Six foods that help to improve concentration

The role of food in helping maintain optimal concentration and motivation is paramount. Any deficiencies (or even sub-optimal levels) of the essential vitamins and minerals in the diet may have an effect on the brain's ability to function properly. 


It may also play a role in any medical conditions that could develop that have an impact on the brain or mental health in general, which would impact one's daily performance greatly.

Here are six foods to include in your diet, to help improve concentration:

Foods high in omega-3

Omega-3 intake has a favourable effect on memory and mood. Particularly foods such as oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines), flax seeds, walnuts, and eggs, which are all great for improving concentration and motivation. They improve cognitive function, which means they help with the brains ability to think and process. They are also anti-inflammatory, so they keep cells functioning optimally which help the brain function well also.

Foods high in antioxidants 

Vitamins A, C and E which can be easily found in fruits (especially berries and tomatoes) and vegetables (especially cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli) are beneficial. These may help with blood flow to the brain, which will supply the brain cells with more oxygen and again these are anti-inflammatory, so they help the brain function optimally. 

Bowl of stir-fry

Foods high in dopamine

Any foods such as ripe bananas (look out for brown spots on the skin) or sunflower seeds are high in dopamine - a brain chemical involved in increasing motivation and concentration. Bananas are also high in potassium, a mineral which is crucial for keeping your brain, nerves, and heart in tip-top shape.

Moderate amounts of caffeine 

We all know that caffeine is great for energy, but it is actually good for concentration and motivation, too. Green tea and dark chocolate are the best sources, as these contain specific anti-oxidants called polyphenols that improve brain function and decrease cell death. Caffeine also helps to increase dopamine levels. 

Although caffeine is great when you need an instant boost, try not to rely on this all the time, as excessive intake will have the opposite effect.

Foods high in vitamins B6 and B12 

B vitamins are good for memory and concentration, as they improve the cognitive functioning of the brain. They also protect the brain from nerve damage from homocysteine, a chemical which leads to the development of diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia. 

Foods such as fish, meat, whole grains, eggs and nuts are high in B6 and eggs, fish, meat dairy and seaweed are high in B12. 

Foods high in fibre

Foods with a high-fibre content, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans are great for concentration and motivation. The reason for this is because they help to sustain a regular level of energy because they keep blood sugar levels stable. This means the brain cells and all other cells in the body are receiving enough energy to function optimally.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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South Woodfood E18 & Brentwood CM14
Written by Claire Ward, BSc Hons (NutriKind Nutrition)
South Woodfood E18 & Brentwood CM14

Please specify which clinic you would like to come and see me at when you contact me. I am an experienced Nutritional Therapist who is passionate and dedicated to helping people achieve their goals to become healthy & full of vitality! If you would like to feel like a different person in just a...

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