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.

Here’s more info on the incredible egg: Everyone Loves Eggs And You Should Too.

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Download your free copy of my Radiant Skin Ebook now!

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

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

This vegetarian shepherd’s pie tastes even better than the traditional version!

vegetarian shepherd's pie

I go through different food phases all the time. Sometimes I’m in a vegan phase or a vegetarian phase or a pescatarian phase… that’s why when I’m asked to label how I eat I usually say I am a flexitarian. To me, this means I eat healthy, but I like to switch it up depending on how my body feels at a particular time or in a particular season.

Right now I’m in a vegetarian phase. I’ve been eating vegetarian, but without the cheese. It’s kind of in between vegan and vegetarian. So, I’ve been saying no to meat and fish, but yet to eggs and butter. And I feel good… I don’t know if this will be a long phase or a quickie, but I like it!

This vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe is awesome. Instead of being filled with meat, it’s piled high with lentils, mushrooms, peas, and corn. And, it’s topped with real mashed potatoes. Yup, authentic, buttery, creamy, mashed potatoes (but without the cream)… so good…

I’ve seen (and made) several variation of shepherd’s pie recipes, including really meaty ones and some vegan ones. This is the first one that I’ve made that’s vegetarian. The healthy veggies are sautéed with great spices and they go so well with the buttery taters that it’s just awesome. If you are looking for a vegan version, one of my favorite blogs, Minimalist Baker has a great one that also uses lentils.

Truthfully, I think I probably stacked more mashed potatoes on top of this vegetarian shepherd’s pie than anyone in their right mind ever would, but I wouldn’t change a thing…

One of the ways I was able to rationalize using such a big layer of mashed potatoes was by boiling the potatoes in a pot with some great Chinese herbs. I added some raw Huang Qi and some Dang Shen (see below to learn more about why these herbs are so great) to my pot of boiling potatoes so the great medicinal properties of the herbs infused into my heap of potatoes — so, why not eat a lot of them…?

If you are looking for another great recipe using lentils, try my Lentil Vegetable Soup.

vegetarian shepherd's pie

There are a lot of reasons to make this recipe for vegetarian shepherd’s pie (other than as a vehicle for sky-high mashed potatoes):

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

I love mushrooms. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms ARE medicine. They are herbs. They are one of the most healing foods around. In China, mushrooms have been used for many years as part of a natural cancer treatment. They are one of the best immune-boosting foods around.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

Green peas are good for the digestion, especially if you are feeling constipated. In the olden days, people used to drink pea juice with their meals to avoid indigestion.

Corn is one of the things I won’t buy unless I can find it organic; it’s a crop that’s just too heavily sprayed with chemicals and so much corn is GMO that I really like to be careful. I used fresh corn for this recipe but feel free to use frozen if that’s what’s available to you. Corn helps those who have hepatitis, heart disease, and hypertension. Cornsilk is also a Chinese herb (Yu Mi Xu). It’s often used to reduce edema,  and can reduce the symptoms of some painful urinary conditions.

Turmeric is also a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Huang Qi is like magic; it builds qi/gives you energy… you can really feel it working while you are eating. 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 trying out some herbs the next time you boil a pot of something…

I also added Dang Shen to the boiling water. To the novice, this herb looks like ordinary thick twigs. To me, these sticks are like gold. I added these herbs for energy; to raise my qi. If you are feeling fatigued, I highly recommend looking into some of these herbs.

vegetarian shepherd's pie

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Recipe type: casserole, comfort food
Cuisine: vegetarian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
Here's a comfort food, healthy casserole that's also vegetarian. Heaps of mashed potatoes top lentils, mushrooms and vegetables... it's easy and delicious.
  • 1-1/4 cup dried lentils, cooked until done, but not mushy
  • 8 medium/large yellow potatoes, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 Tbs grass-fed organic butter
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 portabella mushroom caps, cut into small dice
  • ½ cup green peas, cooked (I took the easy way out and bought them from a salad bar)
  • ½ cup organic corn, cooked (this came from the salad bar too)
  • leaves from 2 large thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (homemade, jarred, or canned)
  • 2 sticks of raw Huang Qi (an optional Chinese herb)
  • 1 stick of raw Dang Shen (an optional Chinese herb)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Boil the potatoes along with any Chinese herbs you are using in a large pot of salted water. Cook until the potatoes are soft. Drain the potatoes and discard the herbs.
  3. Mash the hot potatoes together with the butter and salt and pepper to taste. You can do this by hand or with a food processor (I used the processor).
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
  5. Saute the onions, garlic, and mushrooms for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the veggies are softened.
  6. Add the cooked lentils, peas, corn, spices, and tomato sauce. Stir, cooking, for about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spoon the lentil mixture into a 9x9-inch baking pan. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top.
  8. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the inside is hot and bubbly and the top starts to brown. If your casserole dish is overflowing (like mine was), you may want to put something under the dish to catch any oozing filling.
  9. Enjoy!

vegetarian shepherd's pie