Mental focus and concentration are one of the keys to athletic excellence. How many times have you seen a team take the lead during a game, but then blow the lead later in the game by allowing the opposing team to come back and take the win? It’s no surprise that the lack of focus from an athlete or an athletic team can lead to disappointing ties or loses. This is why it is important that athletes keep their head in the game and remain focused. When athletes are “in the zone” they are not as easily distracted and they are totally involved with what they are doing. In this state, it’s like time has stopped and they are tuned into the task at hand.
One of the most important skills in sports is having the ability to focus. All athletes, regardless of skill level, can benefit greatly from an improvement in their ability to focus and concentrate. Luckily enough, there are foods that you can eat that are known to help improve your mental focus. If you want to keep your head in the game, make sure you are ingesting these top brain foods for increased athletic focus.
This breakfast favorite is a nutritious one that not only helps your endurance and strength but also keeps you full as well. This low-calorie food is chock full of magnesium, which has been shown to help improve your memory and boost your brain. Oats also release their sugar as glucose slowly, and having a steady glucose level means better attention levels and focus.
This lovely pink fish can help provide you with the fuel you need in order to concentrate for long periods of time and can help improve your problem-solving abilities and your ability to focus. Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered to be the building blocks for sharpening cognitive function and can help increase the brain’s ability to network.
3. Dark Chocolate
When ingested in moderate amounts, dark chocolate has some amazing health and performance benefits. Containing flavanols, this antioxidant helps memory and can boost blood flow to the brain. For best results, invest in cacao powder, not cocoa powder. Cacao is raw dark chocolate, whereas cocoa is processed so many of the key nutrients are destroyed.
You may not have heard of this tuber root before, but it is best known for providing a caffeine-free boost of energy. Maca is native to the mountainous regions of Colombia, Peru, Chile, as well as Bolivia, and is often referred to as “Peruvian ginseng.” This amazing root offers a wide range of minerals and vitamins, and can help improve focus, mental clarity, and can boost cognitive function.
This delicious fruit is chock full of magnesium, which is a brain booster, and the monounsaturated fats found in avocados is excellent at supporting the nerves in the brain that carry information. The next time you have a case of the foggy brain, reach for an avocado. Avocados are delicious in salads, on burgers, or even eaten just as is!
Considered to be one of the perfect proteins, eggs contain all of the amino acids our bodies need. Not only do eggs help encourage muscle development, but are also considered to be a brain food. Egg yolks are one of the richest sources of choline around, a B vitamin that is excellent for the brain as it contributes to neurological development and function.
7. Leafy Greens
Just like oatmeal, leafy greens are rich in folate and magnesium, which can help enhance your memory, especially as you age. Beyond improving your memory and mind, leafy greens contain cancer-fighting vitamins, antioxidants, and also help keep depression and stress at bay. Do you need any more reasons on why you should make leafy greens a regular part of your diet?
8. Lion’s Mane
This unconventional looking mushroom has an amazing ability to stimulate the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) levels in the brain, which is important for the growth and survival of neurons. In addition, lion’s mane may help improve the brain’s synaptic plasticity and can have long-term positive effects on cognitive function, mental focus, and on memory.
Ever notice that walnuts look like miniature brains? Well, maybe that’s because walnuts are excellent for your brain, as they help keep the brain fluid and working properly. Between walnuts omega-3 fatty acid content, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, manganese, and copper content, they got your brain covered and protected. These minerals all work together to help improve your memory and your focus.
10. Hemp Seeds
This superfood packs quite a punch, as it helps fight off mental problems, increases energy, and helps improve your energy and focus. Hemp seeds are also high in protein, and protein is essential for the proper functioning of the brain, as it helps the brain with recall and memory. In addition, hemp seeds are chock full of magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids that can help improve your memory, can help lift your mood, and can help increase your mental focus.