so many benefits it’s ridiculous, so many that I drink it all day long and have stopped drinking normal breakfast tea and coffee. I think it’s actually better for you than water!

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How Exercise Feeds The Brain

We all know that exercise is a basic requirement for our main organs to function properly, and most people have heard that exercise is excellent in alleviating stress, anxiety, to lift your mood, keep fit, help you concentrate and focus etc. There is more evidence that shows how exercise feeds the brain, and that’s its ability to improve memory, cognitive ability, and slow down or prevent dementia.  This article from by Meg Selig for Psychology Today, explains how recent research has presented all of the above findings.

How Exercise Feeds Your Brain

Exercise Feeds Your Brain1.  Exercise and memory smarts. Exercise guru Gretchen Reynolds reports here that when a group of 120 older men and women followed either a walking program or were part of a control group, the walkers performed better on cognitive tests and regained volume in the hippocampus—a part of the brain responsible for memory, certain types of learning, and the genesis of new brain cells. A typical 65-year-old walker developed the hippocampus of a 63-year-old.  My new goal: A youthful hippocampus!

2.  Exercise and name/face recognition.  In this study, after just 30 minutes of exercise, exercisers were better able to recall names and faces than volunteers who sat quietly for 30 minutes. This ability would come in handy in reducing those embarrassing I-know-I-know-you-but-who-are-you moments.

Continue reading on Psychology Today

So if you’re not regularly exercising already, hopefully these findings on how exercise feeds the brain will entice you to do so. I think not exercising, is like trying to run a car without maintaining it. It’ll be fine for a while, but soon enough the engine will become sluggish, and gradually, over time, parts will start to fail. It’s so important to exercise. It doesn’t even have to be strenuous but regular exercise is imperative.

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7 Ways To Boost Your Energy Levels

A lack of ability to focus may just be down to depleted energy levels. That’s why I’ve incorporated these 7 ways to boost your energy levels written by Gretchen Rubin For Psych Central.  If you have low energy levels, not only is it difficult to focus, but it makes you less willing to try new things, be creative, step outside of your comfort zone, push yourself to your limits and essentially get more from life.

Boost Energy Levels By Listening To Lively Music 1. Exercise!

Even a quick ten-minute walk will increase your energy and boost your mood. This really works! Try it! People often say they’re too tired to exercise, but in fact, unless you’re exercising at a veryintense level, exercise tends to boost energy rather than deplete it.

2. Listen to lively music.

This is one of the quickest, easiest ways to get a jolt of energy.

3. Get enough sleep.

If the alarm blasts you awake every morning, you’re not getting enough sleep—and it matters. Most adults need at least seven hours each night. Don’t kid yourself about how much sleep you need! (Here are some tips for getting good sleep.)

4. Act energetic.

Research shows that when people move faster, their metabolism speeds up. Also, because the way we act influences the way we feel(to an almost uncanny degree), acting with energy will make you feel more energetic. Stand up while talking on the phone, walk more quickly, speak with more animation.

Click here to view all 7 ways to boost your energy levels on Psych Central

I doubt you were too surprised when you saw that exercise was at the top of the list of these 7 ways to boost your energy levels. It really baffles me to know that so many people do not understand the necessity for exercise. It’s an absolute basic requirement for your body and vital organs to function properly. Choosing not to exercise is like choosing to not drink water, or eat well. Listening to lively music is a great idea to boost energy levels, be it in the car or doing some exercise or simply doing the house chores. What’s your favourite way of boosting your energy levels?

 

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How To Double The Performance Of Your Brain (Part 2 of 4)

Here’s Part 2 of how to double the performance of your brain. It ventures into the theories of The Law Of Attraction, although doesn’t actually mention this term. It’s about about engaging the subconscious mind through positive affirmations and also explains the super conscious mind.  According to the narrator, the super conscious mind is the source of all creativity, intuition, hunches, insight and the ability to see things in a new way. It functions on a non-conscious level 24 hours a day and is capable of goal-oriented motivation, for which it requires clear and specific goals.  Also, by installing in your mind the belief that you have already achieved that goal, whether it be money, or love, or anything else, the more your super conscious mind works in the background to realise your goals.

From this episode of how to double the performance of your brain, I loved the point about the more you affirm positively from the conscious mind to the subconscious mind, you trigger the super conscious mind into action. The more think positively about the goals you want to achieve, through belief that you have already achieved them, the more your super conscious mind will work for you to achieve your goals. This is exactly what the Law Of Attraction is all about, and is explained by Napoleon Hill in his 1937 book “Think And Grow Rich” which I’ve mentioned before on this site and is also in line with Tony Robbins’ advice to always focus on what you want, rather than on what you don’t have, or don’t want.

 

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‘Mindfulness’ To Focus And Reduce Stress

Have you ever come across ‘mindfulness’ to focus and reduce stress? Do you ever dwell on the past or worry about the future? ‘Mindfulness’ is a way of focusing on the present moment, rather than the past or future by concentrating on your breathing and paying attention to areas of your body, and it’s becoming increasingly common.  This article written by Julie Carr Smith for Mercury News explains how a member of Congress, Tim Ryan, uses mindfulness every day and he’s joined my marines, office workers, and tens of thousands Americans.

Mindfulness For Focus And RelaxationThe growing body of research showing the brain has the capacity to change throughout life is bringing mental fitness onto the same plane as physical fitness, said Georgetown University associate professor Elizabeth Stanley.

Stanley, who runs MMFT and conducts research for the Army and Marines, said mindfulness meditation “isn’t touchy-feely at all” in its new uses.

“There’s something very empowering about learning how and why the body and mind respond under stress,” she said.

Stanley said studies involving subjects engaged in repeated mindfulness have shown that it changes the way blood and oxygen flow through the brain, leading over time to structural changes. The practice can shrink the amygdala, which controls our fear response; enlarge the hippocampus, which controls memory; and make the insular cortex that regulates the body’s internal environment more efficient, according to recent peer-reviewed studies by Stanley and others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are touting several recent studies that have found the technique can reduce the severity of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms in women and reduce stress and pain in chronic sufferers of fibromyalgia and depression.

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In today’s fast paced and competitive world I’m not at all surprised to hear of new methods people are using to escape the daily grind. Reading this kind of article is making me want to try mindfulness to focus and reduce stress.  Whilst it’s apparently not the same as meditation, there are distinct similarities. As I read books about highly successful people and meet successful people, I’ve began to realise how, more often than not, they engage in a daily ritual and some quiet time themselves, namely meditation, in order to establish focus for the day to come and to remove all distractions.

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How Exercise Can Make You Smarter

If you’re not already exercising on a regular basis, then this article on how exercise can make you smarter may just make you do to. It’s widely known that exercise gets oxygen circulating around your brain which leads to sharper thinking , makes you happier and all-round healthier, but new research has shown that exercise can actually make you smarter too.  This is an excerpt from the Huffington Post and you should definitely take a few minutes out read it.

Exercise Boosts Brain PowerIt turns out that exercise does a lot more than get the blood pumping: in about 60 percent of the population, it may be responsible for the expression of a gene that floods your cells with “brain derived neurotrophic factor” — or BDNF – a protein that is thought to help with mental acuity, learning and memory.

In a study based at Dartmouth College, lead researcher Michael Hopkins and his team tested four different exercise schedules on a group of sedentary, though healthy young men. They gave the men a set of memory tests and mental health surveys to determine their psychological states. Some participants exercised for four weeks and were tested on the final day. Another group exercised for four weeks, but did not exercise on test day. A third group had just one day of exercise, followed by the test. A last group was sedentary throughout.

Hopkins and his team found that the group that exercised daily — and on test day — had the benefit of a boost in BDNF. The other groups did not. It’s important to note that “exercise” here referred to moderately-paced walking, rather than a very rigorous training session.

“For mental health benefits, what really counts is exercising on a regular basis — not the intensity. You don’t have to wipe yourself out,” Hopkins tells The Huffington Post. “The basic goal is, get up and move your whole body more than half of the days of the week.”

Click here to view the original source of the article

So that’s how exercise can you make you smarter. If that’s not enough to get you exercising, then I don’t know what is.  It’s interesting that the boost of BDNF was actually witnessed with those who exercised daily, not just regularly, but daily. I think we can all relate to the fact that exercise makes you sharper (unless you have never exercised and attempted to concentrate afterwards). Twenty minutes of cardiovascular first thing in the morning works wonders for my concentration, certainly for the following few hours. You may have seen on this site that exercise improves your memory too by increasing the size of your hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for memory.  If not, Regular Exercise Can Boost Memory And Focus and Exercise For A Healthy Brain will explain.

 

 

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