Get rid of your brain fog with some dietary and lifestyle changes. Protein-rich foods increase mood-regulating serotonin. Including whole carbs instead of refined ones can keep a check on blood sugars. A healthy gut can keep your brain healthy, too. Regular exercises, yoga practices, and enough sleep can improve focus, concentration, and mental clarity.
Do you feel like you are not yourself anymore? Is concentrating at work becoming a hard task for you? Are your children constantly reminding you that you have forgotten something for the house when you shouldn’t have? If all these sound familiar to you, then you are very likely experiencing what is popularly known as a Brain Fog.
Brain fog is not a medical condition, however, it may be the beginning of various health conditions that you can control if diagnosed early. This condition is not only limited to adults but can also affect children, too. Sometimes, this condition is mistaken for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) because they may share similar symptoms. Distractibility, inattentiveness, and lack of focus are some of the signs that show your child may be experiencing a brain fog.
How do you get rid of brain fog? Since it is not a medical condition, it can be controlled by doing what is right for your body – eating healthy and following a healthy routine making a healthy lifestyle.
So, if you are muddled in the head and don’t know exactly what you need to do to get rid of your brain fog, here are a few dietary and lifestyle changes that you can make for better mental clarity.
Changes You Need To Make to Your Diet
What is good for the body is also good for your brain. Therefore, if you are not following a healthy, balanced diet, you may want to consider making these changes to your existing one to avoid brain fog.
1. Reduce Blood Sugar-Spiking Carbohydrates
It is important to know that eating the wrong foods will not only lead to weight gain but can also be the cause of certain conditions like depression and brain fog. The sugar found in foods can either maintain blood sugar levels or may cause sugar rushes or crashes leaving you feeling foggy, depressed, or even anxious.
Consuming refined carbohydrates can disrupt the brain functions. In other words, foods that have a high glycemic index can cause drastic fluctuations in the blood sugar levels. Increased blood sugar levels lead to type 2 diabetes and this has been closely linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Insulin resistance – a condition in which the body’s cells don’t respond to the glucose-controlling hormone, insulin, eventually leading to diabetes – has been associated with decreased brain function.
Therefore, it is important to include good carbs in your diet for energy. Some whole carbs include vegetables, whole fruit, legumes, potatoes and whole grains. These are loaded with nutrients and fiber and do not cause a drastic increase in sugar levels like refined carbohydrates. This will not mess with your body and, therefore, will keep your brain healthy and clear, too.
2. Add Mood Improving Foods
Proteins are essential brain foods that can improve sharpness, memory, and even give our moods a boost. Proteins affect brain performance because they supply amino acids that make the neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters carry messages or signals from the brain cells to the different parts of the body to carry out their individual tasks.
When the proteins in your diet are low, the brain becomes low on the mood-regulating chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Eating good sources of proteins that contain tryptophan can boost the levels of serotonin and dopamine as well as boost energy, reduce anxiety, regulate pain eventually leading to mental clarity. Sources of proteins include lean meat, eggs, oily fish like salmon, nuts like almonds, seeds, dairy products like cottage cheese, tofu, beans, and legumes.
3. Know Your Food Allergies And Intolerances
Your digestive system is way more important than you think. If you think that your irregular bowel movements or indigestion, in general, is affecting your stomach, then you are wrong. Your digestive system is closely linked to the brain.
Your gut health and brain health are related. This is because a majority of the mood-regulating chemical serotonin, which is responsible for happiness and other positive moods, is produced in the gut. It also synthesizes nutrients like vitamin B12 which are important for the brain. Certain studies have shown that people with chronic digestive issues respond slower than people without the issue.
Therefore, it is important to know what you are allergic to and which food can cause you uneasiness or discomfort. Having foods that you are allergic or intolerant to can cause stress and can make thinking and focusing hard for you.
If you are unable to figure out the food causing you your tummy troubles, go for an elimination diet if the issue is not too serious. If your allergic reactions are severe like an inability to breathe, visit your doctor and communicate the problems immediately.
So, choose your own healthy eating habits. Some may want to follow a diet that may help them lose weight while others, like vegans, would want to follow a strict plant-based diet. For those people for whom the word “diet” sounds close to impossible, the 80/20 diet may not be a bad idea. Whatever diet you choose, make sure your body gets all the required nutrients because what goes into your mouth is also food for your brain.
Changes You Need To Make To Your Lifestyle
Stress is almost inevitable in our lives today. However, if you are not managing stress the right way, it may cause you fatigue and even brain fog leaving you feeling like you are a different person. Therefore, if stress is causing your brain fog symptoms, try to make these changes to your lifestyle.
1. Stay Active With Regular Exercises
Exercising regularly is one of the best remedies to combat stress. Vigorous exercises produce endorphins – chemical substances that help you relax. Some people find it refreshing to include some physical activity in the morning before they start their day while others find it relaxing to exercise after a long day at work.
Walking is a good way to start some physical activity if you are not moving enough. It is a low-risk activity that requires minimal athletic ability and puts very little stress on the body. For others who find walking too boring, joining Zumba classes can do the deal. Those who find it difficult to head to the gym or classes can work out in their own personal space. Just to be more motivated, drag your friends into your fitness routine.
2. Improve Mental Focus With Yoga
Yoga is another way you can fight stress and keep your mind focused and clear. Yoga uses certain specific movements, muscle contractions, controlled breathing, and attention to provide your body and mind some peace. Yoga can help you tone your body, increase your flexibility at the same time improve your mental clarity and concentration.
There are many yogasanas or yoga postures and pranayama or breathing exercises that you can practice every day to relax your mind and body, improving your concentration to do daily tasks. However, if you are new to yoga, it is always better to have a yoga instructor to guide your movements because even the trivial things are important and may have adverse effects if they are not carried out the right way.
3. Give Your Body And Mind Enough Sleep
Sleep is absolutely necessary for every individual to rest the body and the mind and to wake up with maximum energy the following morning. Sleep deprivation can lead to stress and this can have negative effects on the brain function and can also lead to moodiness, irritability, and may even speed up your aging process.
The lack of sleep not only affects your energy levels and your mind but can also affect your food habits. For instance, the lack of sleep can lead to hormonal changes that may cause unwanted weight gain. Therefore, it is important for an average adult to get at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. The number of hours may increase for children or other individuals that require more rest due to their daily physical activities. Some people, especially those in a sedentary lifestyle, require only five to six hours of sleep.
Studies have also shown that a lack of proper sleep causes an elevation in cortisol levels. Cortisol levels decrease the function of mood-regulating chemicals like dopamine and serotonin and therefore, your body becomes more prone to mood swings and irritability. This, in turn, causes you to feel like you cannot decide anything and keeps your brain feeling fogged.
Don’t limit yourself to only these lifestyle changes. You can calm your body and mind in other easy ways. Listening to your favorite music, planning a vacation with your loved ones, maintaining a journal, body baths, etc are ways you can calm both your body and mind thereby getting rid of a brain fog that you may experience.
So, if you ever feel absent-minded or cannot make decisions well, you know that your brain is fogged and feels scattered. You need to heal your body and mind and that will happen if you eat healthy and live healthy. A healthy lifestyle can clear your cloudy thoughts getting you back on track to face your everyday tasks and challenges.