8 Foods for Mental Clarity

By Angela Young

Studies show that what you eat can help you stay more alert, retain more energy, be more creative and even think more clearly throughout the day. By eating certain foods you can feel more focused and alert, even if you are not a morning person.

Elizabeth Somer, R.D. and author of Food & Mood, has put together these 8 foods that will get you going early in the morning for those mornings you wish you could have stayed in bed a little longer. Get energized by trying one of these foods first thing in the morning.

Sugar: A small amount of sugar the morning stimulates your brain to release acetylcholine, a chemical that enhances memory. Too much and you will feel sleepy, but a small spoonful in a cup of coffee or a bit of honey in a smoothie can be just the thing to get you going.

Whole Grains: The building block of carbs is glucose and after being asleep all night you definitely will be energized for a carb fix. Try a half of a whole wheat bagel or even a small bowl of oatmeal to get an early morning kick.

Lox: The Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon helps to clear your brain's waste and prevent it from feeling sluggish.

Spicy Foods: Eating foods with spice helps to get your blood flowing. Try a glass of spicy tomato juice or if the tomatoes have too much acid for your stomach in the morning, steep a few pieces of peeled ginger into a tea for a similar rush.

Soy: Filled with isoflavones that work to fight memory loss and clear your mind, soy products are a great way to start your day. Have a glass of soymilk, pour it over your favorite cereal or incorporate tofu into your breakfast routine.

Cold Water: A glass of cold water is all it takes for many people to get their blood flowing early in the morning. The shock to your system from the cold water forces your body to defend itself to its normal temperature, boosting your metabolism and effectively waking you up.

Coffee: The most obvious choice, coffee works to dampen a chemical named adenosine that otherwise would block brain chemicals that allow for bursts of energy. This makes you more alert, faster thinking and improves your memory.

Breath Mints: If you have tried all the other options and just can't seem to shake sleep, try keeping some breath mints like Altoids or some Listerine Breath Strips next to your bed. When it is time to get up, pop one into your mouth and get going!

Other than just waking up and starting the day, you really want to get your brain going and absorbing imformation, as being a lifelong learner can improve your health and increase your lifespan. Eat for your mental clarity and feel invigorated.

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