Having Trouble Focusing? Add These 7 Foods to Your Diet

If you go through your workday staring out the window, fidgeting with your desk accessories, or walking around the office more than you’re actually working, then it may be time to refocus. You could be eating a healthy breakfast that’s great for keeping you filled until lunch, but if your attention span is still waning, an adjustment to your diet may be the answer. Certain foods are particularly nourishing for brain function, and they’ll help improve focus long after you’ve eaten them. Check out these seven foods that will help better your brain and keep you focused all day.

1. Blueberries

blueberries in a ceramic dish

Blueberries will help you concentrate. | iStock.com

This superfood isn’t just delicious — it’s the perfect afternoon snack to help you stay concentrated. Daily Mail Online explains researchers found those who snacked on blueberries were able to boost their concentration and memory for up to five hours after consumption. Even those who drank blueberry smoothies in the morning were focused and better at performing mental tasks than those who started their day with another meal.

Researchers think antioxidants in blueberries are what stimulate the brain here, bringing in more oxygen and blood. If you have a tough exam approaching or need to nail a presentation, try eating a handful of blueberries a few hours ahead of time.

2. Avocado

An avocado split in half on a table

Avocado gives your brain a boost. | iStock.com

This buttery, savory fruit is good for more than your heart — it’s also great for the brain. Greatist explains the monounsaturated fats found in avocados are great for improving blood flow to the brain, which improves function. The vitamin K and folate found in avocado is particularly helpful for memory and concentration as well. Adding avocado to your diet is easy, too — try throwing half a fruit into a smoothie for a thicker texture, or spread some over a hearty piece of toast.

3. Eggs

breakfast skillet with quinoa, tomatatoes, peppers, and eggs

The yolks in the eggs are really what help. | iStock.com

Whether you prefer your eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this refrigerator staple is perfect for improving your focus and concentration. The yolk in the eggs contains lutein, says Woman’s Day, an antioxidant that can help keep your brain healthy. While lutein is typically known for boosting eyesight, it’s also crucial for maintaining brain function

Eggs also provide choline, which is a B vitamin that helps the brain cells maintain their structure. The protein and heart-healthy fats found in eggs are also particularly excellent for keeping you focused. And don’t fear the cholesterol — studies show eating eggs doesn’t increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

4. Peppermint tea

A fresh peppermint plant

Even just the smell of peppermint is useful. | iStock.com

We have good news for those who love the taste, or even just the smell, of peppermint. One study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found the smell of peppermint can boost memory and alertness. To make tea, try bringing a pot of water to a boil, adding peppermint, and covering. You can either sip it or simply let the aroma do its thing.

5. Salmon

parchment paper with raw salmon, lemons, garlic, herbs, and whole peppercorns

Salmon can really help your brain. | iStock.com

This fish is consistently touted as being a seafood gem to add to your diet thanks to its ability to help your heart, and you can add improved focus to the list of benefits. Scienceline states the brain is primarily made of an omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that keeps your brain functioning properly throughout the day. Oily fish like salmon contain DHA, which helps to feed brain cells and protect them from injury and inflammation.

You can’t produce more DHA as you age, and the levels in your brain decline with time, which can cause memory loss and a lack of focus. Salmon can refuel your DHA depletion, so it truly is brain food.

6. Beets

A red beet being grated

Add some beet juice into your smoothies. | iStock.com

For older adults who are looking for effective, natural ways to fight memory loss, beets and beet juice may be the ticket. WebMD explains drinking the juice from beets has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain, which may help combat dementia. The root of the beet has a high concentration of nitrates — a naturally occurring chemical compound that turn into nitrites in our bodies. It’s the nitrites that really help to increase blood flow and oxygen throughout the body and brain. MRI scans have shown that in older adults who eat a diet high in nitrates, there is more blood flow to the frontal lobes.

7. Dark chocolate

Chocolate bark

There’s good news for chocolate lovers. | iStock.com

Welcome dessert back into your life in the form of dark chocolate. This powerful food is delicious and excellent for boosting your brain health and concentration. According to Health, this sweet treat increases serotonin and endorphins, which may result in better concentration. Chocolate also boasts loads of antioxidants. Just make sure you stick with a small portion.