This post is sponsored by North Health County Health Services.
You’ve heard it said, “You are what you eat,” but there is far more truth to that statement than many of us realize.
Not only does the food we eat directly impact our overall health, wellbeing, and energy levels, but our diets can also play a role in how focused we are, how much motivation we have, and how productive we are in our daily lives.
As many of us are currently sheltering in place and working from home as much as possible, we may find ourselves easily distracted or lacking the motivation to check off our lists for the day.
We also may struggle with negativity or discontent, in which case we can benefit from more positivity and mood-boosting foods. It’s as great a time as any to focus on our overall health and introduce some new eating habits.
We all know that increasing our fruit and veggie intake, making sure we get enough protein and consuming a lot of water each day will improve our overall health, but we’ve narrowed down the top power foods to really help you focus and stay as motivated as possible so you can do your best at work, at home, and in everything you do.
Coffee does actually help you be more productive – time to celebrate, coffee lovers! The caffeine helps your body produce more dopamine that improves your mood, allowing you to stay focused and resist the urge to get off-task while working. But as with anything, moderation is key, as too much coffee can bring about negative effects.
The antioxidant properties of berries are just one part of their amazing benefits. They also have a ton of vitamins and minerals, give you sustainable energy without spiking your blood sugar, and help with bloating. Related.
Berries have also been linked to improved cognitive function, meaning they help your brain work better both short-term and long-term.
You’ve probably heard avocado touted as a superfood before, and that is for good reason.
Avocados are packed full of good fats, which are good for heart health, cortisol reduction, and mood-boosting.
Omega-3s are one of the central parts of avocados, and they are known to improve cognitive function and keep your brain healthy and active.
From rice to bread to oats and more, whole grains are an important part of not only a heart-healthy diet but also a diet that helps your brain.
B vitamins like folate are prominent in whole grains, and they increase the blood flow to the brain, helping you focus more.
Additionally, vitamin B12 is known to increase focus, and – you guessed it – it’s found in large doses in whole grain foods.
Dark Leafy Greens
Another staple on most superfood lists is dark leafy greens. Spinach, kale, collard greens, and more fall into this category, which is best known for B-vitamins and folate.
These aid in slowing cognitive decline, meaning your brain will function better for longer, and they also help neurotransmitters function properly, improve learning capacity, and help with motor skills.
Seeds & Nuts
Not only do seeds and nuts help your brain function, your focus, and your overall health, but they also fill you up quickly so you aren’t distracted from your work by a grumbling tummy.
These nutrient-dense power foods include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, and more. They can give us a jolt of energy, improve our mood, relieve fatigue, and help with overall brain function.
So many nutrients are found in eggplants that it’s a wonder this power food isn’t eaten on a daily basis.
Manganese, potassium, folate, fiber, B-vitamins, and more are found in this delicious and versatile vegetable.
Eggplants also contain an antioxidant called nasunin which is known for protecting brain cell membranes, which leads to better brain function and clearer thinking.
High in antioxidants, magnesium, and cortisol-reducing properties, dark chocolate is an excellent choice for anyone looking to boost focus and motivation.
It benefits our cognitive function, improves our mood, increases blood flow to the brain, and positively influences insulin resistance.
These versatile little seeds deserve a category all their own because of how significantly they impact brain health and function.
They can be consumed whole or ground, in a smoothie, on toast, in oatmeal, in a cracker, and about a hundred other ways.
They are full of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) which is a healthy fat that directly improves the function in our brain, specifically our cerebral cortex, which is responsible for processing sensory information.
If you’re smart with your snacking and ensure you’re getting nutrient-dense food into each meal of the day, your focus and motivation will improve drastically, making your work-from-home adventures far more productive and enjoyable.