Focus, attention and concentration are abilities we all wish to acquire. Lack of these traits is often due to busy schedules, sleep, medications - and nutrition. The good news is that changes in lifestyle can bring positive results.
When it comes to nutrition a balanced diet and proper hydration - or fluid intake - is essential to brain health. Blueberries, avocado, wild seafood (such as salmon), beans, whole grains, dark chocolate and freshly brewed tea are some of the foods that have been shown to improve cognitive development, memory and maintain overall brain health.
Likewise, lack of fluids and mild dehydration contributes to "foggy brain", and lack of focus and concentration. While the reason remains unclear, experts do know that water is essential to every cell. The latest fluid recommendations say that most Americans can meet their fluid need through beverages and food intake. Personally, I recommend that people have some fluid at least once an hour.
While I'm a dietitian who maintains a "foods first" approach to nutrition, I attended a presentation at a nutrition conference earlier this year on citicoline, presented by Cognizin® (a branded form of that compound), and it made me take a second look at supplements.
Citicoline is a natural substance found in every cell of the body and especially vital to brain health.* Citicoline is broken down during intestinal absorption and, after passing through the blood/brain barrier, is reconstituted in the brain as citicoline. It is a water-soluble compound that supplies precursors for the synthesis of phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholine, a major constituent of brain tissue*; helps maintain normal levels of acetylcholine, a chemical that regulates memory and cognitive function*; enhances communication between neurons*; supports visual function*; protects neural structures from free radical damage*; enhances metabolism and healthy brain activity*; and helps sustain healthy cellular mitochondria for sustained energy.
Now a new clinical trial published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, showed that nearly one month of oral supplementation with Cognizin® citicoline resulted in improved attention and motor function in healthy adolescent males. This study is important and groundbreaking: It's the first to demonstrate that a natural, non-stimulant supplement can be effective for supporting attention in healthy, adolescent males. It's not the only study to show the benefits of citicoline supplements. Click here for more.
We can all benefit from better brain health, and maintaining it is essential. While there is no magical pill or super-food that guarantees it overnight, research does show that getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults (10-12 hours for kids), engaging in regular physical activity, routinely eating foods like blueberries, avocados, and seafood is likely to enhance it. It also seems that supplements like citicoline can contribute to brain health - and Confident Health.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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