Health spotlight: focus and brain health
Our health editor and qualified nutritionist, Tracey Raye, puts the spotlight on health trends to discuss the dietary and lifestyle habits that can support focus and brain health
In our spotlight series, health editor and registered nutritionist, Tracey Raye, puts the spotlight on top health trends to bring you simple, nourishing ways to include more of the good stuff in your daily life in a gentle way.
What does good brain health look like?
A healthy brain is a happy brain. Supporting your brain health with good dietary and lifestyle habits means supporting your memory, focus, problem-solving and even your mood.
What the research says about focus and brain health:
- The foods you eat play a key role in the health of your brain, specifically its ability to concentrate, remember and maintain a balanced mood
- Practices such as mindfulness and meditation have been shown to benefit mental health
- Achieving adequate sleep and movement within your day keeps the brain fit
- Using your brain through engaging activities such as playing boardgames or taking a cooking class may help to slow down the brain ageing process
Supporting focus through diet
When I have a lot of work on the cards and I’m struggling to concentrate, I try to be a little savvier with my food choices. Piling in the brain-boosting foods such as healthy fats, good proteins and antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies really helps me to chill out and focus. This kefir, banana and berry smoothie is something I love to make as a light breakfast or quick snack. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s loaded with berries and packs in 10g of protein in one glass.
Three more ways with brain-healthy foods
- Love pasta? Try this omega-3-rich creamy salmon penne
- Cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower and broccoli are powerful brain foods. Try this chargrilled broccoli and cauliflower with harissa as the side to your next main
- While cake isn't exactly a brain food, adding brain-boosting ingredients including the walnuts in this double layer cake is a great way of getting the benefit without even trying
Supporting focus through through lifestyle
There’s nothing quite like the nutty, rich aroma of coffee in the air. Personally, I love a deep, muddy brew, but if I need a little edge in the energy and focus department, I’ll reach for London Nootopics flow coffee. It’s packed with Lion’s Mane mushroom and rhodiola, which are wonderful at supporting memory, reducing brain fog and enhancing mental clarity – and don’t worry, you can’t taste the mushrooms!
More ways to support focus and brain health
- For those who don't drink coffee, try this organic adaptogenic turmeric blend with ashwagandha by Wunder Workshop | £17.50 for 40g
- If you're more of a warm cacao person, try the calming mushroom cacao blend by Dirtea | £39.99 for 150g
- Sharpen the mind with meditations from headspace | £9.99 per month
- Get a better night's sleep with the Nuzzie weighted blanket | £258 for a double
- Train your brain for focus with sudoku | FREE online
Tell me, what's your favourite brain-boosting food? Have you ever used brain training practices such as meditation and sudoku? Comment below and share your experience...
Tracey Raye is the health editor for olive and BBC Good Food. Tracey, MSc, is a registered nutritionist, holding a master’s degree in personalised nutrition. She is passionate about harnessing the power of all things health and wellbeing – in a way that enhances, rather than limits our lives. She covers our nourishing recipes and collections, oversees our health strategy and stays on top of the latest health and lifestyle trends in order to bring you the tools and inspiration you need to find what health means for you.
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Tracey Raye is the Health Editor for Olive and BBC Good Food. She oversees all health, nutrition and fitness related content across the brands, including the bi-annual Healthy Diet Plan, monthly Health Edit newsletter and health column in the magazine.