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5 Ways To Focus By Eating The Right Types Of Food

A key ingredient in being able to focus, is down to your diet. We are what we eat and our brains need feeding properly just as much as the rest of our vital organs do. Here are 5 ways to focus by eating the right types of food, written by Vice President of the Central Iowa District Dietetic Association, Teri Collins.  I’ve excerpted two of the five points, one of which highlights the importance of regular feeding to avoid your body going into starvation mode, which is not only detrimental in keeping off fat, but starves your brain too of its required nutrients.

Manage your macros.

It’s not always about what you eat; it’s also about how you eat. Aim for a balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat (the “macros”) at each meal and have snacks that contain a carbohydrate with either fat or protein. Try to eat every three to four hours, and avoid skipping meals. Ensuring a steady and balanced caloric intake throughout the day is the first step to keeping focused and alert. Try walnuts sprinkled with cinnamon paired with a fresh orange or a rice cake slathered with hummus for snack time munchies.

If it’s white, watch your bite!

“White” foods such as breads, pasta and cereals are generally stripped of their fiber and bran and are associated with the symptoms of “sugar crash,” such as irritability and headaches, which are not redeeming qualities in the workplace! Whole-wheat and whole-grain foods incorporate the whole plant that provides the diet with a valuable fiber source. Meals rich in fiber delay stomach emptying and create a lower rise in blood sugar, in turn eliminating sugar crashes.

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If you read all of the 5 ways to focus by eating the right types of food, you’ll have seen that the topic of margarine was visited.  While Teri Collins advises to keep it to a minimum, I’d go one step further and say avoid them completely unless they are made with olive oil and have no vegetable oil content which is hydrogenated. This is a quote from the No.1 abdominal fitness product on the internet, The Truth About Abs about Hydrogenated oils:

In hydrogenation, the already toxic oils have a metal catalyst added to them and are again treated under high pressure and high temperature, and then steam cleaned and bleached. Now does that sound like something you should put in your body in even small quantities?

Also, coffee is mentioned as a great stimulant which does contain some antioxidants, but why not stick to green tea, for which I’m an absolute advocate.  It not only contains plenty of antioxidants, but is reported to also reduce the rate at which your body absorbs carbohydrates, speed up your metabolism, burn off fat and have many benefits for your brain too! At which point would you not drink that all day long? (Until mid afternoon so it doesn’t affect your sleep.) If you’d like to learn more about green tea, this article from Psychology Today is well worth a read.

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Foods To Help You Focus

If you’re struggling to stay focused during revision or an assignment, it may be that your brain is lacking its favourite foods. Interestingly, your brain uses twenty per cent of your energy, so with that in mind (on a side note), never skip breakfast. Here, Roxanne Ringer, of The Miscellany News, talks about some of the best brain foods to help you focus.

What’s the best way to combat stress and exhaustion while treating your body right? Give your brain food. Though it’s only two per cent of your body’s mass, your brain typically uses 20 per cent of your energy. And if you’re thinking more than normal,

As tempting as it is to tuck into unhealthy snacks like sweets and chocolates whilst studying, as I would normally do when I was a student, give your brain a variety of foods to help you focus, like avocados, nuts, coffee beans, green vegetables, peppermint tea, flaxseeds and low fat yogurt. With a side portion of Salmon. Ok, maybe not all at once but you get the idea.

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