33 Brain Foods to Help You Boost Your Productivity

Brain foods that boost your productivity

You brain needs a contact supply of energy to function properly. It consumes 20% of your daily calorie intake, which is a lot for only one organ.

So, you need to constantly feed it with the right food to keep it nice and sharp. If you fail to do that, you will surely notice a decline in your cognitive abilities.

It has long been known that so-called brain foods affect your brain in positive ways.

They help you sharpen your focus, as well as enhance your memory and attention span.

I have put together a list of 33 of the most powerful brain foods that I believe you should include in your diet.

Free bonus: Download the full list of Brain foods + Bonus daily meals that will make your brain sharper and improve your productivity

These are the brain foods that numerous studies have proven to really work, which is why I eat them on a regular basis:

Meat:

Meat Brain food

Eating meat is important because it allows you to get your necessary dose of protein and fat, two elements which help keep your brain healthy.

In fact, a recent study points to the fact that the meat was the main factor that allowed our ancestors to develop their brains.

Of course, not all meat is healthy for the brain. In particular, this is what you should be eating:

Oily fish – fish has been considered the ultimate brain food. Oily fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, which is vital for brain health.

Scientists believe that omega-3 fats are important for strengthening the brain’s ability to transmit signals between brain cells.

They help sharpen your brain and improve your memory and focus.

In 2012, UCLA researchers proved that diets lacking omega-3 fatty acids accelerate brain aging. People who ate less fish exhibited lower brain volume and cognitive skills.

Among the best fish you can eat are:

  • Salmon
  • Black Cod
  • Mahi-Mahi
  • Grouper
  • Herring
  • Trout
  • Sardines

For best results, you should eat oily fish at least two times per week.

Shellfish and mollusks – this category is a great alternative to the oily fish, as it is also quite rich in omega-3 fats (although nothing is as rich as oily fish).

Shellfish and mollusks are also a great source of healthy protein. They are also a good option if you’re looking to lose weight, because they are very low-calorie.

You can eat things like:

  • Shrimp
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Mussels
  • Clams
  • Oysters

Feel free to switch to this protein group from time to time if you get sick of eating fish.

Grass-fed meat, poultry, and pork – in a book entitled Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, this author states that we should eat more grass-fed meat. Here’s why:

When animals are fed with grains such as corn or soybeans, they don’t develop enough healthy omega-3 fatty acids and their meat ends up lacking vital nutrients.

Grass-fed meat is also extremely important for getting your necessary dose of protein, an element which your body then uses to build and repair tissue.

It an important competent of almost every cell of your body, including red blood cells, which are vital for delivering oxygen to every part of your body – including your brain.

So, focus on eating grass-fed meat, such as:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Liver
  • Bison
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Ostrich
  • Veal

 

Vegetables:

Vegetables brain foods

Vegetables are super important for your brain because they provide you with nutrients that help you store more fat in the brain, increase blood flow to the brain, and think more clearly.

Here is a list of the best vegetables you should include in your diet:

Tomato – tomatoes are a great brain food you can easily add to your menu. They are high in carotenoids, nutrients that help safeguard fat in your body. Remember that your brain is made mostly of fat.

These carotenoids help eliminate free radicals and prevent brain swelling, while also stimulating brain growth.

Cucumber – cucumbers play an important role in brain health. They are a great source of flavonols, which help improve memory and protect your nerve cells from age-related decline.

They are also rich in vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese.

Not to mention the fact that they’re 95% water, which will keep your body well hydrated, an important element of normal brain function.

Zucchini – zucchinis contain several nutrients that are highly valuable for the brain. They are a good source of potassium, which increases blood flow to the brain and improves cognition, concentration, and neural activity.

They also include folate, which helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.

Eggplant – eggplants contain nasunin, a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that protects cell membranes from damage and helps them store fat.

This foods allows the brain fight off free radicals, while letting good nutrients in and kicking waste out.

Broccoli – this veggie, which is a great source of vitamin K and lignans, helps us improve memory and strengthen our cognitive abilities.

Research has shown that students who eat broccoli perform better on memory tests.

Spinach – people who eat regularly spinach manage to keep their brain alert, even in old age.

This is because this vegetable contains nitrates that help increase blood flow to the brain and improve mental performance.

One cup of raw spinach has 15% of your daily intake of vitamin E. If you cook it, this amount increases to 25%.

Beets – scientists from Wake Forest University found that eating beets increases blood flow to your brain. As a result, your mental performance also improves.

Garlic – as you grow older, garlic might prevent brain function loss and help improve your memory, cognitive functions and longevity.

A new study has found that garlic contains FruArg, an element which protects the brain from age-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Lentils – these legumes are rich in folate, a type of B vitamin that helps boost your brainpower. It is also super important for regulating your amino acid levels, which can affect brain function.

Lentils are also a good source of iron, which helps bring more oxygen to your brain.

Green salads (leafy greens) – research has shown that people who consume leafy green salads have similar cognitive skills to someone 11 years younger than them.

These greens can keep your brain healthier for a longer amount of time because of the important nutrients contained in these vegetables.

They’re rich in B vitamins, such as folic acid, B6 and B12, which are essential for the brain. According to Oxford University, they help improve brain function and reduce the risk of atrophy and brain shrinkage.

Green salads are also rich in an amino acid called l-tyrosine, which helps improve memory, learning abilities and problem solving skills.

Among the leafy greens that you should eat are:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Chard

Try to eat at least one serving per day.

Fruits:

Fruits brain foods

Fruits stimulate the brain in a way that improves your memory and allows you to think more quickly.

Of course, not all fruits are created equal, as some provide you with many more benefits.

Here’s a list of the best ones to include in your diet:

Blueberries – this fruit is often considered to be one of the best brain foods out there. They are rich in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Blueberries help maintain communication between brain cells. As a result, you experience improved memory, learning and reasoning skills.

They also prevent brain swelling and stimulate new brain cell production.

Strawberries – this powerful brain food is a great alternative to blueberries. They help prevent the aging process of the brain, as well as memory loss.

Strawberries can help with improving memory, learning and reasoning skills.

Blackcurrants – scientists from Plant & Food Research, in a collaborative effort with Northumbria University, found that blackcurrants help improve accuracy, attention and mood, while simultaneously decreasing mental fatigue.

It turns out the best blackcurrants come from New Zealand, but that’s no reason for you to worry if you live somewhere else in the world. Any blackcurrant will provide you with lots of brain benefits.

Avocados – this fruit is a great source of fiber, vitamins and healthy fats. They stimulate the generation of a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which keeps your brain focused.

According to a review published in “Nature Reviews Neuroscience,” avocados can improve both memory and concentration.

Coconut oil – this cooking oil provides a good amount of saturated fat, which can help increase cholesterol levels and combat dementia. It prevents brain swelling and helps keep this important organ healthy.

Coconut oil can also help increase your cholesterol, which is a good thing for your brain.

Lemons – lemons have the highest concentration of negatively-charged ions. This helps increase the amount of oxygen in the brain, causing you to become more alert, more mentally energetic, and less drowsy.

The best option is to squeeze a whole lemon into a glass of water early in the morning, which is enough lemon for the day.

Nuts & Seeds

To make your brain sharper, you should add nuts and seeds to your diet.

They provide you with important omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins that improve your memory and concentration.

These are the nuts and seeds that you should be eating:

Walnuts – Scientists at Tufts University in Boston found that diets rich in walnuts improve brain performance.

This occurs because walnuts have the perfect combination of important omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Walnuts are also rich in vitamin E, which is great at protecting the brain from free radicals and many types of dementia.

Additionally, walnuts increase melatonin levels, which can help you get relief from sleeplessness and insomnia.

Flaxseed – this seed is the best source of ALA, a healthy fat that improves the functionality of the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for processing sensory information to the brain, like touch and smell.

The best way to eat it is to add some to your salad or to mix it into a smoothie.

Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seeds are a great mix of protein, healthy fats and vitamin B, and they provide you with tons of energy.

They are also high in vitamin E, which helps protect the brain, and zinc, which help improve memory and cognitive skills.

Pumpkin Seeds – this seed is a good alternative to sunflower seeds. Again, they are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B and zinc.

So, adding pumpkin seeds to your diet is a great way to keep your brain sharp and healthy.

Chia Seeds – these seeds are a good source of both healthy protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for both your body and mind.

Chia seeds help hydrate the body and regulate blood sugar levels, while providing you with a good source of antioxidants and fibers.

They are great for keeping your body and mind healthy.

Animal products

Animal products are a great source of protein, fats and other nutrients that help improve your mental abilities.

These are the 4 products I’d recommend:

Eggs – Swiss researchers believe that eating protein-rich foods for breakfast, such as eggs, helps improve cognitive performance.

Eggs are also rich in choline, a precursor to acetylcholine which is responsible for helping you remember things.

Cheese – eating cheese is essential for brain health. A new research study claims that people who eat this food regularly score higher in mental ability than those who never or rarely eat it.

This is because of the high concentration of healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in cheese.

Yogurt – this dairy product is also rich in omega-3 healthy fats, which are vital for normal brain function.

Scientists also discovered that yogurt is rich in probiotics, which affect brain function.

They tested 3 groups of 12 women. One of the groups was given yogurt with probiotics, one group a yogurt-like dairy product, and one group nothing.

After 4 weeks, the women that ate the real yogurt showed increased connectivity in the periaqueductal gray region and the pre-frontal cortex, which affects cognition.

Bee Pollen – this is a great natural energizer that contains 40% protein and is rich in folic acid, an amino acid which increases your brain’s stamina and alertness, and fights off fatigue.

Adding bee pollen to your daily diet is a great way to boost your energy level and brainpower at the same time.

The easiest way to consume it is to add it your yogurt or salad.

Seasonings/Spices

Adding these seasonings to your diet will really make a huge difference in how your brain works:

Curry – turmeric, which is the spice that gives curry its color, contains a chemical called curcumin, which helps boost memory and stimulate the process of creating new brain cells.

Curry also helps repair current brain cells and prevent brain swelling.

Celery – celery contains luteolin, which helps prevent age-related memory loss and the inflammation of the brain.

Rosemary – this herb can help you improve your memory and concentration.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in rosemary prevent any radical damage to the brain.

Rosemary reverses nerve cell damage by stimulating nerve growth factor synthesis.

Maca – this food is known to increase mental energy and focus. Maca helps you increase your stamina, so it is a great way to boost your energy if you occasionally feel tired.

Other great benefits are that it cures anxiety, depression and all kinds of mood swings. And, as we all know, happy people are more productive.

Desserts

Usually, desserts high in sugar are not good for the brain. However, there is one exception you should know about:

Dark chocolate – this food helps improve blood flow to the brain, and, as a result, improves cognitive function and memory.

The caffeine and theobromine in dark chocolate can help improve brain function for a short period of time.

Cocoa, which a huge part of dark chocolate, is the most powerful antioxidant out there, containing 15 times more antioxidants than blueberries and 20 times more than green tea.

Remember that in order for the chocolate to be considered dark, it should have at least 70% cocoa.

In conclusion:

Eating healthy brain foods will make you smarter. After a while, you’ll notice that you have better memory, you’re thinking faster and you can focus better.

This can really make a difference in how well you perform at work.

It will be easier for you to execute tasks more quickly, and you won’t feel as drained by the end of the day. So, stick with your diet and see the difference.

What brain foods should you incorporate into your daily diet? Which ones do you refuse to consider? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

The Ultimate Secret To Overcoming Procrastination (backed by science)

 

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Procrastination is the biggest time thief.

It is that bad habit that stops us from getting what we want. We all know it, and still – we all do it.

Nowadays, this problem has reached an enormous peak. Around 25% of adults are serious procrastinators.

We all put off the tasks we should have done days ago, but we rarely realize what the consequences are.

Free bonus: Download the free step-by-step implication checklist that will show you all the steps you need to take to overcome procrastination

Why is procrastination bad for you?

Before I teach you how to overcome procrastination, it’s important to understand why it is so dangerous.

What happens if you consistently procrastinate?

Keeps you from achieving success – procrastination keeps you from taking action. And massive action is key to being successful.

Not only in business, but in your personal life, as well.

A lack of action leads to tons of missed opportunities.

  • You didn’t do all the sales calls that you could have – this leads to you not getting as many clients as you could.
  • You delivered a project late – you received a late payment.
  • You put off registering for a seminar until the last second – you couldn’t book a spot because they were all filled up.

There is one thing all these scenarios have in common – procrastination makes you less successful.

Makes you feel bad – around 46% of people think that procrastination has a very negative impact on their happiness, whereas 18% think it has an extremely negative impact.

Procrastinators tend to suffer internally when they face the consequences of putting off certain actions.

They might also feel bad simply because they fear the consequences of their actions, even if those consequences aren’t real.

Feelings that procrastinators experience range from:

  • irritation
  • regret
  • guilt
  • intense self-condemnation
  • despair.

These people are much more stressed and they tend to have lower-self-esteem.

You lose things – when you start procrastinating, you might see minor negative consequences – like late payment or an unhappy customer.

But, over time, things might start to get even worse – you might lose clients, ruin your reputation and lose your business.

People will stop believing in you and seeing as a reputable person they can trust. Recovering from this might be harder than you think.

Why do we procrastinate?

 

 

In the book “Procrastination: Why You Do it, What To Do About it Now,” James B. Burka, Phd. and Lenova M. Yuen, Phd. state the following:

We think that people who procrastinate in a problematic way do so because they are afraid. They fear that if they act, their actions could get them into trouble.

The fear of these consequences keeps us from taking action. So, in this way, procrastination acts as a shield that protects us from unpleasant situations.

But there are many types of fears that could trigger procrastination:

Fear of failure – we all experience it from time to time. The real problem emerges when we let fear of failure stop us from taking action.

How many business ideas have you had that you never started working on because you thought they were going to fail?

  • Why didn’t you call those new prospects? Because you thought you were not going to close the sale.
  • Why didn’t you invest money in your new marketing strategy? You simply thought it wasn’t going to work.
  • What fear of failure does is it try to protect us, while actually making our situation worse.

If we invest too much of our time and resources in something and it doesn’t work out, we risk hurting our well-being and survival.

We could have used that time to do something that was way “safer” and “more likely to work.”

Fear of success – why would anyone be afraid of success? Because success also has consequences, just like failure.

Think about for a second.

If you become really successful in your niche, you’ll probably get a lot of attention from the media.

People will be watching every step you take, all the time. And they will be judging you.

You’ll have a lot more responsibilities and you’ll need to be able to deliver all the time.

You might lose that friends that can no longer an relate to you. It might become difficult for you to find time for your family and your marriage, or other relationships might suffer.

You might think you want success, but, in truth, you might be super scared of what you will lose if you achieve it.

Perfectionism – the need to makes things perfect is one of the most dangerous characteristics I person can have in business and in their personal life. Wanting to give you best is great, but you need to be able to set some boundaries.

The truth is, your product will never be perfect – there will be always things that you can improve and fix. But if you’re always putting off the improvement process, you might never release it to the world.

And if you do release it before you think it’s “perfect” – you might feel bad because you didn’t give all you could.

People used to say, “do it poorly, but get it done.”

You’ll always have time to improve.

Why is it so hard to stop procrastinating?

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If you ask someone: “Hey, do you want to stop procrastinating?” the chances are, he’ll say “Yes, of course I do.

But what happens if you actually ask him to do it?

He’ll probably struggle with dealing with procrastination, and he’ll continue to put off tasks that make him uncomfortable.

Why is that?

Lack of intelligence is not the issue – Interestingly, the problem does not have anything to do with intelligence.

95% of people want to stop procrastinating, and they are aware that there will be negative consequences.

Still, they can’t find a solution. It is like something outside of their control is stopping them from taking action.

So, what are the real reasons?

We are controlled by our emotions and instincts – To better understand procrastination and what causes it, you have to have a better understanding of how our brain works.

Back in the 90s, neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean developed the Triune brain theory.

 

Triune brain

According to this expert, humans have three brains, not one, that coexist and cooperate together.

  1. The reptilian brain

The oldest of the three controls the body’s vital functions – heart rate, breathing, body temperature and balance. It’s also responsible for our survival and drive to reproduce.

  1. The limbic brain (also called the emotional brain)

Responsible for our feelings and emotions. It records past positive and negative experiences that affect our current behavior.

  1. The neocortex, or our so-called logical brain

This is our consciousness and thinking process.

There is a conflict inside us – In some cases, these three brains can also conflict with each other.

We might want to do something logically, but we might not be able to do it because the other two brains are not letting us.

For example, we understand logically that procrastination is bad, but there is nothing we can do about it

It turns out the reptilian brain has the largest influence on us – because it is aimed at ensuring our survival and reproduction. It wants to keep us safe and keep us away from any danger.

The emotional brain, on other hand, dictates our behavior based on habits we have developed, past experiences and the emotions we’re feeling at the present moment.

In the end, we’re left with very little control.

In fact, most of the time, when we think we have made a decision about something logically, we’re just rationalizing the choice made by the reptilian and emotional brains.

The decision has already been made. And it’s out of our control.

Procrastination is triggered by fearfear is the most powerful of all negative emotions.

Back in ancient times, it served a very important purpose – it protected us from real dangers that could kill us or endanger our lives.

Unfortunately, our emotional system is still not up-to-date for the modern world, a world in which we hardly encounter any real dangers.

Yes, you might fail in business or look bad in front of people. But that’s not the end of the world. You’re still going to find a job and earn a living.

Still, fear protects you from doing things that could risk your survival.

We’ve turned it into a bad habit – if you have been procrastinating for a while now, it’s probably become a habit.

And as we know, habits are hard to change.

Once a habit is formed, it becomes an automatic behavior, triggered by certain events.

So, when you’re assigned a task that is way outside of your comfort zone, it makes you feel anxious, causing your procrastination habit to be triggered.

The key to overcoming procrastination

Fear is what stop us from taking action, but it can also be the key to curing procrastination.

We procrastinate because it feels safer. But what happens if we the risk associated with not taking action increases?

Fear will drive us to take action because we will feel that we are in greater danger when we’re sitting around not doing anything.

But how do you do that? How do you increase your comfort to such an extent that you’re forced to act?

You do this by burning your boats.

How to overcome procrastination by burning your boats

Back in 711 AD, Muslim forces decided to invade the Iberian Peninsula.

The commander, Tariq ibn Ziyad, knew that it was going to be a hard battle. His army needed some extra motivation to win and not run away like cowards.

So, he ordered his men to burn all of their boats.

That way, they didn’t have a way out. They had to win the war or die trying.

So, here’s how you can use this technique to overcome procrastination:

Make success your only option – by burning your boats, you no longer have a way back to your safe place.

Success becomes your only option. This means that you no longer have the luxury of not taking action.

And how do you do that? By committing 100% to your journey.

Think about your “way out,” that escape that keep you around just in case things don’t work out.

  • Is it your job that you’re holding onto in case your business doesn’t work out?
  • Are you not doing cold calls because you invest in other marketing activities that aren’t bringing you any results?
  • Have you decided to improve your product first before engaging with your community and sharing what you’re about to release?

Whatever your safe way out is – get rid of it. These escapes are just keeping you from success.

Make a decision and write your plans down – this one is really important. Most people underestimate the value of a written plan, but this can have a huge effect on your ability to take action.

A written plan serves as a commitment to your journey. And once someone commits to something, he starts to feel the need to be consistent with his decision.

This adds consistency pressure on two sides.

On the inside, you feel pressure to support your decision with action. On the outside, there is pressure to adjust your self-image to the way others perceive you.

So, write your plans down. It works.

Add more details – set up all the action steps that you need to take to get to where you want to be. And the timeframe available for executing these actions.

Setting up deadlines is extremely important – you will never do something if you don’t have an end date.

Share your plans with your community – Public commitments tend to be lasting commitments. When people share their plans publicly, they face a huge social pressure to act on them and be consistent.

The more public your announcement is, the more likely you are to keep your promise.

In the book Influence: the psychology of persuasion, author Robert Cialdini explains how public commitments affect our behavior.

He does so by quoting an experiment performed by Deutsch and Gerard with three groups of students to see which ones would stick to their initial decisions.

They asked the first group to commit publicly, the second to do so privately by writing their plans down, and the third – they didn’t ask to commit at all.

The students who had never written down their initial plans were the least loyal to those choices. At the same time, those who had written them down were much less likely to change their plans.

Interestingly, the students that announced their plans publicly were the most likely to stick to them.

And why is that?

This can be easily explained by the fact that we humans are capable of surviving only as social creatures. Put a man in the jungle, all alone, and he probably won’t last for long.

So, if you make a public commitment and don’t stick to your decision, you fear that you’ll be kicked out from the tribe. Back in the caveman days, this meant death.

So, how do you make a public commitment?

It’s very simple. Tell everybody about your plans – your friends, family, colleagues, employees, clients, etc.

Send an email to your list and announce the launch date of your product. Even if you’re not ready yet.

Once you have made the announcement, you’ll finish and launch it on time. You have to! You have no other option.

Update your community on your progress – this is the next step that allows you to stick to your plan. Constantly update your community on how things are coming along.

Tell them when the next update is going to be and deliver.

This also has another benefit – people will engage with your updates and provide you with feedback on your work.

They will tell you what they like about what you’re doing. They will start craving the next big update.

And that will motivate you.

Because you will finally understand that what you’re doing is not only about you. It’s about them.

In conclusion:

Overcoming procrastination is not an easy task. But it can be done.

The first step is understanding what’s causing it. Think about what are you really afraid of.

The next step is simple – burn your boats and make success your only option.

If you ever reach the point of no return, you know you’d find a way to overcome procrastination.

Do you struggle with procrastination? How does it affect your life? What strategies have you tried to overcome it? Let me know in the comments below.