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According to many surveys that have been done until now, having a proper breakfast improves memory, enhances attention and tends to increase your brain efficiency. In recent years, a plethora of research states that eating omega-3 fatty acids is essential for proper functioning and development of the brain since it enhances memory and concentration and protects from heart and brain attacks. Caffeine in small doses is tonic, it induces wakefulness in the body and helps your concentration. The B vitamins (B1, B3, B5, B6, B12, etc.) are important nutrients for proper brain function.
The antioxidant vitamins like E and C are necessary for proper brain function and also can affect both concentration and memory. Finally, magnesium is an essential metal, which activates the action of B vitamins and enhances the good mood. Did you know that the type of food we eat can influence alertness, attention, concentration, thinking, memory, learning, and decision-making? Several years ago I was in a team of consultants on a ‘fly in-fly out’ assignment in the South Island (New Zealand) town of Oamaru.
Our breakfast choices were quite diverse, from a full-on ‘big breakfast’ for some, to coffee and a slice of toast for my colleague Jodie. After a few days of this routine, during breakfast another colleague (Alistair) asked Jodie about her ‘sticky bun’ ritual. Alistair then described how his ‘big breakfast’, and particularly the bacon and eggs, gave him the energy to go through until lunchtime. Next morning Jodie took up the challenge – demolishing a good plate of bacon and eggs for breakfast. The next morning at breakfast, there were several more orders for a bacon and egg breakfast – mine was one of them. The point here is that while the bacon and egg breakfast is often seen as something for manual workers, in this story we were all doing ‘brain work’.
Research (and practical experience!) shows that a good breakfast is essential for brain function in the morning. Unlike our muscles, our brain does not store energy, so it requires a constant supply of food to maintain blood glucose. On the other hand, starch and fibre-rich (complex) carbohydrates such as bananas, whole-grain breads, vegetables and legumes (peas, beans, soybeans, peanuts, lentils) raise blood glucose levels more moderately. Starchy and fibrous foods also improve cognitive (thinking) abilities, raise concentration levels, and promote mental endurance. Certain other vitamins, minerals, and trace elements are also important for brain function. Our brain also depends on amino acids for producing enzymes and neurotransmitters (chemical messengers).
Swiss researchers found that relative to a meal rich in carbohydrates, a balanced meal or a protein-rich meal led to more accurate short-term memory and improved attention, beginning about an hour after the meal was consumed.
While high-protein meals may decrease memory and thinking abilities, paradoxically a high-protein meal can improve decision-making. Unsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids found in fish (mackerel, tuna, herring, salmon) are good brain food. Adequate amounts of nutrients from Omega-3 fatty acids (and other foods) can only reach the brain if the body gets enough fluid.
Caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea) can improve short-term concentration, learning, and memory. 5 Foods That Boost Your Memory (everyday Health) (01min:35sec) Amy Jamieson-Petonic of the Cleveland Clinic talks about five foods that help memory.
The brain diet: Eating the right foods can improve your memory, lift your mood and help you concentrate for longer (by Rita Carter, 4 April 2012). Starch and fibre-rich carbohydrates such as bananas, apples, vegetables, beans, whole-grain bread and cereals, all provide a longer-lasting effect. Adequate amounts of iron in our diet helps supply the brain with oxygen, which allows us to stay mentally sharp. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish and nuts strengthen brain function, but remember to drink regularly to avoid dehydration.
Caffeine helps our concentration – coffee takes effect within about 20 minutes, tea takes longer, but last longer as well. Bananas, which contain glucose, starch, fibre, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, are ideal brain fuel.
A low-calorie, protein-rich lunch (say – fish or chicken salad) will help maintain attention and memory throughout the afternoon.

I have used the brain food strategy for several years now – when I am flagging a bit, a nice sweet banana can work wonders!
The early years are critical for brain development and what kids eat is one of the factors that affects their cognitive skills and how well they can focus in school. Start with trying to fit these key brain foods into their day, starting with a power breakfast and refueling at lunchtime, following up with a nourishing after-school pit stop before dinner. Staying sharp all day starts off with an ideal breakfast of protein and complex carbs (so food is digested more slowly).
Antioxidants: These tasty berries are loaded with antioxidants which help our bodies absorb other nutrients as well as the very important need to circulate our blood! Found in beans (kidney, pinto, red), berries (blue, straw, cran, black and raspberries), artichokes, pecans, apples and prunes. Omega-3 essential fatty acids: These are crucial to eye and brain development and also help to stabilize mood. Lutein: Most Americans lack the daily quota for carotenoids (the compound in foods found in amazingly vibrant colored foods like beets, spinach, kale and bell peppers). So, if your child isn't a fan of heaping kale salads, try masking the leafy vegetables in a brain-power smoothie.
Sources: kale, spinach, broccoli, corn, orange peppers, dark leafy vegetables and highly colored foods.
Choline: An essential nutrient for brain development and memory function -- helps the brain communicate with the rest of the body. Sources: Eggs (especially the yolk), beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, peanuts, soybeans, potatoes, cauliflower, lentils, oats, sesame seeds, grass-fed beef, flax seeds. Grab a Lunchbot quad and fill the 4 sections with a combination of different memory enhancing foods. Taurine: Another essential amino acid that is important in the health of our vision, brain and central nervous system.
Sources: chicken, turkey, dairy (cottage and ricotta cheese), granola, oat, wheat germ, eggs, parmesan, cod and seeds. Nuts + Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are especially good with your recommendation of zinc (enhances memory and thinking skills) covered with just one handful! Our Story Our Pledge Our Team Hiring Mighty People! Lack of them causes poor concentration, intense mood swings, nervousness and irritation, often not allowing you to relax and sleep. Vitamin C helps in the production of hormones (such as adrenaline), which have the ability to help your body deal with stress. So you can eat bananas, sesame seeds, tahini, almonds and dairy products which are rich in magnesium. It’s a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about knowledge, awareness and self-improvement. He challenged Jodie to try a breakfast of bacon and eggs, and to see whether she then needed her (now) famous mid-morning sticky bun ‘fix’. Jodie’s coffee and toast breakfast meant that her brain was running out of energy mid-morning. This article provided some enlightening information about the connection between nutrition and brain power.
Regular snacking on the right foods throughout the day can help to keep blood glucose levels stable.
However, very high levels of blood glucose can inhibit our mental function (many diabetics experience this condition). This can provide quick energy, and is useful when blood glucose drops, however the effect does not last.
Research shows that people who eat a breakfast of complex carbohydrates tend to have better attention and memory performance throughout the morning.
Oxygen is transported to the brain in haemoglobin, which is an iron-containing protein found in our red blood cells. Plant seed oils, legumes, and some herbs carry trivalent iron, which is less easy for the body to absorb.
Vitamin B1 enables glucose metabolism; potassium, sodium, and calcium are used for metabolic reactions in the brain. Research shows that small, high-protein meals of low-fat dairy products, fish, lean meats, eggs and legumes can make people more alert and attentive.
Even slight dehydration can slow this, causing short-term memory problems and reasoning difficulties.

Effects from drinking coffee can take hold within about 20 minutes, and last for two to three hours.
Get the most for your brain from your diet (01min:27sec) Marlo Mitler gives some choices of foods for the brain.
This short Post is written around how to prepare for exams, it contains some useful tips (about a 3-minute read).
This article, covering concentration, mood, alertness, memory and cravings, is quite informative, if a little ‘technical’ (about a 5-minute read).
This Post covers a number of food options to keep the brain healthy (about a 4-minute read). Sometimes mornings can be so crazy that fitting in a proper breakfast feels like a no-can-do. Water hydrates the brain and keeps your body in an anti-inflammatory state while keeping all the gears fully lubed.
Blueberries and strawberries work to protect brain neurons from damage, build communication receptors between brain cells and flush out waste. Fill a stainless steel container with fresh berries for improved learning and motor skills. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in healthy fats is associated with learning as the nutrients promote good blood flow, allowing efficient delivery of oxygen to the brain. Add tasty side flavors packed in leakproof dips for a great way to jazz up this healthy dish. An important phytonutrient that supports eye health and helps regulate overall brain function, cognition, vision, hearing and speech. Mix with sweeter fruits like apples, pineapple and mango to sneak in a dose of vitamin A for their sparkly eyes. Your kids will love the assortment and may even randomly try new foods if they keep appearing in their lunches! However, it is important not to overdo it, because large doses can cause nervousness and excitability. Foods rich in B vitamins are: liver, fish, meat, dairy products, cereals, fruits, nuts, etc. Good sources of these vitamins are currants, oranges, kiwi fruit, colorful peppers, spinach, etc. Although it is several years old, from my research, much of what has been published since about nutrition and brain power appears to be very similar [See Notes].
We can prevent fluctuations in our blood glucose levels by being selective about which carbohydrates we consume. Our pancreas responds by releasing insulin, which accelerates glucose uptake by body tissues, and so the levels drop. Iron deficiencies in children can impair brain development, leading to problems in speech and reading.
Foods rich in vitamin C (black currants, kiwifruit, broccoli, oranges, carrots) can aid iron absorption.
Even slight deficits in these (say – from a ‘fast food’ diet) can lead to fatigue and concentration problems.
Similar benefits can be gained from eating linseed, canola, soy and walnut oils, which contain properties the body converts to omega-3 fatty acids. Because tea contains less caffeine, and it is released more slowly, its effects are weaker, but have a longer lasting impact. Just like an athlete eats for optimal athletic performance, our kids' brains are in training too.
Make your smoothies fun to drink with glass or stainless steel straws or a to-go Eco Jarz Glass Mug + bent straw!
She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.
Vegans can acquire iron by eating a combination of vitamin C foods with trivalent iron-carrying plant foods.

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