Good concentration and memory are two of the most important features of successful people. They are needed both at work and in business, as well as at school and college.
They will also help you increase your personal productivity.
So how can you improve your memory and concentration skills? The most effective solutions can be found below.
1. A Proper Diet
A proper diet has a positive effect not only on your health, but also on your mind. Which vitamins and minerals are the most important for the brain and where can they be found?
B vitamins are primarily responsible for the proper functioning of the nervous system – relieve nervous tension, improve mood and intellectual performance.
Vitamin B4 (choline) is particularly important. Its long-term deficiency can lead to concentration disorders and serious memory problems even just after the age of forty.
The main sources of B vitamins are:
- pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Magnesium supports memory and concentration, reduces the symptoms of depression, acts anti-stress, supports B vitamins, together with calcium helps in the transmission of neuromuscular impulses, protects the body against heavy metals damaging the brain.
The richest sources of magnesium include:
- whole grains – buckwheat, barley, brown rice, oatmeal, corn flakes, rye bread, graham bread;
- hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds;
- fruits – bananas, apples, tomatoes, oranges;
- vegetables – dry legumes, white beans, parsley, broccoli, green beans, carrots, dill, spinach, sorrel, lettuce;
- pumpkin and sunflower seeds;
- cocoa – chocolates containing at least 70% cocoa (bitter chocolates) also contain a lot of magnesium;
- milk and milk products (yoghurts, semi-fat curd cheese, yellow cheese);
- meat and fish – fresh salmon, smoked mackerel, pork, beef, ham.
Zinc is an antioxidant that protects the nervous system from free radicals. The main sources of zinc are oysters, mussels, beans, nuts, cocoa.
Potassium is responsible for transmitting electrical impulses between cells and helps oxygenate the brain.
Rich sources of potassium include bananas, tomatoes, melons, currants, nuts, legumes, fish, broccoli, and potatoes.
Iron is another important mineral which is very beneficial for memory and nervous system. At an early age, it is responsible for the proper development of brain, and in the general population transports oxygen to individual cells.
Products containing natural iron sources include:
- wheat bran
- pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- egg yolks
- milk products
- vegetables and fruits – mainly green vegetables, red cabbage and pepper.
For better absorption of iron it is also recommended to consume quite a large amount of vitamin C. The largest amounts include: lemon, blackcurrant, oranges, mandarins, apples, tomatoes, cabbage, pepper, papaya, brussels sprouts, broccoli.
Carbohydrates are also a very important nutrient, because they provide energy to the entire human body.
During intense mental work, the human brain can consume over 20% of the energy delivered to the body, despite the fact that the brain mass is approximately just 2% of the total body weight.
Carbohydrates are divided into complex and simple carbs. Simple carbohydrates are simply sugars (chocolate bars, cookies, candies, chocolate, etc.). Simple carbohydrates, unfortunately, are not a very valuable source of energy. In addition, they contribute to problems with teeth and digestive system, the development of parasites and acidification of the body.
Complex carbohydrates have a positive effect on human health and they increase energy level. They are mainly located in:
- corn and cornflakes
- wholemeal bread.
Deficiency of omega-3 causes brain aging. In order to increase the level of omega-3 acids in the body, you should primarily eat fish and nuts. Additionally add regularly rapeseed oil, soybean oil or olive oil to dishes.
Lecithin has a very beneficial effect on the nervous system as well as on memory and concentration. Lecithin is mainly contained in:
- wheat germs
- egg yolks
- whole wheat bread.
2. Physical Activity
Physical exercises should not necessarily be done to be muscular. They rather should be done in order to be healthy.
To improve the state of mind, just walk or jog in the fresh air. It will oxygenate your brain and improve circulation of blood. This way, your brain should become more effective.
The first, very important point of this article was the right diet. As many nutrients can be quite difficult to obtain ina natural form or difficult to absorb, it is also worth using supplements available in pharmacies without a prescription.
These can be either supplements containing individual vitamins or minerals, as well as compound supplements.
4. Brain Exercises
In order to have a good memory and concentration all the time, you have to use them constantly. Unused skill vanishes after some time…
So let’s practice your mind by solving crosswords, remembering dates, phone numbers, license plates, etc.
Two additional examples of exercises are at the end of the article.
5. Summary And Additional Ways To Increase Memory Power
- Eat a lot of vegetables and fruit.
- Drink approximately 300 ml of water for every 10 kg of body weight per day. 2 liters a day, which you can read or hear about everywhere, is too generalized. Adequate hydration is important because a poorly hydrated body may be responsible for worse concentration.
- Avoid sweets and sugar. They provide a lot of energy for a short time, followed by a significant drop in energy. In addition, sweets affect negatively on the condition of teeth and the digestive system, they also cause acidification of the body.
- Drink green tea, melissa, ginseng.
- Use supplements containing various vitamins and minerals.
- Take care of your physical condition – the right dose of exercise improves circulation of blood, oxygenates the body and thus improves concentration.
- Take breaks during your work or study.
- Air the room. The inflow of fresh air will facilitate the work done in the office or at home.
- Avoid all kinds of diffusers and noises, including radio, music or TV, other people around, etc.
- Take care of the right amount of sleep – about 7-8 hours a day. Tired mind does not work as efficiently as rested one.
- Plan your time and your tasks carefully.
- Try to do what you like to do.
- Remember that concentration can be practiced. For example you can count in your mind from 100 to 1 or vice versa (it’s worth counting every 3 numbers instead of one by one: 100, 97, 94, …). Another exercise may be to stare at the subject for about 5 minutes and think only about it at that time.
- Start listening to meditation and relaxation recordings.
- Find out how to deal with stress.
- Remember different information (dates, phone numbers, etc.) and repeat them every now and then. In this way you will improve both your memory and concentration.
Rafał Alitojć is a graduate of two universities (PWSZ in Zamość and PJATK in Warsaw).
Besides, he is the founder & owner of AliveBetter blog where you can find some cool information mainly about blogging, SEO, and marketing, but also about personal development, finance, health, traveling, IT, and education.