There is misconception, even among scientific communities, that certain types of foods increase memory and concentration. I could not help but laugh out loud.
Let’s say blueberry is listed as brain food (I find it in every list of brain foods). And as per USDA plants database, Blueberry is grown in eastern part of Northern America (nearly 38 states).
If Blueberry truly helped in increasing memory, the people residing in all 38 states of eastern North America must have higher memory on the planet.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Contrarily, the world thinks Americans are dumb. You wouldn’t know it unless you travel the world.
But there are certain types of foods that will improve your memory.
Types of Foods That Decreases Memory
Before I could reveal the types of foods our brain loves, let me state the ones that our brain hates.
Our brain hates high carbohydrate meal. And it goes into dull mode when our stomach is full.
Why is it so?
Let’s consider the scenario of high carbohydrate meal. It is full of starch. Almost instantly, the digested food is converted into glucose. Unless, you are a fire breathing machine, using up all the available glucose is impossible.
This results in conversion of glucose into fat cells. Continue this scenario for years and you become obese.
When you are obese, you huff and puff even at the slightest movement. Blood is rushed to necessary muscles. Your appetite increase, the scenario of high carbohydrate meal continues and blood rushes into your stomach to digest.
Fun Fact: After having a heavy meal you feel drowsy. Its because most of your blood is used up for digestion leaving your brain devoid of oxygen (less blood, less oxygen). Hence, making you drowsy.
Now let’s consider the scenario of heavy meal. Irrespective of what you eat, if you consume heavy meal, most of your blood is required to digest. As stated above your brain is devoid of oxygen.
Hope you understood what types of foods to avoid and why you shouldn’t stack your stomach till its full.
Types of Food that Increases Memory & Concentration
There is only one type of food that increases memory and that is FATS.
Fats are the best brain food.
I know most of you are either shocked or afraid to consume fats.
Fats have gotten bad rap in the recent years. They are blamed for everything. Right from heart attacks to being obese. But that is entirely untrue.
Note: I am not here to quell the myhs around fats. If you are interested, do your own research or talk with your physician.
When you consume fats your overall consumption of carbohydrates drop. As a result you eat less calories.
Low calorie diet results in better functioning of not only your body but your brain.
What Types of Fats Should I Consume?
I know you are probably thinking that there is some good fats and bad fats. That is another BS sold to you by the food industry.
Anything that is available through nature (not processed) is good fat.
I love animal fats. I never chip them out. I cook them with my meat. Therefore, less oil is required for cooking which is good.
Nuts are another great source of fats. Any nuts will do. Just because Almonds are marketed and advertised the most it doesn’t mean Almonds are God of all nuts. Any nut readily available in your locality is good.
Dairy fat is another good source of fats. Butter or clarified butter are great. Add one or two tablespoons with your meal and you will relinquish the taste.
Note: Some are lactose intolerant. They can’t even stand the smell of milk, yogurt or butter. For them I suggest trying out animal fats.
How Much Fats Should I Consume?
There is no hard rule.
However, consume fats with regular meals. Cut down 25% of your carbohydrate and replace it with fats.
Keto diet suggests 25% of your entire meal must consist of fat. You could try this option too.
A rule of thumb is reduce carbohydrate and increase fat consumption. Gradually ease through this diet and you will find that you are alert and focused most of the time.
Caution on Oils
The medical community is advertising certain types of oils as heart healthy. I don’t know how they come to such conclusions.
There is no magic pill for your heart. Its a combination of a healthy diet.
Just because Olive oil is said to be good for your heart doesn’t give unlimited license to pour on your meal. I have seen several people dress up their salads and certain types of meals with loads of olive oils.
It won’t help, period.
The trick is in using limited amounts where in the reward outweighs the risk.
One or two tablespoon of oil is enough.
Note: I am not a fan of refined oils irrespective of whether its olive or coconut. Opt for cold pressed oils.
Another Smart Way to Increase Memory & Focus
If you can’t include fat in your meal for any reason then there is a smart way to increase your memory and concentration.
Simply eat half of your normal meal or fast until you are done focusing.
How will this work?
Its pure logic. Your brain needs oxygen to work efficiently. And oxygen is supplied through blood.
When your stomach is full or even half full, most of your blood is required for digestion. During this period your brain becomes dull (reasons are obvious and stated earlier above).
When you fast during periods of concentration or eat a half meal, your brain still gets its dose of oxygen.
Note: If you are fasting, make sure that you consume at least some amounts of fats (nuts probably) prior or during fasting. This will keep you from falling unconscious. Fill your pockets with nuts or dark chocolates, just in case.
Supplements Can Help
Some supplements (not all) can help boost concentration and memory overall. But you have to remember they are not magic pills. I suggest that you read my detailed post on How to Improve Memory and Concentration.
After you have done so, take a look at some brain supplements that actually work.
Increasing memory and concentration is like exercising your muscle. Foods and supplements can only help if you exercise your brain.
Its a long process. Don’t expect quick results or else you will get burnt in the end.
Anyways everything is possible so keep improving your memory and concentration.