6 no-drug solutions for brain fog

6 no-drug solutions for brain fog
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Read on to know effective ways to beat brain fog. © Shutterstock

Sometimes your brain turns into a mush and your thinking centre shrinks. So, you lose clarity of thought, you are unable to concentrate, and your memory betrays you. This cognitive dysfunction is known as brain fog. It could be a short-lived condition triggered by acute stress or anxiety or a chronic condition resulting from some other medical conditions and drugs.

Our brains relies on a lot of factors like nutrients, psychological condition, lifestyle, etc. to function optimally. That is why brain fog is often the outcome of mental fatigue, stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, a diet with insufficient nutrients, some medications and health conditions. Chronic stress may lead to depression which in turn can result in difficulty to focus or think. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, makes you fuzzy taking a toll on your brain’s capacity to concentrate and memorise. Endocrinological changes a sudden spike in the levels of hormones named progesterone and estrogen can affect your memory and cause short-term cognitive impairment. Some foods may also be the culprits behind this condition. Are allergic or sensitive to peanuts, dairy products or aspartame? Well, eating foods that your body reacts against, can also cause brain fog.

While brain fog is a condition that is capable of impacting your personal and professional life negatively, there is nothing to panic. This is not an irreversible condition. Here are some effective ways to beat brain fog.

Keep your sugar intake under control

Eating foods loaded with sugar, especially processed and packaged foods, can give you a temporary sugar rush. But it is not good for your cognitive health. Increased glucose levels in your body can damage the protective layer of your gut formed by epithelial cells. Damage of these cells can lead to increased permeability of your gut walls giving easy access to toxins and harmful antigens. These can interfere with the secretion of the serotonin hormone (70 per cent of this hormone is secreted in the gut). Various studies have linked low levels of this brain chemical to mood disorders, depression and memory lapses. All these can contribute to brain fog.

Opt for protein and healthy fats

Your brain requires essential amino acids to function well. These amino acids cannot be produced in our body and therefore we need include foods rich in proteins to make them: Meat, dairy products, eggs, fish, nuts, etc. Deficiency of an amino acid named glutamine can lead to brain fatigue. The amino acids are known as the building blocks of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Deficiency of these brain chemicals can trigger anxiety, mood disorders, and stress. All these can contribute to temporary brain fog. So, aim to include foods rich in glutamine in your meals. Apart from animal protein and dairy products you can find it in nuts and vegetables like cabbage and broccoli. Your brain also needs plenty of healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. These fats can help in the production of happy hormones and fight against inflammation, helping your brain to function better. You will get ample amounts of omega 3 fatty acids in nuts, fish, avocado, olive oil, etc.

Manage stress

As already mentioned, stress is one of the main culprits behind brain fog, thanks to a spike in the amount of cortisol hormone produced in your body. High cortisol level is associated with insomnia, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues that take a toll on your cognitive function. Herbs like holy basil and ashwagandha can also help lower your cortisol level, finds a growing body of research. In order to keep your stress levels under control, indulge in activities like meditation, deep breathing, exercises, listening to calming music, etc. Find time for pursuing your passion. This will increase the levels of your happy hormones, dopamine and endorphin, contributing to important brain functions like motivation and focus. These factors can help keep brain fog at bay.

Get enough sleep

A good sleep is needed for your body to maintain the of hormones, chemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain that are instrumental to cognitive functions. We all know that seven to eight hours of sleep is what your body needs every day. But if your snooze time is compromised, you not only feel sleepy, you also experience irritability and other psychological lapses like poor memory, low concentration levels, decreased grasping power, etc. This is because lack of sleep decreases the capacity of your brain cells to communicate with one another. So, do not compromise on your sleep schedule. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, maintain certain bedtime routines. You can consult a sleep expert also if the problem persists.

Exercise in a healthy way

Working out daily has a plethora of benefits. It can lower inflammation, stress levels, hormonal imbalance and fatigue. These are factors responsible for brain fog. Daily workouts can also improve your insulin levels, improve your sleep, and boost the secretion of natural endorphins that are known to be your brain buddies. However, you must have heard the phrase, “Excess of everything is bad”. Well, this holds true for your exercises as well. Over exercising deprives your body of the rest that it requires, increasing your cortisol levels. This can, in turn, lead to brain fog. Going overboard on your workouts can also deplete you of the electrolytes and nutrients that your brain requires to function. So, consult a fitness expert for a well-planned exercise routine.

Address your food allergies

Sometimes, we are not aware of the foods that we are allergic to. It is important to identify them. Having foods that our gut digestive tract can’t tolerate will damage our gut for sure. A damaged gut is likely to slow down the performance of your brain too as many neurotransmitters too are produced here. So, if you have been experiencing brain fog for too, ask your doctor about food allergies. Conditions like gluten and lactose intolerance have been found to have a negative impact on your cognitive functions. Once your allergen or allergens are identified, learn about their sources and exclude them from your meals.

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