What Can Cause Brain Fog?
Brain fog, we've all been there - when the most seemingly straightforward of tasks or approach to the day just gets clouded by a lack of focus and ability to concentrate. But what can cause this blurry feeling of confusion and forgetfulness?
1. certain Foods
Diet can be a factor in the mystery of brain fog, with high levels of sugar negatively impacting our ability to focus. High glucose levels sends our brain on a roller coaster leading to confusion, brain fog and mood swings. Low-fat diet diets can also have a negative impact on brain health. Our brains are comprised of 60% fat and therefore a diet made up of 50% fat is recommend, from healthy sources such as nuts, avocados, coconut oil, fish and grass-fed meat is highly recommended. 'Wheat Brain' is another possible brain fog culprit with gluten being the worst culprit. "If you decide to cut wheat out of your diet, expect to experience some unpleasant, but temporary, withdrawal symptoms. Gluten breaks down into byproducts that bind to morphine receptors just as opiates do." (sciencedirect.com) Drinking adequate amount of water throughout the day is very important to combat brain fog. The brain is comprised of 75% water, and therefore mild dehydration will affect the minds ability to think clearly.
2. Supplement deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency impacts a wide variety of people including the elderly who can have poor absorption rate, and vegetarians and vegans since B12 is only found in animal products. Vitamin D can reduce brain fog and lift your mood. Sun exposure is the best source but can be difficult to get our required amount, especially in sunny Northern Ireland! Therefore a supplement may be required. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to optimum brain health and are best found in fatty fish such as sardines and salmon, and are also available in supplement form.
3. lack of Sleep
Sleep is crucial to optimum brain health, consolidating memories, helping us remember what we learnt from the previous day due to "cerebral fluid rushing in, “power washing” your brain, clearing it of debris" during sleep (nih.gov).
4. Physical Inactivity
Physical activity is vitally important for brain function, increasing endorphins and getting more glucose and oxygen flowing to the brain, whilst burning off the stress hormone cortisol and stimulating new brain cell formation. And it doesn't have to be anything overly strenuous, e.g. walking is a great way to help clear your mind.