This site is largely about premium, pre-made brain supplements; the capsules, tablets and powders that people take to enhance various aspects of their cognitive performance.
You’ve probably seen such supplements advertised online, or maybe even in a health food/supplement store (as nootropics are becoming more popular and “mainstream”). These products can dramatically enhance multiple different measures of brain performance, from focus and working memory to stress resilience and even mood.
But you don’t have to use premium supplements to enhance cognitive function.
It might surprise you, but you can significantly improve mental performance by consuming some widely-available, commonplace foods.
If you can incorporate certain cognitive-enhancing foods into your regular diet, you will undoubtedly see dramatic improvements in focus, concentration, memory function, and brain health over the long term.
One of the facets of cognitive performance that people are most concerned about is focus. This makes sense; heightened focus and concentration is one of the easiest things to achieve, and you immediately benefit from improved focus.
So what foods can increase focus?
Foods to increase focus
Here are some of the best foods for heightening focus and improving concentration.
Best foods for improving focus:
- Salmon – For the DHA/EPA
- Eggs – For the choline
- Tofu – For the lecithin
- Coffee – For the caffeine
- Arugula – For the nitrogen, which dilates your blood vessels and improves cerebral blood flow
These foods all provide slightly different things which are good for the brain. It is therefore recommended that you try to eat all of these foods on a fairly regular basis, assuming your goal is cognitive enhancement and not, say, reducing cholesterol (in which case, avoid the eggs).
Don’t start eating excessive amounts of salmon in the hope it will supercharge your brain – that’s not how this works. Instead, just try to incorporate these foods into your diet more than you do right now. Doing so wont work as rapidly or as noticeably as a nootropic stack might, but it will yield dividends over many years.
So the ideal nootropic breakfast might be an arugula omelette with smoked salmon and a cup of coffee! You then might want to eat some tofu for your lunch the next day, and then some more eggs and salmon at the end of the week. Such a diet will promote greater focus and concentration over the long-term. Eating such a diet alongside the use of focus-enhancing nootropics will amplify the supplement’s effects.
On top of that, you will want to be eating plenty of foods that promote long-term brain health, rather than merely performance. This means eating foods rich in anti-oxidants, key minerals, and an array of vitamins.
Here are some of the best foods to eat for maximizing brain health:
- Berries – Antioxidants & vitamins
- Grapes – Antioxidants & vitamins
- Green tea – Antioxidants
- Coffee – Antioxidants
- Nuts – Minerals – & vitamins
- Seeds – Minerals & vitamins
We recommend eating these foods on a very regular basis. Unlike with eggs and salmon, there really is no upper limit on the amount of green tea you should be drinking, or how much of your diet comes from nuts and berries (unless you are going to take things to ridiculous lengths).
For most people, eating a portion of nuts and berries every single day is achievable and would be highly beneficial to both your overall health and your long-term cognitive performance. Drinking 2 cups of green tea each day will help protect your brain cells from free radical damage, which will in turn help promote focus over the long-term.
None of these things are going to really ramp up your focus by that much though. Check out our rankings of the best brain supplements to really take your brain performance to the next level.