We all know the feeling of being unable to concentrate at the end of a long day, or the frustration that is felt when something is “on the tip of our tongue”. There’s no need to put up with this as improving your brain power is a lot simpler than you might think. Here are our top tips to get your brain back in condition.
Foods that Improve Brain Power
- Essential fatty acids are vital for our brain as the solid part of the brain is primarily composed of fat. The fat is an essential part of the formation of the synapses in the brain that are involved in creating and maintaining memories. Because the body does not produce these fatty acids, it is important to get them in the diet. Eggs and oily fish are the two best ways of gaining these acids.
- Protein is also vital for the brain as it triggers the neurotransmitters that are associated with memory. Eating protein-packed foods such as eggs, fish, dairy and soy is great for the memory. However, soy by itself is also great as it can improve verbal and non-verbal memory as well as mental flexibility.
- Green and black teas prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a key chemical that is involved in memory. Green tea is more potent and the effects last longer but both teas are beneficial.
Herbs that Improve Brain Power
- Gingko biloba is one of the best known memory herbs and it has been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years. It works primarily by increasing the blood flow to the brain and also the oxygen supply.
- A recent study showed that participants that took sage performed better on a word recall test than those that didn’t. The reason for this has not been shown yet but researchers believe that it may be due to sage increasing the levels of a chemical that helps to transmit messages in the brain.
- Rosemary can stimulate the memory, strengthen mental clarity and relieve mental fatigue, helping you to remember and recall better.
Vitamins and Supplements that Improve Brain Power
- B vitamins carry oxygen to the brain and help rid the body of damaging free radicals. This sharpens both the memory and the senses. B vitamins are also important because if there is a deficiency in the body, the chemical, acetylcholine, does not function in the brain, and this can damage memory.
- If you are deficient in iron, you may find that it is difficult to concentrate, your intelligence feels diminished and you may have a shortened attention span. Iron helps carry oxygen to the brain and if there is a lack of oxygen, brain cell activity will slow down. Ensure that you have an iron-rich diet or that you are taking a good iron supplement.
Water can Improve your Brain Power
- Drink plenty of water! Water is vital for the brain and memory, as the dehydrated brain releases a hormone called cortisol that negatively affects the brain’s capacity to store information and create memory.
Meditate for Better Brain Power
- Meditation can be of benefit in helping to improve your concentration. It can be as simple as focusing on your breath, or tensing your muscles and then relaxing them. Doing this for five or ten minutes relaxes you and clears the mind, leaving you more ready for a mental task.
Improve Brain Power by Thinking Differently
- Develop new ways of thinking. Instead of relying on old thinking habits, learning new problem solving techniques will help you to improve your brain power as you learn to see things in new ways.
- Remove distractions so that you can concentrate on a task. Many people are subtly distracted by niggling tasks that need to be performed such as making a phone call or doing the dishes. Either carry out the tasks or write down a list of what needs to be done so that they can be put aside for now. Once this is done, you will notice that your concentration will improve and your thinking will become clearer.
- Writing helps you to clarify your thinking and tell your memory what is important. It also improves your creative and analytical abilities. Whether you use diaries, idea journals, creative writing, poetry or note taking, these are all ways to improve your brain power.