Brain Health: A Guide to Better Mental Focus

Brain Health: A Guide to Better Mental Focus

Ever feel like you're pulled in so many different directions—between work, family and other obligations—that simply getting to your "to-do" list is on your to-do list? The focus you demand of your brain requires a lot of energy—almost 20% of your body's total energy, to be exact. No wonder so many of us feel frazzled! The good news is, you can support optimal mental focus with a healthy lifestyle, and some nutrients targeted to encourage cognitive performance.

  1. Foods for focus

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. Fuel your body and your brain first thing in the morning to improve short-term memory and attention. Make sure to fill your plate with whole-grains and fresh fruits—bonus points if you can add in a lean protein. For evening meals, try incorporating healthy fats, like salmon, which is rich in brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids.

  2. Sleep to stay sharp

    Like your smart phone, your brain needs to be properly recharged every night to stay smart! Getting eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is optimal; of course, for some, that may be easier said than done. If you are having trouble falling asleep, try supporting your body's internal clock with a nutrient like melatonin. Also cut out caffeine before bedtime and keep your eyes off blue light-emitting electronic devices for at least two hours before your head hits the pillow.

  3. Play brain games

    Keep your memory limber and your focus laser-sharp by exercising your brain. Puzzles are a great way to improve short-term memory by engaging your brain with colors and shapes. If you're more of a wordsmith, try a crossword puzzle and increase the difficulty over time, so you can continue to challenge your cognitive powers.

Staying Focused

General Attention / Focus

A healthy diet, exercise, restful sleep, personal relationships and mental challenges all contribute to brain health.

Attention / Focus Information & Research


How can I support my attention span and focus?

The first step toward better focus and attention is to make sure you’re addressing things that might make it difficult for you to stay focused. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep. Eat a healthy diet and avoid processed, sugar-rich foods, because sugary foods can make it difficult to concentrate. Exercising is a great way to help keep your blood vessels healthy, and good blood flow to your brain is essential to sustain long periods of focused, intense mental activity.


What causes lack of focus and concentration?

A wide array of factors can make it hard to concentrate. You might be tired even if you think you’re getting enough sleep. It’s also important to keep in mind that it’s very difficult to stay focused for long, uninterrupted periods. Try taking a brief break to go for a walk.


What are tips to encourage focus?

Eat healthy. Exercise. Take periodic breaks from whatever you’re trying to concentrate on. You can also use brain supplements with nutrients such as high-phenolic spearmint or sage extract to support brain health. If you think your lack of focus is really out of the ordinary, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.

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