In this article, I will show you how to eat to improve your concentration.
I have written the following article on what you need to know as a prerequisite regarding concentration, so please refer to it.
How to Improve Your Concentration Fourfold
I would like to use the metaphor of the beast and the trainer again.
If we follow the explanation in the above article, the beast corresponds to the “impulse” or “limbic system” and the trainer corresponds to the “reason” and “prefrontal cortex”.
“The Mediterranean diet will improve your concentration.
Now that you know how to use caffeine, let's look at how to eat to help you concentrate.
If you want to know how to use caffeine to improve your concentration, check out the following article.
How to take caffeine to double your concentration in an easy way.
Our brains cannot function properly without proper nutrition, so without the right diet, we will not be able to utilize our psychological techniques to the fullest.
It is true that caffeine has a great effect, but it should only be used as a concentration booster.
First, feed the beast properly for at least two weeks through the diet I am about to introduce, and observe what changes occur in your own concentration.
Then use caffeine aggressively.
In today's busy world, we tend to neglect our meals.
Many of you may be living the following lifestyle.
- Eating ready-made lunches or fast food for lunch at work.
- He'd say he was hungry at work and then pick up some snacks.
- When I get home, I throw instant food in my mouth.
The temporary hunger will subside, but this will not provide the nutrition it really needs, and no amount of food will satisfy the hunger of the beast.
If the beast itself eventually runs out of gas, there will be no way to utilize all the power it has.
As the ancient Roman sage Seneca said, “The great step toward independence begins with a satisfied stomach.
In recent years, research on “diet and concentration” has advanced, and many reliable reports have been published.
One of the most interesting is a 2016 systematic review by Deakin University.
Roy J. Hardman, Greg Kennedy, Helen Macpherson, Andrew B. Scholey, and Andrew Pipingas (2016) Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Effects on Cognition in Adults
The research team compiled 18 studies on the “Mediterranean diet” to provide a precise answer to the question, “Does diet improve concentration? The research team compiled 18 studies on the Mediterranean diet and came up with a highly accurate answer to the question, “Does diet improve concentration?
“The Mediterranean diet is a traditional diet from Italy and Greece that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, seafood, and olive oil, and avoids fast food and instant foods.
For example, whole wheat lasagna, boiled salmon, feta cheese and tomato salad, etc. are the standard menu items.
It may sound like a healthy way to eat, but the benefits go beyond just improving your health.
First, let's look at the major conclusions of the paper.
- The more thorough the Mediterranean diet, the better the brain function, working memory, attention span, and self-control.
- The effect was confirmed regardless of nationality, gender, or age.
As we have already seen, “concentration” refers to a composite of each ability, such as working memory and attention.
In other words, this study showed that a healthy diet can improve the ability of any person to concentrate.
Of course, all the data dealt with here are observational studies, and it has not necessarily been proven that the Mediterranean diet helps with concentration.
We need to be careful in this regard, but it is almost certain that the functioning of our brain is affected by our diet.
“What should we feed the beast?” This is a very thought-provoking book.
There are essential nutrients for building the basic strength of the brain.
Although there are still many unanswered questions about why diet improves concentration, the scientific community at this point is focusing on the following nutrients.
Jerome Sarris, Alan C. Logan, Tasnime N. Akbaraly, G. Paul Amminger, Vicent Balanza-Martínez, Marlene P. Freeman, Joseph Hibbeln, Yutaka Matsuoka, David Mischoulon, Tetsuya Mizoue, Akiko Nanri, Daisuke Nishi, Drew Ramsey, Julia J. Rucklidge, Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, Andrew B. Scholey, Kuan-Pin Su, and Felice N. Jacka (2015) Nutritional Medicine as Mainstream in Psychiatry
- Minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium
- vitamin D
- Folic acid, vitamin B12
- omega-3 fatty acid
- essential amino acid
Both of these components are essential to the functioning of the brain, and a lack of them can have a profoundly negative effect on your mental health, causing depression and emotional dysregulation.
Eating right is the foundation of concentration.
However, simply saying, “Eat what makes your brain happy! is unlikely to be effective.
We need more specific, easy-to-implement guidelines to fill our brains with the nutrients we need.
Therefore, this book introduces the “MIND” diet.
This can be interpreted as “a diet developed to prevent brain deterioration.
The “Mediterranean diet” introduced earlier has been brushed up from the perspective of nutrition to maximize its effects on the brain.
It has been evaluated as a technique to protect against cognitive decline. For example, an experiment by Rush University showed an 11% improvement in depression and a 53% reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer's disease.
Martha Clare Morris, Christy C. Tangney, Yamin Wang, Frank M. Sacks, David A. Bennett, and Neelum T. Aggarwal (2015) MIND Diet Associated with Reduced Incidence of Alzheimer's Disease
If you want to take care of your brain scientifically, this is the first method you should try.
Three super simple rules for keeping up a brain-healthy diet
“MIND is made up of three main rules.
- Increase brain-healthy foods
- Reduce foods that are bad for your brain.
- No calorie restriction.
There is no need to reduce the amount of food you eat; you can eat until you are full.
You don't have to completely eliminate “brain-damaging foods” from your daily diet, as you just have to reduce the absolute amount.
“MIND's list of brain-healthy foods is divided into 10 food categories, as shown in the table below.
|Category||Example||recommended dietary allowance||Guideline for manual measurement|
|whole grain||Brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, etc.||Aim for 21 servings per week. (3 servings per day. 1 serving = 125g)||About a fistful|
|leafy vegetables||Spinach, kale, lettuce, bok choy, etc.||Aim for one serving per day. (1 serving = 150g for raw vegetables, 75g for cooked)||Enough to fit in the palm of both hands.|
|nuts||Walnuts, macadamias, almonds, etc.||Aim for one serving per day (1 serving = 20g).||About a thumb|
|pulse (edible seeds of various leguminous crops)||Lentils, soybeans, chickpeas, etc.||Aim for one serving per day (1 serving = 60g)||Just enough to fit in one palm.|
|berries||Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.||Aim for 2 servings per week (1 serving = 50g).||About a fistful|
|chicken meat||Chickens, ducks, ducks, etc.||Aim for 2 servings per week (1 serving = 85g).||About the size of the palm of one hand.|
|Other Vegetables||Onions, broccoli, carrots, etc.||Aim for one serving per day. (1 serving = 150g for raw vegetables, 75g for cooked)||Enough to fit in the palm of both hands.|
|fish and shellfish||Salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, etc.||Aim for one serving per week. (1 serving = 120g)||About the size of the palm of one hand.|
|wine||Mostly red wine||Up to one glass (150ml) per day. If you don't drink alcohol, you don't have to take it in.||–|
|Extra virgin olive oil||–||Use for cooking oil or dressing.||About a thumb|
The first step is to continue eating a diet that includes these foods.
“If you eat mainly the foods recommended by MIND, you will be able to consume the ingredients essential for brain function without having to worry about the balance of nutrients.
However, it is difficult to get an idea of the size of one serving as it is, so please use your own hands to check the rough size when practicing.
It is impossible to measure the exact number of grams by hand, but the error is usually within about 25%.
Many studies have reported that if you follow the “MIND” diet up to about 70% of the time, you will see improvements in brain function, so practicality is not a problem.
The following table shows the “foods that are bad for your brain” as defined by MIND.
|Butter and margarine||Up to 1 teaspoon per day|
|Sweets and snacks||Up to five meals per week (assuming one meal is a bag of potato chips)|
|Red meat and processed meat||Up to 400g per week|
|cheese||Up to 80g per week|
|deep-fried food||Up to one meal per week|
|fast-food||Up to 1 time per week|
|eating out||Up to 1 time per week|
Please reduce the intake of the above foods as much as possible.
You don't have to stop eating ramen or hamburgers completely, but you should limit them to once a week.
In addition, MIND does not explicitly specify any particular meal times.
If you want to skip breakfast, you can do so, or if you work late, you can have a late night meal.
While it is certainly preferable to eat at a certain time every day, there is no point in being too nervous about it.
Here, use your awareness to improve the balance between foods that are good for your brain and foods that are bad for your brain.
Clinical test data reported that brain function improved around 4 to 8 weeks of adherence to the “MIND” guidelines.
Martha Clare Morris, Christy C. Tangney, Yamin Wang, Frank M. Sacks, Lisa L. Barnes, David A. Bennett, and Neelum T. Aggarwal (2015) MIND Diet Slows Cognitive Decline with Aging
Use this as a guideline for taking care of your brain with food.
Example of a “MIND” meal
- Garnish steel-cut oatmeal with blueberries and almonds.
- Spinach, Kale, and Mushroom Frittata
- unpolished rice
- Stir-fried chicken, tomatoes, soybeans, and potatoes
- Salad of kale, quinoa, almonds, tomatoes, and broccoli with a dressing of olive oil and apple cider vinegar
- Baked salmon with crushed walnuts sprinkled on top
- A glass of red wine
- Chicken breast, broccoli, and cashew nut salad