Do you ever have trouble focusing?
Maybe you chalk it up to lack of sleep, willpower, or outside distractions – and these may play a part.
But they aren’t the main culprits…
You see, your level of focus is largely determined by the food you put into your body. Your food is your fuel, and if you use the wrong type of fuel on a consistent basis, you won’t be able to function at a high level.
And so, as an entrepreneur, you must eat healthy if you want to maximize your focus.
So, how do you eat healthy in a way that will help your focus?
We have put together six tips:
1. Experiment with breakfast vs. no breakfast.
Studies have shown the positive effects of both eating breakfast and skipping breakfast.
Some people feel most focused during periods of intermittent fasting – basically, you fast until 2 p.m., and then, you have a big meal. Studies have shown that this can not only improve focus but also will help you burn more fat.
Yet, others can’t focus until they have breakfast in the morning.
Either of these methods can work for you depending on your current diet. If your diet is carb heavy, you’ll likely feel drained if you attempt intermittent fasting. But if not, intermittent fasting can be the key to better focus.
Experiment with both, perhaps for a week, and see which one gives you more energy and focus.
2. Load up on salmon.
Omega-3 fatty acids help to rebuild brain cells, reduce cognitive decline, and strengthen your memory.
While you can supplement with Omega-3 fish oil, the best way to get it is through the food you eat like salmon.
Salmon also has amino acids, which are essential for keeping your brain sharp.
3. Go for green tea instead of an extra cup of coffee.
There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a cup of coffee to start the day. In fact, there are even some health benefits to drinking coffee. The problem starts when you drink more than a few cups a day.
Your body starts to grow a tolerance to caffeine, and you need more and more of it to get that same feeling of energy and focus. So, instead of going for that extra cup, opt for some green tea.
Green tea has less caffeine. But its power comes with this ingredient: L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid that relaxes you but doesn’t make you tired. It’s been shown to improve recall, learning, motivation, and positive moods. What’s more, it works together with caffeine to help you perform better on cognitively demanding tasks, yet leaves you less wired than caffeine alone.
With this in mind, here’s what we recommend:
Have a cup of coffee within an hour or two after waking up. Then, a few hours later (perhaps before lunch time), have a cup of green tea. This combination will give you quality focus throughout the day.
4. Get your veggies.
Many vegetables have been shown to improve brain function and focus. Plus, veggies are crucial for your overall health. And yet, so many people don’t get nearly enough from their diet. Part of the reason is that people don't have the time to cook veggies regularly.
But we have a simple solution:
Chop up a few days worth of veggies (like broccoli, spinach, cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts, kale) and put them in a big pot with a cup or 2 of water.
Put a lid on and steam them on high heat for 10-15 minutes. Then, pour the water out (be cautious with the steam) and put the veggies into a big bowl.
Just like that, you have enough veggies for a few days worth of meals – all for less than 20 minutes of chopping and cooking!
5. Avoid sugary junk food.
Sugary junk foods are focus killers. Ever try to drink a milkshake or eat a sugary candy bar and then do some work? It’s not easy.
Research shows that a diet high in sugar reduces the production of a brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This makes it difficult to form new memories, learn, and focus.
If you absolutely have to, save these types of foods for a Sunday cheat day, or for a reward after a hard day's work (when you don’t need any more focus). Other than that, eat 2-3 big meals a day and try to avoid unhealthy snacks as much as possible.
6. Eat grass-fed meat.
Remember the importance of omega-3 fatty acids? Well, grass-fed meat has more of these than grain-fed meats.
Plus, grain-fed meats are loaded up with omega-6 fatty acids –- which throw off your fatty acid ratio and make you less sharp, as well as increase inflammation (ideally you want a 1:1 ratio, but the average USA ratio is currently 15/1 omega 6 to omega 3. NOT good).
Grass-fed meats may be a bit more expensive, but they’re worth it for your health.
Remember, you are what you eat. To maximize your entrepreneurial focus, you must fill your body with quality foods. With these healthy eating strategies, you can improve your focus and do your best work.
What strategies have you used to stay healthy and improve your focus? Let us know in the comments below!
Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 will achieve record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership.