Your brain is largely made up of water, essential fatty acids and proteins. Carbohydrates, which get broken down becoming simple sugar(glucose), is the brain’s main source of fuel.
To keep it functioning optimally your brain requires water regularly, so ensure that you drink enough water in smaller amounts throughout the day.
A large portion of the brain is made up of fats. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are important for the proper development and working of the brain. Individuals who struggle with concentration may have difficulty with the appropriate breakdown fats.
Increase the frequency of meals high in Omega 3 such as oily fish, eggs, flax or canola oil and walnuts in your diet and limit trans fatty acid intake as this can hinder the effect of Omega 3 in the brain.
Supplementing with Omegas is also a good option. You may need to see a medical practitioner to determine the necessary dosage that will be effective for you. Additional omega’s can be utilised in the bath as well, e.g. evening primrose oil a few times a week. This is particularly good for those who are observed to have dry skin as well.
Protein is required for the brain to grow. As it is a complex food, the body takes a while to break it down which means that a steady supply of fuel/energy is being provided for thinking, problem solving, planning, organising and paying attention. Protein is also vital for the make up of neurotransmitters – GABA, dopamine and norepinephrine help relax and calm down anxiety as well as increase focus, motivation and concentration
Choose organic or hormone free protein where possible. Good choices are fish, legumes, chicken, nuts, quinoa, legumes, peas, red meat (in moderation). Other good foods to increase GABA: banana, broccoli, brown rice, citrus fruit, herbal teas, spinach and whole grains.
The brain is very sensitive to changes in blood sugar levels. High GI foods such as white flour and sugar carbohydrates result in high levels of blood glucose which drop very quickly. Whereas low GI foods result in a steady release of glucose so the brain is kept going with a constant and stable supply of fuel.
Some people are highly sensitive to certain chemicals or could have intolerances to food groups that may result in poor concentration and restlessness as well. It may be worth seeing a practitioner who can assist you with proper screening in this regard.
Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well as exposure to toxins and allergens may also impact concentration and cognitive function. Try to choose organic where possible or use organic cleaning agents to in your home and to wash fruit and vegetables. Testing for heavy metals and toxins can also be a very valuable exercise.