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10 Best Foods And Herbs To Boost Memory And Concentration

Are you forgetful? Is it hard to concentrate? Do you need help focusing? This list of the 10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration will make your life so much easier!

10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration

Eating the correct foods and herbs will help you with memory, concentration, and focus. We all have trouble focusing sometimes. And, how frustrating is it when you forget what you were just about to say, or when you walk into a room to get something but you forget what that something is? Ugh… I just hate when that happens. But, and this is a big but (no pun intended…), when you add the correct combination of foods and herbs into your daily routine, your brain starts to perform at its highest level. Like when you were younger. Or like before you had kids. Remember when you could sit and focus on one task before moving onto another one?

If any of the above scenarios resonates with you, then this list of the 10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration is for you.

First, let me tell you that I use my brain all the time. I laugh when people call me a professional student, but it’s kind of true. I went to college and got a degree in Journalism. Three years later, I went to law school. After practicing law for about 15 years, I went to cooking school. Then, several years after that, I went back to school for my Masters degree in Oriental medicine and a license in acupuncture. And now, I’m combining everything into what I’m so passionate about: food as medicine. So, yeah, I’m kinda sorta a professional student and I’m always studying, reading, and learning.

Each time I went back to school, it became harder and harder to hold the information in my brain. Exams seemed to be getting more difficult and it took me longer to study than it used to.

But, hey, I was studying Chinese herbs and eastern nutrition… hmmm…. a lightbulb went off. Physician, heal thyself!

So, when I tell you that these 10 foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration are the ones you should use, I know from where I speak.

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I always relish the chance to test everything I learn out on myself before I recommend these things to my clients. And this was an awesome opportunity for that honor. After years of testing (literally — see what I did there?) I came up with this list. My status as an “A-student” did not suffer, and just this past week, I got a call from one of my favorite clients who told me she has been incorporating what she called the “Smart Ten” into her diet for 3 weeks, and already she’s noticing a huge difference.

I just LOVE this kind of success!

Food is brain medicine!

10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration

Here’s The List Of The 10 Best Foods And Herbs To Boost Memory And Concentration:

1.  Collagen

Collagen strengthens bones and muscles, keeps your joints healthy, improves flexibility and mental concentration, keeps your digestive system running smoothly, and helps keep you looking and feeling youthful. I put collagen in my coffee, tea, and smoothies. You can use this daily… yup, every day.

2.  Huang Qi (Astragalus)

Huang Qi is a Chinese herb. It’s like magic; it builds qi/gives you energy… you can really feel it working while you are eating. Like many herbs, huang qi is an adaptogen. This means it works with your whole body; it helps your whole body deal with stress and it works exactly as your body needs it to at the time you are taking it. It works especially well for your brain’s neuron health.  My family makes fun of my excitement for herbs, but they also are happy to reap the rewards when they eat my herb-infused foods, so think about tossing in some herbs the next time you boil a pot of something…

3.  Coconut

In Chinese medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus.

4.  Long Yan Rou (Longan Fruit)

Long Yan You is a Chinese herb that strengthens your qi and blood. This means it gives you energy when your body is weak. This fruit is a little bit like a lychee. It’s particularly good at remedying forgetfulness and at calming the mind. The fruit is most often sold dried and is a little sweet and a little smoky tasting. It can be eaten raw or cooked. I used to love to sit with a bag of longan fruit next to me when I was driving for a long distance — it just seemed to wake me up and perk up my brain just the right amount.

5.  Egg Yolks

Eggs are nature’s perfect food — they come in a perfect container and are so nutritious. I truly wish people would stop splitting them up and eating just the whites. I am a big proponent of eating the whole egg. So many of the nutrients and the taste are in the yolk; I’ll never understand separating nature’s perfect food.  The yolks contain vitamins A, D, E, and K, and they protect the health of our neurotransmitters. They also contain choline which can help keep your brain in tip-top shape.  All of these benefits are associated with the yolks, not the whites! Eggs sometimes get a bad rap because of cholesterol, but it’s been shown that in 70% of people, eggs do not raise cholesterol, so don’t assume they are bad for you. Buy organic eggs and you are really doing the right thing.

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6.  Bone Broth

Bone broth is filled with bone marrow and essential fatty acids — these things promote optimal brain health. It also contains glycine, which is an amino acid that helps with memory, concentration, stress, and focus.  You can make your own bone broth, but you don’t have to anymore. Bone broth is now available in tons of markets. It’s sold in boxes just like chicken or vegetable broth. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation and strengthen the bones. It’s also great for your skin, hair, and nails. This is a great thing to use for a quick soup base, or to just sip on during the day. Sometimes I’ll have a hot cup of bone broth first thing in the morning for a quick healing pick me up.

7.  Beets

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. They help with blood flow to the brain and recent research has shown that they may help fight against dementia.  Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and they can relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

8.  Blueberries

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and have been shown to help fight  Alzheimers Disease and dementia, as well as cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In some circles, they are known as “longevity berries.”  They help improve memory and also protect brain tissue.

9.  Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is a combination of bee pollen and honey. It contains a huge amount of acetylcholine, which helps with concentration and focus.  This bee product has been shown to have good results in Alzheimer’s patients. Aside from brain health, royal jelly will also boost your immune system. I like to take a spoonful of royal jelly with a little bit of bee pollen sprinkled on top… here’s to my brain health!

10.  Kelp

Kelp noodles are all the rage now. I love them. You can buy a package in the refrigerated section of many markets now. All you do is rinse them in cold water, drain them, and then add your favorite sauce — I like a nice thick spicy curry sauce with mine. Kelp is a vegetable from the sea. It contains a lot of great minerals, including iodine; many people are iodine deficient these days. We need iodine for proper thyroid function, weigh control, brain health, and organ function. Kelp also contains fucose, which is an essential sugar that helps with memory.

 

So, What Should You Do Next?

This Paleo Blueberry Cobbler is brain-healthy and delicious!  Keep scrolling for more ways to use this list of the 10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration…

10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration

There are lots of recipes that optimally use the brain boosting foods in this list. But, the easiest way for me to help you get your memory, concentration, and focus in top shape, is if you join me in a free phone consultation. We can chat about exactly what your unique issues are, and I will suggest some great fixes for you. So, CLICK HERE to be taken directly to my calendar and pick your time slot now… really, I can’t wait to meet you!

This recipe for Beet Sweet Potato Soup has beets to feel the blood in your brain, and you can add Chinese herbs to the soup while it’s cooking for extra brain-boosting power.

beet sweet potato soup

Blueberry Orange Chia Pudding

Make-ahead breakfasts are awesome. Imagine opening your fridge and having blueberry orange chia pudding waiting for you in the morning… it will make you smile.
blueberry orange chia pudding

I’m like a pusher when it comes to chia pudding. I make everyone try it. And, most of them end up loving it. I’m not going to lie though… there are still a few souls I’m trying to win over, but I’m not giving up. I’ve been developing chia puddings in tons of different flavors. And, this blueberry orange chia pudding recipe won over someone who I never thought would ever eat chia pudding. I just love it when stuff like this happens!

I was hosting my book club at my apartment one night. And, I, not surprisingly, used this as an event to test out recipes on unsuspecting people. I made 8 cute little jars of this chia pudding and had them at the ready in my fridge. When book club was over and everyone was gone, I opened the fridge and realized that I had never served the chia puddings — I had intended them to be parting gifts.

Ugh. I cannot even tell you how often I leave food in the fridge and forget to serve it.

That’s why I should never be allowed to drink even one glass of wine while I’m entertaining… nah… that’s not going to happen…

Anyway, I still had all of these lovely blueberry orange chia pudding jars.

The next night I had a few friends over before a meeting we needed to attend. I passed out a few jars. One friend looked at it and at me like I was crazy and said she would take her jar with her to the meeting. I knew this meant she would probably throw it out when I wasn’t looking. Then, I saw her taste it. And a little while into the meeting, the jar was empty. To me, that was a great compliment.

That was 2 jars down.

Confession: I ate the rest of them myself. All of them. Over the next week. Okay, maybe I gave one away. Ugh. Sometimes I can be such a pig…

And, here’s my most popular chia pudding recipe: Birthday Cake Chia Pudding.

blueberry orange chia pudding

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

blueberry orange chia pudding

Here are some of the awesome healing ingredients in this blueberry orange chia pudding recipe:

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids,and fiber. And, because they are so high in antioxidants, they help keep your skin looking younger. They help optimize both your digestive system and your cardiovascular system.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus. I like to use full-fat canned coconut milk for this chia pudding.

Pure maple syrup contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body (think inflammatory bowel syndrome or heart disease). It also contains zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It’s much lower on the glycemic scale than traditional sugar. Whenever possible, use a darker (grade B) syrup because the nutritional composition is better than that of lighter syrups.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Baobab is a superfood that is a powder made from an African fruit. This amazing superfood has tons of vitamin C to boost your immune system and it’s great for energy. Sometimes I put some in my water bottle to keep my hydrated throughout the day. It’s easy to put a scoop in anything for a pick-me-up.

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and have been shown to help fight cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In some circles, they are known as “longevity berries.”

Oranges will help boost your levels of vitamins A, B and C. In Chinese medicine, oranges have been used for many years to help coughs, colds and anorexia. Lately, oranges have been widely touted for their ability to help heal colon cancer. I peel my oranges and lay the rinds in the sun to dry, and save them for tea or for cooking because the orange rinds are an actual Chinese herb. I dry out the peels of oranges, tangerines, clementines… whatever I have. Dried tangerine peel, or “chen pi”, as it’s known in Chinese medicine, is one of the greatest and most easily accessible herbs around. It’s especially good for digestive issues like abdominal discomfort, distention, fullness, bloating, belching, and nausea. It’s also great if you have a cough with a heavy or stuffy chest.

blueberry orange chia pudding

If you make this blueberry orange chia pudding, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Blueberry Orange Chia Pudding
Author: 
Recipe type: make-ahead, superfoods, chia seeds
Cuisine: breakfast, pudding, parfait
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Make this recipe the night before and when you open your fridge in the morning it will be waiting for you... this will make you smile.
Ingredients
  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup plus 1Tbs chia seeds
  • 4 tsp maca root powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp baobab powder (optional)
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • flesh or ½ a large orange
  • zest of half a large orange, to sprinkle on top
Instructions
  1. In a large mason jar with a lid, or a large container with a lid, shake up the coconut milk, vanilla, maple syrup, chia seeds, maca root, and baobab.
  2. Shake, shake, shake... until it's all combined really well.
  3. Put the blueberries and the juice and the orange flesh in a blender.
  4. Whiz it up shortly until broken down and combined, but not so much that it's watery.
  5. Divide the blueberry mixture among the bottoms of several small jars with lids (I used 8 really small mason jars).
  6. Pour the chia seed mixture evenly on top of the blueberry mixture.
  7. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Enjoy!

blueberry orange chia pudding collage

Paleo Blueberry Cobbler

This paleo blueberry cobbler is an incredibly delicious dessert!

paleo blueberry cobbler

You know when you go to the market looking for organic berries and you have to to a double-take when you see the price? Sometimes I can’t believe what I’m seeing… it’s like I’m being punked or something. But, finally, it’s that time of the year when the price of berries drops down to a reasonable level. Last week, there were blueberries everywhere! And when I checked the price, not only were these gorgeous blueberries affordable, but they were packaged in huge containers. So, I bought 2 containers. I didn’t need to, but I did. Did I tell you these containers were HUGE…

I’m sure it’s happened to you: you get home from the market, and you’re all kinds of smug because you got some great deals, and then you look at what you bought and you have no idea how you are going to use it all up…

Sooooooo, I put some of these gorgeous blueberries in the freezer. And I ate a lot of them right out of the container. And I made coconut yogurt parfaits. And a smoothie bowl. And then, I made this paleo blueberry cobbler. It’s just awesome. I made more than we could eat, so we ate half, and I froze the other half. Yesterday, I defrosted the frozen cobbler and when I ate it today, it’s just as awesome. And surprisingly, it tastes just as good cold as it did warm.

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a dessert recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HEREto be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

Here’s my recipe for Berry Fig Yogurt Parfait, that you can make with your extra berries.

paleo blueberry cobbler

This cobbler is so good for you:

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and have been shown to help fight cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In some circles, they are known as “longevity berries.”

Coconut strengthens the body, reduces swelling, and stops bleeding. It kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. There’s coconut flour, coconut oil, and coconut sugar in this recipe.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. I used cashew milk in this cobbler, but you can substitute whatever non-dairy milk you like.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes (like this one) with tapioca flour — it crisps things up well and it works as a great thickener too.

paleo blueberry cobbler

If you make this Paleo Blueberry Cobbler recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Paleo Blueberry Cobbler
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert, paleo
Cuisine: American, fruit
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This paleo blueberry cobbler is so refreshing. It also freezes well... and the ingredients are so healing... this one's a keeper... it's summer on a plate!
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1-1/2 cups cashew milk (substitute almond milk or another non-dairy milk if you prefer)
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on the top
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 1-1/4 cups tapioca flour
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2-1/4 cups fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Put the coconut oil in a baking pan (mine was 9x9-in.), and put the pan in the oven to melt the oil while the oven is heating.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, cashew milk, coconut sugar, baking soda, hemp seeds, tapioca flour, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Stir until combined.
  4. Spread this batter into the baking dish with the melted coconut oil.
  5. Pour the blueberries over the batter and press them into the batter.
  6. Sprinkle the top with coconut sugar.
  7. Bake until golden and a bit crisp. (Mine took 1 hour and 5 minutes.)
  8. Remove from oven and let the pan cool a bit on a rack.
  9. Enjoy!

paleo blueberry cobbler

Acai Bowl

You are going to like this acai bowl better than the ones you buy!

acai bowl

Yesterday, I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw an article about Gwyneth Paltrow and her favorite superfoods shake. I was excited to read this because, well, I just am a sucker for anyone’s superfoods shake (especially someone who looks like Gwyneth). So, I clicked on the link and I was taken to an irate blogger talking about how all of the ingredients in this shake are made-up and fake and that no one could ever really make this “fantasy” shake. Boy, was I annoyed. I use almost all of these ingredients on a daily basis and I think everyone would benefit from their use!! And now, so many people think they don’t exist!

So, here’s my love-letter-to-Gwyneth-Paltow’s-smoothie. It’s my favorite superfoods non-fantasy smoothie bowl. And, if you have trouble locating any of the ingredients, just look at my recipe below and I will point you to some links, or just send me a message and I’m happy to help.

This winter my absolute favorite breakfast was my Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl. But since It’s finally getting spring-like here, my favorite breakfast is a cold smoothie bowl. I just love these bowls. I make so many different kinds, depending upon my mood at the time.

This acai bowl is awesome. It’s easy to make, filled with superfoods, pretty, and tastes divine!

Let this recipe test your flexibility. No, I don’t mean physically (you don’t need to do yoga or stretches while you make it…) — I mean mentally. Use my recipe as a guide, and then feel free to change it up with whatever ingredients you are feeling in the mood for this morning. Remember, it’s only food; nothing bad can happen with this bowl!

Sometimes I make these bowls out of whatever frozen fruit I have in my freezer. Other times I’m really in a chocolate or a peanut butter mood. This time, I wanted acai. Acai is really healthy (see the health benefits listed below) and it has a great tart and sweet taste. Also, now that many markets sell frozen acai packets, these smoothie bowls are a breeze to make.

acai bowl
Here are some reasons to feel great about this breakfast:

Acai is a berry that’s from the Amazon rainforest. It’s a superfood that promotes longevity. Research shows that acai can help to regenerate stem cells; this means it can help your body heal faster. Acai can also help the body absorb bad cholesterol better and it has been shown to help attack cancer cells.

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and have been shown to help fight cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In some circles, they are known as “longevity berries.” I used frozen blueberries but use any variety of berry that you like.

Cherries are one of the best foods to combat many types of arthritis and joint pain. Also, because cherries help improve circulation, they can be helpful for post-stroke patients. In Chinese medicine, we also believe that cherries help to maintain the body’s “essence” or life-force. I always keep a bottle of organic black cherry juice in the fridge and I often drink a few ounces before bedtime or put a little in my smoothies. I also keep bags of frozen cherries in the freezer. And when fresh cherries are in season, you can always find a big bowl in my kitchen.

Ginger is a Chinese herb (Gan Jiang) that warms the body. It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when it’s winter or when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of these cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.

Dates are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and tannins. Fiber is good for your gut and tannins help the body fight inflammation and infection. Dates are also rich in vitamin A and iron. The most amazing thing about dates is that they can be used to replace sugar in almost anything. I stopped using sweetened protein powders in my smoothies and now I use unsweetened ones but I add a few dates.

Maca Root is one of the superfoods I take every day. It has many healthy benefits including increasing libido, helping menopausal symptoms, relieving menstrual cramps, regulating hormones, and increasing energy.

Chaga mushrooms are a longevity superfood. I use a chaga mushroom extract powder that makes it easy to add this immune-system-boosting mushroom to my smoothies. There’s a lot of research being done on the power of chaga right now and it’s possible ability to help fight cancer. It’s also good for your intestinal system and it can help calm your nerves. (See the recipe below for where to buy this amazing ingredient.)

acai bowlacai bowl

Acai Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie bowl, breakfast
Cuisine: superfoods
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 large bowl
 
Here's the perfect breakfast smoothie bowl. It's so healthy, tastes delicious, is made in the blender, and it's easy to substitute whatever ingredients you have on hand.
Ingredients
  • 1 3.5 oz packet frozen acai
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ of a banana (mine was frozen, but it doesn't have to be)
  • 6 Tbs coconut water
  • 1 slice of fresh ginger, peeled (about ⅛-inch thick, the size of a quarter)
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds (I like this one)
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds (these are good)
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (you can get it here)
  • ⅛ tsp chaga mushroom extract powder (you can try this one)
  • 1 Tbs raw cashews
  • 2 Tbs black cherry juice (here's one)
  • optional toppings: frozen raspberries, bee pollen, raw buckwheat groats, raw pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients, except toppings, in a blender. I used my Vitamix, so it was quick; I assume it will take a bit longer in a regular blender.
  2. Pour into a bowl.
  3. Arrange the toppings on top.
  4. Enjoy and let the healing begin!

acai bowl