If you find yourself or someone you know feeling fatigued, distracted, moody and just plain “off,” over a longer time period, then it is possible ‘brain fog’ is playing a part. Brain fog can be a by-product of our fast-paced, industrialised lifestyle. Many of the processed foods and factory-farmed meats we eat, together with an unhealthy lifestyle can undermine brain health.
A high percentage of people suffer from nutrient deficiencies, caffeine overload, sugar overload, a lack of sleep and high amounts of stress, all of which deplete energy levels and can bring about brain fog.
Symptoms of brain fog:
Researchers from the Departments of Physiology and Medicine at New York Medical College Valhalla describe brain fog symptoms as “an interaction of physiological, cognitive, and perceptual factors.” Brain fog symptoms usually include:
- low energy or fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
- trouble concentrating
- forgetfulness and trouble remembering information
- low motivation, feeling hopeless or mildly depressed
- trouble sleeping through the night or insomnia
- difficulty exercising
Luckily, brain fog is considered a reparable condition.
Want to regain your sense of clear-headedness, focus and joy? Like nearly all things health-related, it starts with addressing the underlying issues, including your diet, stress levels, sleep and level of physical activity.
On a cellular level, brain fog is believed to be caused by high levels inflammation, which is caused by a low-grade overactivity of the immune system and is tied to mental disorders like depression, Alzhemier’s disease, dementia and insomnia. Secondly, brain fog is caused by an imbalance between the three hormones that determine our mood, energy and focus: dopamine, serotonin and cortisol.
5 Key tips to getting rid of brain fog & regaining enegy levels and mental focus
1. Reduce Your Sugar Intake but Eat Enough Healthy Carbs
Cutting back on packaged and processed foods and sugar, as well as ensuring you stay clear of artificial sweetners is the first step to fixing brain fog. While refined sugar raises inflammation, quality carbs from things like fruits and vegetables will support brain health.
2. Eat vegetables and fruits
Research shows that consuming plenty of fruit and vegetables rebalances the hormones and also reduces inflammation; in fact, studies suggest that eating more fruit and vegetable can resultt in people feeling happier!
Vegetables are full of antioxidants and vitamins that fight oxidative stress and brain damage. For example, flavonoid antioxidant foods (such as goji berries, wild blueberries, dark chocolate, peakans, kindney beans) show promise for managing symptoms of various anxiety disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. As always, I am passionate about juicing and wheatgrass juice as you can get an enourmous amount of vegetables and therefore vitamins, amino acids, minerals and enzymes in one fantasticly tasting juice or smoothie!
3. Get Enough Protein and Healthy Fats
We all require a steady supply of amino acids and essential fatty acids in order to make all of the brain chemicals we need to think clearly. Protein is broken down by a special enzyme into amino acids. You get all the essential amino acids from fish, vegetables, eggs and meat and these will enable the brain to gain enough of the hormones that support a positive mind-set.
At the same time, we also need plenty of healthy fats to produce adequate happiness hormones and fight inflammation. You can read more & order the best quality Omega-3 oils here.
4. Manage Stress
High amounts of stress increase the production of cortisol, which has side effects including feeling “wired but tired,” weight gain, suffering hormonal imbalances, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, depression, and further anxiety. A very effective way of keeping cortisol levels under control, is through “stress-reducing techniques,” such as going for a run, walk, meditation, yoga etc.
Another very important way of managing stress is to have fun! :), which increases the brain’s production of the “happy hormone” dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical that makes you feel pleasure, excitement and motivation. It is released when you laugh, do something exciting, spend time with people you love and have fun. A lack of dopamine leaves you unfocused, bored and uninspired, and it is associated with a higher risk of addictions, learning disabilities and mental illnesses. So make it a priority to take some time to do something fun every day.
5. Get Good Sleep
One of the fastest and more reliable ways to improve brain function is to make sure you get enough sleep. The hormones in your brain stay in balance when your body gets adequate rest every night, at least seven hours for most adults. You are also better able to manage your hunger, food cravings and emotions when well-rested, which in turn can benefit your weight and health.