Many of the foods we eat regularly are highly processed and contain an abundance of fat, sugar and salt. We know that these foods have an impact on our bodies and general health, but how aware are we of the impact of our diet on our brain function? It may come as a surprise to many that food can affect things like mental clarity, mood, memory, and concentration.
There are plenty of foods and drinks out there that can encourage our bodies and minds to perform much better than their processed and unhealthy alternatives. This blog from POW Food
explores some of the so-called ‘brain foods’ and drinks you can consume regularly to boost your cognitive performance at work.
Studies have shown that blueberries are capable of boosting concentration and memory for up to five hours. This is because the antioxidants blueberries contain stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, therefore keeping the mind fresh and active.
Blueberries have also been shown to boost focus thanks to antioxidants such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol and tannins.
Most of us have probably heard about the wonders of green tea. It helps with cognitive performance for two reasons: caffeine and L-theanine. It goes without saying that caffeine helps with focus and alertness, while L-theanine increases what is known as alpha-wave activity. This essentially increases feelings of tranquillity and helps the caffeine to be released slowly, instead of all at once, meaning you’re less likely to crash shortly after drinking your tea. The combination of these two ingredients also helps us focus our attention and can improve both speed and accuracy.
While you may not be popular with your colleagues, fish is one of the most well-known ‘brain foods’. Fish - especially fatty or oily fish - contains Omega-3 fatty acids which aid memory, mental performance and behavioural function. Fish has also been proven to improve concentration and mood. The best fatty fish to eat are salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards, or kippers.
Omega-3 deficiency can lead to things like poor memory, mood swings, depression and fatigue, so it’s important to get your recommended amount. If you don’t eat fish, you can find Omega-3 in other sources like flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and Brussels sprouts. Alternatively, you could take an Omega-3 supplement that is suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
Dark chocolate (with a cacao content of 70% or more) can help you focus for a number of reasons. First, it contains a small amount of caffeine, which has been proven to heighten mental alertness. It also contains magnesium, which helps you de-stress, stimulates the release of endorphins, and encourages the production of mood-boosting hormones like serotonin. As little as a few pieces each day can significantly boost your focus and mood.
’s EmPOWer package combines healthy meals designed by nutritionists with specialised workouts to improve mental health, increase energy levels and optimise performance. With workplace nutrition at its core, EmPOWer
is designed to enhance performance, mental clarity and focus in order to boost employees’ productivity and efficiency at work. To learn more about how we can help optimise your workplace through a healthy, balanced diet, contact us