Does Brain Food Really Exist?

Healing & More from Nature’s Medicine Cabinet


Doctors and nutritionists alike have long touted the benefits of a balanced diet; but for people suffering from lack of concentration and hyperactivity, diet is not only important, it is crucial in helping to manage symptoms.

Whether food sensitivities or lack of nutrients are to blame, the answer to many health issues may actually reside in a change of diet.

Common Food Allergies

  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Corn
  • Whole wheat
  • Chocolate
  • Sugar

Since many food allergy symptoms mimic those found in concentration and mood disorders, it is a good idea to experiment by eliminating the following foods in the box to the right for approximately two weeks to see if any improvement is noticed.

Today’s modern diet often features most of these foods on a daily basis, so you may want to try eliminating them one at a time. Many people have noticed an improvement of symptoms after reducing or eliminating these foods all together from their diet.

There are also many foods that actually promote concentration. Incorporating wild salmon and berries into the diet is a great start. Wild salmon is an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are essential for brain growth and optimal function. Recent research has also shown that people who get more of these healthy fatty acids in their diet have sharper minds and perform better at mental skills tests.

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As sleep also plays a big role in optimum brain functioning, adding in chamomile tea, warm milk, turkey, bananas, figs, dates, yogurt, milk, tuna, whole grain crackers or nut butter can help. These foods are high in tryptophan, which promotes sleep.

Foods to avoid include bacon, cheese, chocolate, eggplant, ham, potatoes, sauerkraut, sugar, sausage, spinach, tomatoes and wine close to bedtime. These foods contain tyramine, which increases the release of norepinephrine, a brain stimulant.

Acai berries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries are also notorious for their brain-boosting properties. A good rule of thumb: the more intense the color, the more nutrition in the berries. Berries also boast high levels of antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which not only supports the immune system, but is also said to help prevent cancer.

As always, natural remedies can add the extra support needed when a healthy diet is not enough. Herbs have been used for many years to promote concentration, memory and focus, as well as to balance the nervous and circulatory systems. Restoring balance to our bodies is the key to well-rounded health and vitality.



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