We hear the word detox a lot today, but most people still wonder what it is and how it works. Well today in this article I am going to explain the details so that you can feel confident and make a decision of a happier and healthier version of yourself!

What does it mean to detox?

Detoxification means to abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. These substances can be food, drinks, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, household cleaners and not limited to oxidative stress from emotional situations. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body.

How does detoxification work?

Basically, detoxification means cleansing the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system and skin. However, when these systems are compromised, impurities aren't properly filtered and the body is adversely affected. A detox program can help the body's natural cleansing process by: Resting the organs through fasting; Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body; Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys, and skin; Improving circulation of the blood; Refueling the body with healthy nutrients.

How to know if you need to detox and the dangers of not detoxing?

We suggest that everyone should detox at least once a year. However, we caution against detoxing for nursing mothers, children and patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you have questions about whether detoxing is right for you. Today, with more toxins in the environment than ever, it's critical to detox.

Detoxing recommended for symptoms such as:

Unexplained fatigue

Sluggish elimination

Irritated skin

Allergies

Low-grade infection

Puffy eyes or bags under the eyes

Bloating

Menstrual problems

Mental confusion

The Dangers of Not Detoxing

Basically, there are eight ways toxins damage our bodies.

Toxins poison enzymes so they don’t work properly.

Our bodies are enzyme engines. Every physiological function depends on enzymes to manufacture molecules, produce energy, and create cell structures. Toxins damage enzymes and thus undermine countless bodily functions—inhibiting the production of hemoglobin in the blood, for example, or lowering the body’s capacity to prevent the free-radical damage that accelerates aging.

Toxins displace structural minerals, resulting in weaker bones.

People need to maintain healthy bone mass for lifelong mobility. When toxins displace the calcium present in bone, there is a twofold effect: weaker skeletal structures and increased toxins, released by bone loss, which circulate throughout the body.

Toxins damage the organs.

Toxins damage nearly all your organs and systems. My book, The Toxin Solution, focuses specifically on the detox organs. If your digestive tract, liver, and kidneys are so toxic they are unable to detox effectively, your detoxification will backfire and your body will remain toxic.

Toxins damage DNA, which increases the rate of aging and degeneration.

Many commonly used pesticides, phthalates, improperly detoxified estrogens, and products containing benzene damage DNA.

Toxins modify gene expression.

Our genes switch off and on to adapt to changes in our bodies and the outer environment. But many toxins activate or suppress our genes in undesirable ways.

Toxins damage cell membranes so they don’t respond properly.

“Signaling” in the body happens in the cell membranes. Damage to these membranes prevents them from getting important messages—insulin not signaling the cells to absorb more sugar, for example, or muscle cells not responding to the message from magnesium to relax.

Toxins interfere with hormones and cause imbalances.

Toxins induce, inhibit, mimic, and block hormones. One example: Arsenic disrupts thyroid hormone receptors on the cells, so the cells don’t get the message from the thyroid hormones that cause them to rev up metabolism. The result is inexplicable fatigue.

Last but not least, toxins actually impair your ability to detoxify—and this is the worst problem of all.

When you are very toxic and desperately need to detoxify, it’s harder to do than when you are not toxic. In other words, just when you need your detox systems most (to address health issues), your hard-working detox system is most likely to be functioning below par. Why? Because the heavy toxic load you already carry has overwhelmed your detox capacity. That’s right. The more toxins you have burdening your body, the greater the damage to your body’s detoxification pathways.

That’s why restoring your detox organs—and with them your detox pathways—is such an important challenge (and why I devoted an entire book—The Toxic Solution—to the subject). The net result is that you then can readily release toxins from your body.

My Top 10 Ways to Detox

Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically grown, fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods.

Drink at least two quarts of water a day, made easy by bringing our 32 oz. Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Water Bottle with you everywhere you go!

Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate waste through perspiration.

Dry-brush your skin or try detox foot spas/foot baths to remove toxins through your pores. Special brushes are available at natural products stores.

What’s the most important way to detoxify? "Exercise of any kind. Yoga or jump-roping are good. Get physical one hour every day." Also, try Qigong, a martial arts based

exercise system, that includes exercises, specifically for detoxifying or cleansing, as well as many other exercises with specific health benefits.

Cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion root, burdock, and milk thistle, plus by drinking green tea. Take

vitamin C, which helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.

Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.

Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions.

Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times and then get into bed for 30 minutes.



We suggest that everyone should detox at least once a year. However, we caution against detoxing for nursing mothers, children and patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you have questions about whether detoxing is right for you. Today, with more toxins in the environment than ever, it's critical to detox.

We suggest that everyone should detox at least once a year. However, we caution against detoxing for nursing mothers, children and patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you have questions about whether detoxing is right for you. Today, with more toxins in the environment than ever, it's critical to detox.

We suggest that everyone should detox at least once a year. However, we caution against detoxing for nursing mothers, children and patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you have questions about whether detoxing is right for you. Today, with more toxins in the environment than ever, it's critical to detox.

It's difficult to begin your day on a positive note, especially if you're not a morning person. By performing simple stretches and going out for a quick run, you can increase your endorphin level and begin the day feeling pumped up and happy. It also helps to organize your day beforehand and put your thoughts out on a piece of paper. Additionally, express gratitude – it'll make you feel thankful and positive.

The moment you open your eyes, you can do one of two things – you can either hop out of bed and make the best of your day, or hit the snooze button, pull the covers over your head, and dread the day ahead. We all know that mornings can set the tone for the rest of the day, but waking up “happy and excited” isn’t easy for most of us. But starting your day with a positive attitude has its benefits.

When you wake up in the mornings, the serotonin (or happy hormone) level in your brain is at its highest.

For this reason, research declares that morning people are more positive and productive than night owls.1

 

Now that we’ve established how precious your mornings can be for your mental health, here are a few things you can do to make the best of this delicate, lovely time that you have all to yourself.

1. Start The Night Before

Do you often wake up feeling more exhausted than you did when you got into bed? Lack of sleep could be the culprit. Instead of watching “just one more episode,” turn off your TV and try to get into bed by 10 o’clock. If you can’t fall asleep immediately, try reading a book. You are bound to drift off soon enough, and this way, your body can get its 8 hours of rest.

2. Stretch Yourself Out

This is something you can do while you’re still in bed! Stretch your limbs out as much as you can. This triggers the release of dopamine, a hormone that boosts your mood, energy, and self-esteem. Pair this with a few breathing exercises and you’ll find yourself beating the urge to hit the snooze button.

3. Take A Moment Of Personal Praise

If you constantly juggle between multiple tasks throughout the day, you might feel anxious and incompetent. Finding faults with yourself, especially over situations that you have no control over, will only make your day worse.

To avoid self-sabotaging thoughts from attacking your mood, try this simple exercise. Take a few minutes and think of five qualities in you that are you are proud of. You could be a kind person, or maybe you can cook really well. Maybe you’re extremely responsible about your work, or you’re the kind who takes great care of the people you love. This is will make you feel more positive about yourself and will help you start the day on a high note!

4. Stay Connected And Express Gratitude

Just as it’s important to praise yourself, it’s equally important to give thanks to the people who love you for who you are. Studies claim that people who express gratitude about their lives are more optimistic about their lives in general. Another fun fact? They also tend to pay fewer visits to their doctor, which further proves that there may indeed be a strong connection between positive attitude and good physical health.2

Also, pick up the phone and give a quick call to your parents, or call your best friends to tell them how lucky you are to know them. Even if you don’t thank them all the time, just connecting with the people you love at the start of your day can do wonders for your mood.

5. Drink Enough Water

After all those long hours of rest, your body wakes up feeling dehydrated and needs a wake-up drink. If you’re already reaching out for the coffee, stop. It is true that coffee can make you more alert, but not when you drink it first thing in the morning. Drinking coffee, especially on an empty stomach is just asking for more stress – because caffeine is notorious for releasing cortisol, your body’s stress hormone.

Instead, head over to the stove to warm yourself some water. Add a quick squeeze or two of lemon juice into this and drink up. This not only keeps you hydrated, but also helps in digestion, losing weight, and clarifying your skin. But, if you absolutely cannot do without your coffee, get yourself a mug while eating breakfast. That way you can alleviate the side effects of caffeine and the release of cortisol will only make you alert, not overtly stressed.

6. Go For A Walk

It is a well-known fact that exercise helps boost endorphin, lovingly nicknamed the ‘Happy Hormone’, and will make you feel more energized in the mornings. Additionally a quick run in the morning will help your skin intake vitamin D, which strengthens your bones and boosts your immunity. This sunshine vitamin also helps regulate the serotonin level in your brain, thus calming your nerves and giving your mood a quick positive boost.

7. Get Mentally Organized

Right from the time you open your eyes, you will find your mind at the mercy of a vast deluge of thoughts which makes you all the more tempted to go back to sleep. The first step is to get this jumble of thoughts is to pen it down on paper. Grab a notepad and list out what’s in your head, one by one. Now segregate these thoughts and tasks into various categories, depending on priority. Not only will this help clear your head and make you feel more prepared to take on the day, it may even lead to better chances of you finishing all your tasks.

8. Tune Into Something Happy

It always helps to play something in the background as you go about preparing yourself for the day, and with the current media onslaught, you’re definitely spoilt for choice. There are, of course, television and radio news channels, but they may be a little too noisy to help you start your day on a peaceful note. Choose to play some soothing music, and soak yourself in the melody. Not feeling like music? You could even choose to tune out altogether and just enjoy the silence before the chaos sets in.

9. Step Into A Cold Shower

If you’re going to have a long day, why not look your best while you’re tackling it? Don’t skimp on shower-time. Start with lukewarm water to open up the pores of your skin and work your way slowly towards water that’s on the colder side. The idea of a cold shower may not sound very tempting but it comes with a number of benefits.

  • Cold water has a great ability to help you snap out of your drowsiness.3
  • It has been proven that cold showers can positively boost the mood and trigger creative thinking. 4
  • Cold showers aid in vasodilation that helps improve blood circulation. Thus, it’s great for maintaining healthy skin and hair.5

10. Eat A Healthy Breakfast

The most important meal of the day gets its title for a very good reason. Not only does a healthy breakfast give your body the energy it needs to take on the day, it also helps you maintain your weight, boost your mood, and keeps chronic-degenerative diseases at bay. But remember that by eating healthy, we do not mean helping yourself to boxed cereals, glasses of processed fruit juices, and pancakes dripping with sugary syrup; these will do you more harm than good. Instead, opt for:

  • Oats with blueberries
  • Oats with chia seeds
  • Wholegrain toast and omelets
  • Wholegrain toast with nut butter
  • Yogurt with whole fruits
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Fruit salads with nuts and pumpkin or flax seeds

11. Plan Something Fun For The End Of The Day

  • Giving yourself something fun to look forward to can give you a great reason for smiling all day. Studies claim that the anticipation of something exciting can give you just as much happiness as the event itself.6

    So go right ahead and book those tickets to the latest movie, or make a reservation for yourself and your friends at the new restaurant in town!

12. Execute Random Acts Of Kindness

  • Often, we get so caught up in all that we have to do in a day, we forget about the fact that there may be others around us who are having as tough a day as we are. Every morning, resolve to do an act of kindness. It could be something as simple as holding the door open for an elderly person or offering up your seat to someone on the bus, or maybe even carrying someone’s bags for them. Being able to make a difference in someone else’s life, even in the tiniest of ways, can bring you immense happiness.7 Kindness also has a funny way of coming back to you in unexpected ways, so go ahead, knock yourself out!

    Starting your day on a positive note is not easy, especially if you’re suffering from depression or anxiety. Try to be determined and have a strong willpower – that’s half the battle won! These tips will help you begin your day positively and increase your productivity. Just stay the path for a few months and you’ll start seeing the difference for yourself!

 

 

Is There A Way To Measure Happiness?

 

Is There A Way To Measure Happiness?

 

Pumpkins are great for your eyes, as just 100 g can meet 170% of your daily vitamin A requirement. They're also good for the heart thanks to the fiber, magnesium, and potassium, and reduce cancer risk. They also boost testosterone levels in men, lift mood, improve sleep quality, and treat arthritis symptoms. They can be a good addition to a weight loss diet.

 

Health Benefits Of Pumpkins

 

If you can’t think beyond Halloween and Harry Potter when you hear “pumpkin,” it’s time to change that. Pumpkins are chock full of the goodness of nutrients like vitamins A, B6, and C, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

Canned pumpkins can be used round the year. But if pumpkins are in season, pick a fresh, deep orange one without soft spots.

A 100 g serving has 91 g water, just 7 g carbs, 0.1 g fat, and just 26 calories. A 100 g serving can meet a phenomenal 170% of your daily requirement of vitamin A.1 Even the super-nutritious pumpkin seeds are a health freak’s dream snack. Here’s a look at the many health benefits of pumpkin.

1. Helps Weight Loss

If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, you might want to add pumpkin to your diet. It has a good amount of fiber, boasting of 1.7 g in a cup of pumpkin seeds, 3 g in mashed pumpkin, and 7 g in canned pumpkin. Fiber is just what your digestion needs to make things a lot smoother and a heavy dose of fiber every day can help with weight loss.2

Also, eating pumpkin makes you feel full for hours. The fruit has an impressive 91% water content to keep you hydrated and it’s low in calories as well – all tick marks for weight loss.

Have a pumpkin smoothie after a workout. It can replenish the potassium you lost during your workout session without piling on the calories.3

 

Pumpkin smoothie recipe

 

Blend together: 1 cup pumpkin puree | 1 frozen banana | 1 tsp cinnamon powder | 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (vanilla if you prefer) | ice cubes (optional)

 

 

How To Eat Pumpkin For Weight Loss

  • Snack on toasted pumpkin seeds.
  • If you’re craving something sweet, simply sprinkle a little cinnamon on your pumpkin (toss in a little almond if you want) and enjoy!
  • Find interesting ways to sneak a little pumpkin into your food. Like pumpkin muffins or in a smoothie.

2. Boosts Immunity

Getting sick often? Struggling to recover from a nasty cold? You need pumpkin in your diet. From fighting against infections to keeping your bones strong, vitamin A has a truckload of responsibilities. And this particular vitamin is extremely high in pumpkin.

Vitamin C is another essential part of raising your immunity. One study found out vitamin C can help reduce the severity of a cold.4 Pumpkins are a rich source of vitamin C. In fact, one cup of canned pumpkin can give 20% of your daily vitamin C requirement.

Pumpkins are also great sources of folic acid, manganese, and riboflavin – all essential for a healthy immune system. Are you grabbing that pumpkin, already? Try pumpkin soups for an easy (and yummy) way to get all those nutrients in your body.

Pumpkin Soup recipe

 

  • Chop 1 onion, 3 potatoes, and 1 pumpkin into small pieces.
  • In 1 tbsp butter, cook the onions first, then the potatoes and pumpkin.
  • Pour 2 cups water and let it cook. Add salt and pepper.
  • Once the veggies are soft, blend them into a paste in a blender  and cook it in a saucepan till you get the right consistency. Add a little milk if it’s thick. Your soup’s now ready.

3. Improves Eye Health

Did you know eating a cup of canned and cooked pumpkin can give you 200% of your daily vitamin A? This particular vitamin is important for sharper vision, better performance under dim lights, and to keep your eyes in good health. Also, the chemical components of pumpkins reduce the risk of cataracts and development of other optical issues.5

4. Maintains Heart Health

Pumpkins are great for the heart thanks to their fiber, vitamins, and potassium. When you eat a diet rich in fiber, it helps to protect the heart from ailments.6 Also, a good intake of potassium is proven to reduce the risk of stroke.

Magnesium is another reason why you need to eat pumpkin. It’s a vital mineral for your heart. Even a slight deficiency can create changes to the heart.7 It’s important for the pumping of your heart, for healthy blood vessels, and to reduce the risk of heart attacks. And all you need is just a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds to meet half the magnesium requirement for a day. Pumpkin seeds were also found to lower LDL aka “bad” cholesterol.

5. Reduces Cancer Risk

A pigment known as beta-carotene is the reason why pumpkins get their deep orange color. But this particular pigment is not just known for its color. When consumed, beta-carotene turns into vitamin A in our system. Also, several studies claim diets rich in beta-carotene and zinc reduces the risk of cancer, especially prostate and lung cancer.9

By adding pumpkin (rich in both beta-carotene and zinc) into your diet, it should help lower the risk of cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Another study found out beta-carotene also reduces the risk of colon cancer.10

6. May Help In Diabetes

There are a few studies that suggest eating pumpkins could help lower blood glucose levels and improve the production of insulin.11 But it needs further studies.

7. Prevents Skin Aging

Pumpkin Skin Mask

 

  • Mix 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin, 1 egg, and 1 tbsp honey.
  • Apply the mixture to your face.
  • Wash off with warm water after 20 minutes.

Pumpkins can work wonders for the skin as well. They help delay signs of aging (thank you, beta-carotene), increase collagen production, and brighten the skin. Because of its strong vitamin A and C presence, it allows the skin to remain soft and smooth.12

8. Boosts Mood

If the thought of eating a yummy pumpkin pie puts you in a good mood, here’s news for you. Eating pumpkin works wonders for your mood. Pumpkin seeds have a high amount of tryptophan, a type of amino acid that is the building block of a mood-lifting neurotransmitter named serotonin. Research has revealed that deficiency in serotonin can lead to anxiety and depression.13

9. Improves Sleep Quality

Since pumpkins are rich in tryptophan, they could also act as a sleep stimulants.14 Tryptophan produces serotonin and this, in turn, relaxes and calms you, so you eventually fall asleep. A few experts even claim this could be the reason why people tend to sleep after a heavy Thanksgiving feast.

10. Boosts Male Sexual Health

An interesting study has proven that even smelling pumpkin pie can set you in the mood for a little action between the sheets.15

There are also links between eating pumpkin seeds and raising testosterone levels and increased sexual desire. The seeds are rich in zinc, making them useful to tackle erectile dysfunction. Low levels of zinc were found in men who experience erectile dysfunction.16

 

While cooking pumpkins, save the seeds. Roast the seeds for a yummy and healthy snack. You can also grind the roasted seeds into a pumpkin seed butter.

 

11. Reduces Inflammation

Pumpkins have been found to decrease inflammation. One study revealed that pumpkin seed oil could provide relief from arthritis and reduce other inflammatory effects. It was also noted that pumpkin seed oil functioned like arthritis medication.17

12. Reduces Risk Of Bladder Stones

One study found out munching on pumpkin seeds helped reduce the risk of bladder stones. It also helped decrease bladder pressure, increase bladder compliance, and reduce urethral pressure.18

13. Improves Women’s Health After Menopause

Menopausal women can heave a sigh of relief. A recent study revealed pumpkin seed oil reduced postmenopausal signs. This includes headaches, hot flashes, and joint pains.19

Pumpkins are pretty versatile. You could make smoothies, desserts, energy bars, curries, and a lot more. Just experiment and happy munching!

 

View Article References (-)

1. Basic Report: 11422, Pumpkin, raw. USDA.
2. Making one change — getting more fiber — can help with weight loss. Harvard Medical School
3. Lindinger, Michael I., and Gisela Sjøgaard. “Potassium regulation during exercise and recovery.” Sports medicine 11, no. 6 (1991): 382-401
4. Hemilä, Harri, and Elizabeth Chalker. “Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold.” The Cochrane Library (2013)
5. Maci, Samanta, and Rafaela Santos. “The beneficial role of lutein and zeaxanthin in cataracts.” Nutrafoods 14, no. 2 (2015): 63-69
6. Wolk, Alicja, JoAnn E. Manson, Meir J. Stampfer, Graham A. Colditz, Frank B. Hu, Frank E. Speizer, Charles H. Hennekens, and Walter C. Willett. “Long-term intake of dietary fiber and decreased risk of coronary heart disease among women.” Jama 281, no. 21 (1999): 1998-2004
7. Weglicki, William B., Iu Tong Mak, Joanna J. Chmielinska, Maria Isabel Tejero-Taldo, Andrei Komarov, and Jay H. Kramer. “The role of magnesium deficiency in cardiovascular and intestinal inflammation.” Magnesium research: official organ of the International Society for the Development of Research on Magnesium 23, no. 4 (2010): S199
8. Abuelgassim, A. O., & Al-Showayman, S. I. (2012). The Effect of Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L) Seeds and L-Arginine Supplementation on Serum Lipid Concentrations in Atherogenic Rats. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines9(1), 131-137
9. Wu, Kana, John W. Erdman, Steven J. Schwartz, Elizabeth A. Platz, Michael Leitzmann, Steven K. Clinton, Valerie DeGroff, Walter C. Willett, and Edward Giovannucci. “Plasma and dietary carotenoids, and the risk of prostate cancer.” Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers 13, no. 2 (2004): 260-269
10. Okuyama, Yusuke, Kotaro Ozasa, Keiichi Oki, Hoyoku Nishino, Sotaro Fujimoto, and Yoshiyuki Watanabe. “Inverse associations between serum concentrations of zeaxanthin and other carotenoids and colorectal neoplasm in Japanese.” International journal of clinical oncology 19, no. 1 (2014): 87-97
11, 19. Gossell-Williams, M., C. Hyde, T. Hunter, D. Simms-Stewart, H. Fletcher, D. McGrowder, and C. A. Walters. “Improvement in HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women supplemented with pumpkin seed oil: pilot study.” Climacteric 14, no. 5 (2011): 558-564
12. Schagen, Silke K., Vasiliki A. Zampeli, Evgenia Makrantonaki, and Christos C. Zouboulis. “Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging.” Dermato-endocrinology 4, no. 3 (2012): 298-307
13. Jenkins, Trisha A., Jason CD Nguyen, Kate E. Polglaze, and Paul P. Bertrand. “Influence of tryptophan and serotonin on mood and cognition with a possible role of the gut-brain axis.” Nutrients 8, no. 1 (2016): 56
14. McGinty, Dennis T. “Serotonin and sleep: molecular, functional, and clinical aspects.” Sleep 32, no. 5 (2009): 699
15. Hirsch, A., and J. Gruss. “Human male sexual response to olfactory stimuli.” J Neurol Orthop Med Surg 19 (1999): 14-19
16. Prasad, Ananda S., Chris S. Mantzoros, Frances WJ Beck, Joseph W. Hess, and George J. Brewer. “Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults.” Nutrition 12, no. 5 (1996): 344-348
17. ”Medicinal and biological potential of pumpkin: an updated review.” Nutrition research reviews 23, no. 02 (2010): 184-190
18. Yadav, Mukesh, Shalini Jain, Radha Tomar, G. B. K. S. Prasad, and Hariom Yadav. “Medicinal and biological potential of pumpkin: an updated review.” Nutrition research reviews 23, no. 02 (2010): 184-190

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. Article by CureJoy

Do you find that your attention drifts off every once in a while? The ability to concentrate, focus, and stay on task is important for accomplishing anything. And when you consider cognitive functioning, the ability to pay attention and stay focused is the “gateway” to other cognitive functions – if you can’t pay attention to something, you can’t understand, learn, or remember it.

As we grow and develop, our ability to concentrate also improves. For instance, 6-year-olds can focus on a task for only about 15 minutes but by the time they are 9 years, they should be able to stay focused for around an hour.1 But if this is the case, why is it that we find our ability to focus floundering quite often? We find it difficult to concentrate for many reasons, including our interest in the task at hand, our physical and emotional state, our environment, our neuropsychological mapping, and our skill level vis-a-vis the task.2 A variety of physical and psychological factors can help enhance this ability – food is one such factor.

Foods To Improve Memory And Concentration

To improve your power of concentration, try these foods out.

1. Coffee

Many of us start our day with a cup of coffee. And there’s a good reason why coffee works so well as an eye opener – caffeine! Consuming caffeine in moderate amounts can not only improve your ability to focus and concentrate, it can also make you feel more energetic and alert, quicken your reactions, increase accuracy, improve short-term memory, and increase your problem-solving abilities.3

But do keep in mind that the key word here is “moderate.” Too much coffee can leave you feeling jittery. It’s not a good idea to have more than 400 mg of caffeine in a day. An 8-ounce cup of coffee contains around 95 to 200 mg, so no more than 2–3 cups a day. Experts also suggest that pregnant women should either avoid caffeine or limit their consumption to 300 mg in a day.4

2. Chocolate

Yummy chocolate can also help improve attention and concentration. This is because cocoa beans are a rich source of flavonoids, particularly epicatechin and catechin which have antioxidant properties. Cocoa also contains caffeine. And according to research, cocoa can improve attentiveness as well as mood.5 So bite into a delicious dark chocolate bar or have an antioxidant-rich cocoa drink when you feel mentally fatigued and distracted.

3. Tea

Tea is said to the most commonly consumed beverage after water. Like cocoa, it is a great source of flavonoid antioxidants. Tea also contains the beneficial amino acid L-theanine, which can modulate certain aspects of brain function. Studies have shown that L-theanine significantly increases brain activity in the alpha frequency band. This means it can relax you without making you feel drowsy, promote mental alertness, and improve attention. No wonder Buddhist monks commonly use tea to help sustain attention over long periods of meditation.6 You too can try a cup of tea when you find that your focus is fading. But then again, no going overboard. Limit to 2–3 cups a day.

4. Blueberries

Blueberries are another food that can be beneficial for your brain. Researchers have found that sustained attention improves after having a blueberry drink. But blueberries don’t just help you concentrate, they may improve your memory too. Research suggests that the neural circuitry involved in sustaining attention is enhanced by flavonoids present in blueberry may be responsible for these beneficial effects.7

5. Flaxseed Oil

Flax seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid. This essential fatty acid cannot be synthesized by the human body and has to be supplemented through diet. It is well known that alpha-linolenic acid is beneficial for your heart, but did you know it’s important for your brain too? One study found that when children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were supplemented with flaxseed oil and antioxidants in the form of vitamin C they were benefited. And symptoms like inattention, impulsivity, restless, and self-control were improved.10

But do keep in mind that it’s best to avoid flaxseed oil while pregnant or breastfeeding as it can have hormonal effects.11

View Article References (-)

 

1. School-age children development. National Institutes of Health.
2. Hughes, Jennifer Page. Attending to Attention: Strategies for Focus and Concentration. Bureau of Study Counsel, Harvard University, 2014.
3. Glade, Michael J. “Caffeine—not just a stimulant.” Nutrition 26, no. 10 (2010): 932-938.
4. Caffeine. National Institutes of Health.
5. Nehlig, Astrid. “The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance.” British journal of clinical pharmacology 75, no. 3 (2013): 716-727.
6. Nobre, Anna C., Anling Rao, and Gail N. Owen. “L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state.” Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition 17, no. S1 (2008): 167-168.
7. How, Pauline S., Judi A. Ellis, Sara Neshatdoust, and Jeremy PE Spencer. “The impact of plant-derived flavonoids on mood, memory, and motorskills in healthy older UK adults.” The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 67, no. OCE8 (2008).
   
   
8. Joshi, Kalpana, Sagar Lad, Mrudula Kale, Bhushan Patwardhan, Sahebrao P. Mahadik, Bindu Patni, Arti Chaudhary, Sheila Bhave, and Anand Pandit. “Supplementation with flax oil and vitamin C improves the outcome of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).” Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 74, no. 1 (2006): 17-21.
9. Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil. National Institutes of Health.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. Information by Cure Joy.