A Healthy Brain is a Focused Brain

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By Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

Fatigue is a major reason for not being able to focus.  Fatigue often gets in the way of thinking clearly.  You can avoid this problem by eating the right foods, getting the appropriate amount of sleep, keeping yourself fit and using your energy efficiently.

DIET : Eating the Right Foods

Your brain works constantly (even when you aren’t paying attention) and uses about 20% of your energy each day.  Eating foods which include the right fats, minerals and vitamins will feed your brain the healthiest foods and keep you focused.  See list below.

  • Omega – 3 fatty acids.  Foods with “good fat.”

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids. They are necessary for human health.  The body can’t make them so you have to get them through food.

Sample sources: wild caught fish, seaweed, walnuts, flaxseed, kale, spinach, parsley.

  • Chromium

Chromium helps with focus by helping to control blood sugar, curbs carb cravings and fight body fat.  

Sample sources: Grass fed meats, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, wild yams, egg yolk, romaine lettuce and black pepper.

  • Selenium

Selenium is an extremely vital mineral for the human body as it increases immunity, defends against inflammation, and plays a key role in maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Sample sources that are high in selenium include wild caught shrimp, sardines, cod, Brazil nuts, eggs, liver, and sunflower seeds.

  • Magnesium

Magnesium is important for regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA.

Sample sources:  Almonds, cashews, spinach, avocado, banana, and salmon.

  • Protein

Proteins used to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin. Proteins are also used to make enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and various tiny molecules that serve important functions.

Sample sources: Grass fed meats, wild caught fish, artichokes, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, asparagus and almonds.

  • Vitamin C

You need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body.

Sample sources:  Bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, and tomatoes.

  • Vitamin B

These essential nutrients help convert our food into fuel, allowing us to stay energized throughout the day

Sample sources: Spinach, parsley, broccoli, beets, turnip greens, egg yolks, liver, wild caught fish and grass fed meats.

  • Vitamin D

Your body must have vitamin D for major body functions such as helping the body to absorb calcium and promote bone growth.

Sample sources:  Sunlight (early morning and evening sunlight to prevent sunburn), wild caught salmon, liver, egg yolk, portabella mushrooms and maitake mushrooms.

SLEEP:  Getting the Appropriate Amount of Sleep

Research shows that adults who get fewer than 7 hours of sleep have more difficulty concentrating.

Sleeping 7-9 hours per day has been proven to improve focus, as well as many other major body functions.

EXERCISE : Keeping Yourself Fit

Aerobic exercise, like jogging or swimming, stimulates the creation of new mitochondria.  The mitochondria are the parts of the cell that create energy for our bodies to use.  The more mitochondria we have, the more energy we have.

Aerobic exercise creates new mitochondria which equals more energy.

POSTURE : Using Energy Effeciently

We use most of our brains energy for involuntary actions like breathing and posture control.  Holding your head in a “good posture” demands your muscles to hold about 8-12 pounds.  Looking down in a “poor posture” demands your muscles to hold 40-60 pounds!  

In summary:

Poor posture wastes energy.

Good posture saves energy.

Eating the right foods, sleeping 7-9 hours per day, exercising and using good posture to conserve energy will set the stage for a sharp mind and healthy body.

A healthy brain is more likely to be a focused brain.

“When it comes to your health, I’ve got your back!”