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September 9, 2010 at 12:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Could Nutritional Deficiency Be Causing Your Focus Problems?

By Helen More Blogs by This Author

Feeling out of sorts?

Brain swamped in fog?

You may have a nutritional deficiency! We’ve all heard the saying that the human body is a machine and that the correct fuel needs to go in or it won’t function properly. The fuel in question is outlined by the United States Federal Department of Agriculture, which recommends a daily intake of:

  • 2 to 3 servings of dairy
  • 2 to 3 servings of protein
  • 3 to 5 servings of vegetables
  • 2 to 4 servings of fruits and
  • 6 to 11 servings of grain

However, though expert recommendation has always been for more plant food and less fat consumption, the average American is not eating a balanced diet, and it’s starting to take its toll.

Research and Resulting Changes

Deficiencies of certain amino acids, B vitamins and magnesium—all found in vegetables—have been determined to cause significant brain impairment, including short-term memory loss, attention deficit, lack of focus and/or concentration, and mood swings. Other more serious conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder, which have become the four most prominent mental disorders in developed countries, are also on the rise.

Now, doctors believe a diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help prevent and even fight these symptoms. Backing this idea, a study on laboratory mice consistently found more aggression and less ability to learn when they were fed a diet lacking in nutrition and further study along these lines has indicated the same may be true for human beings.

In fact, as a result of these studies, work has begun at schools with both food service contractors and policymakers to make provision of a nutritionally balanced lunch mandatory. 

Is Your Family Getting Enough?

The body requires many minerals and vitamins in order to run properly. To ensure you are getting enough of each, it’s important to eat a varied diet with lots of fruit and vegetables, as well as fish and other protein. Minerals that fight brain fatigue include:

  • Iodine
  • Magnesium
  • Folic acid
  • Fish oil omega 3
  • B vitamins, especially B-12

One easy way to ensure your getting the nutrients your body needs?  Buy a food processor and set aside two consecutive days per month as food smoothie days. Buy organic, wash the vegetables and fruits thoroughly, and serve up a couple of delicious frappes throughout the day. According to Victoria Boutenko, author of Green Smoothie Revolution, combining nutrition and know-how with recipes that pack a powerhouse punch, fruits, vegetables and greens are easily reintroduced into busy lives.”

Lack of focus or “spaciness” can manifest in mild memory loss, such as forgetting where you put your keys, but it can also become severe enough that you begin to notice a shortened attention span, the inability to think clearly, insomnia, and acute anxiety. Luckily, deficiency-caused focus issues are easily addressed with a well balanced diet.


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