It’s happening. Beach days are coming to an end, and the leaves are starting to turn red and crunchy, which means… It’s time to head back to school. While long days of zoning out by the pool may have been a delight, it’s time to get your brain back into shape by getting focused.
In our digital age of text threads and Tik Tok videos, maintaining the focus you need to do well in school can be a challenge.
“To stay at the top of your game, it's important to recognize and address the physical and emotional factors that interfere with your focus and concentration,” writes the team at Harvard Health Publishing. “Also remember that your brain is a flesh-and-blood organ. What's happening in your body—from aging to diseases to lifestyle factors such as sleep and alcohol use—will play a key role in your ability to pay attention and focus.”
So how do you fuel that very important organ, so it gets you an A+ on your next exam? We reached out to our team of experts for their favorite all-natural brain-boosting tips, so you can focus better in the school year ahead.
Here’s what they said:
Poor diet, especially a diet based largely on pro-inflammatory foods, will have a negative impact on your ability to focus.
This is one of the reasons why many people (especially in the United States) experience memory issues as they age. The Western diet contains a large amount of pro-inflammatory foods, primarily those rich in omega-6 fatty acids, an essential but pro-inflammatory fatty acid. Most people are simultaneously not taking in enough omega-3 fatty acids, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid, which causes an imbalance leading to chronic inflammation and poor memory, among other issues.
Integrating omega-3 containing foods into one's diet is a healthy behavior that can have crucial benefits for cognitive function, in both the short and long-term. This is because roughly 60% of the brain is made of fat, and half that amount is omega-3 type fats. The brain requires omega-3 fat to make nerve cells, which are vital to memory and one's ability to learn.
Omega-3 rich foods include fatty fish, walnuts, chia, flaxseed, navy beans, avocado, tofu, and canola oil. With a list this extensive and diverse, it’s easy to make sure you’re taking in adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids through your diet on a regular basis.
Lisa Richards, Nutritionist, The Candida Diet
A good night's sleep is one way to improve focus during the mornings.
Every day, our senses are overloaded with information, and our brains are working relentlessly to process all this incoming information simultaneously. We have so much going on around us that our focus is split doing everything all at once, which often results in mental exhaustion.
Sleep affects aspects of brain function like focus, learning, memory and emotional stability. It is also necessary for higher cortical functions, including language, vision, recognizing objects in space, awareness, and the ability to multitask.
Sleep deprivation can hamper concentration and alertness. This makes you easily disoriented and hinders your ability to learn or think logically. That's why students are advised to rest and get enough shut-eye the night before a big exam in order to concentrate better during the test.
Dr. Mubashar Rehman PhD, Health Creeds
Nurture a better night’s sleep with our Sweet Dreams shot. With 1 mg of melatonin and 400 mg chamomile, this watermelon juice-based shot was designed to whisk you away to deeper Zzzs.
One natural way to improve focus is using peppermint essential oil.
Peppermint oil has the ability to enhance memory and concentration, because it stimulates the hippocampus (the area of our brain that is involved in memory retention, learning, and emotions). Once the hippocampus is stimulated, you feel more focused.
I personally recommend peppermint oil, because it really wakes you up and allows you to concentrate more on your tasks. However, be careful in choosing the brand of oil, making sure it offers 100% purity. The pure essential oil is made from the leaf extracts of peppermint plant, so you get all the benefits of peppermint while avoiding unnecessary allergic reactions.
There are several ways you can use peppermint oil to boost mental clarity. Try placing a drop on your palms and allowing the scent to follow you throughout your busy day. You can also diffuse a drop or two in a humidifier or atomic diffuser.
Turmeric is a natural supplement that can help you improve your focus
As a spiritual life coach, I always turn to natural remedies to treat myself and my patients. I have taken turmeric daily for many years now, and it’s become a supplement that I cannot live without. Even though turmeric has a lot of health benefits in general, and I originally started taking it for swelling and inflammation, it’s also helped to improve my focus.
It has been noted that turmeric can enhance memory, focus and concentration, and cognition in elderly populations. Turmeric helps fight free radicals in the body and has shown potential to preserve neuronal integrity which can inhibit the progression of cognitive decline.
Shamananda, Mental Health Expert, Spiritual Life Coaching In Orange County
Looking to add this vibrant root to your busy day? Our Vitality shot makes it easy to squeeze brain-boosting turmeric into your schedule.
Green Tea is a natural focus and productivity aid due to its unique blend of caffeine, L-theanine, and plant polyphenols.
Depending on the type of green tea, one cup will contain 20-80 mg of caffeine, 15-40 mg of L-theanine, and 200-500 mg of plant polyphenols, like EGCG.
Caffeine increases fat oxidation and reduces energy volatility, meanwhile the amino acid L-theanine offers calming and anti-anxiety effects. Caffeine and L-theanine paired together in the presence of powerful plant antioxidant polyphenols work synergistically to calm the mind of distractions by sharpening focus.
Because green tea stabilizes heart rate variability, alpha 8-12 Hz brainwaves become more synchronous and powerful. Alpha brain waves are the dominant brain wave measured when in a flow state, and it's in flow states where focus and human potential are greatest.
L-theanine in green tea is chiefly responsible for the increase in alpha brainwaves, and due to this effect, L-theanine has also been shown to improve sleep. Green tea not only improves focus the day of consumption, but it also promotes more restful sleep, increasing clarity of mind the following day.
Stefan Burns, Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Wild Free Organic
If you’re a student looking to boost your mental clarity this school year, we’re here to help! Our Focus Fuel was developed with ingredients, like Bacopa, Rhodiola root and lion’s mane mushroom, that have been linked to heightened memory and attention span. Blended with organic prickly pear, pineapple, lemon, and ginger juices, it also tastes great.
Skip that second cup of coffee with Focus Fuel from KOR!