We all get “brain farts” once in a while, but if you feel like you’re living under a constant cloud of forgetfulness, fatigue or lack of focus, it’s time to reclaim your brain and fight back against annoying brain fog.
What exactly is brain fog?
While it’s not a medically recognized term, “brain fog” is a common phrase used to describe the feelings of mental fatigue, fuzziness and a lack of mental clarity. And, brain fog affects people of ALL AGES.
Here’s the good news: brain fog IS treatable
, and by making a few lifestyle changes, you can start taking better care of your brain, today.
1. Don’t Make Carbs and Fat Your Enemy
Cutting out refined sugar from processed foods is one of the best things you can do to get rid of brain fog. But beware of cutting out all carbs and natural sugars, like those found in fruits and veggies.
A low-carb diet negatively impacts the brain’s serotonin production.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in memory, mood and sleep.
Also, don’t fall prey to all those low-fat diets. About 60% of your brain is made of fat.
When you don’t consume enough dietary fats, your brain will literally start to digest itself for the materials it needs to function.
Note: the type of fat matters. Choose healthy fats from foods like nuts, avocados, wild salmon, eggs, coconut oil and grass-fed meat.
It’s no secret that stress can make us depressed, sick and tired. But did you know? New research shows that chronic stress can actually damage our DNA.
showed that stress impacts the length of our telomeres, the protective edges that bind the ends of our DNA strands together. Shortened telomeres affect how we age (this explains why grey hair and wrinkles are associated with stress!), as well as our longevity.
Make decreasing stress a priority in your life. Experiment with different stress-relieving activities to see what works best for you, whether it’s exercise, meditation, journaling, yoga, going on walks with a friend, or just turning off your electronic devices after a certain time each day.
3. Get Your Zzzs
One of the best things you can do for your brain is get enough sleep. (At least 7 hours of quality sleep is normally recommended for adults). Short sleep is linked to shrinking brain volume, and for those with chronic sleep deprivation, the neurons that affect alertness in the brain can be irreversibly damaged.
Good sleep also impacts memory and helps keep hormones in balance. A lack of quality sleep raises cortisol levels, known as the “stress” hormone. Too much cortisol can make you cranky, depressed, and prone to weight gain. And, like a typical vicious cycle, excess cortisol can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
4. Rule Out Food Allergies
The average American gets two-thirds of their calories from wheat, corn and soy. Wheat and soy, along with milk and eggs, are some of the most common food allergies/sensitivities.
Eating foods that you’re allergic or sensitive to can propel you straight into a mental fog. Why? Because your digestive system and brain are closely connected. In fact, scientists often call the gut the body’s “second brain.”
If you suspect you might have a food allergy or sensitivity, try eliminating certain foods from your diet such as gluten or dairy (one at a time) and track how you’re feeling.
5. Take a Brain Supplement
Even with eating healthier and getting more sleep, the brain often needs extra help to stay young, sharp and focused. A nootropic (supplement that improves mental function) is a smart choice. Nootropics are made with nutrients specifically for the brain. If you think you don’t need vitamins for your brain, consider these facts: most people’s bodies outlast their minds as they age, and the brain consumes up to 25% of the body’s energy.
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Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that benefits brain and heart health. Studies have shown its benefit to the circulation of energy production in the cells’ mitochondria, enabling better concentration, mental acuity and protection against premature aging of the brain.
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