A lot of people in the Supplematix community have asked about “brain fog” and so we wrote this article to give you our perspective. It is not considered a medical condition by most physicians, but it nonetheless plagues many people, so here’s our take.
Brain fog or brain fatigue commonly involves not being able to focus or concentrate. It often involves that annoying feeling of not being able to remember something that is on the tip of your tongue or blanking out on where you left your car keys, cell phone or other everyday things. We’ve probably all experienced it at one time or another.
Usually, it is not the sign of something more serious, although only your doctor can really tell you that. Lack of sleep, poor diet and everyday stress are likely the culprits. Many professionals have also been advancing the idea that inflammation, specifically inflammation of the brain, may also be a possible cause of this annoying condition.
So we probably all know what it is and now we have an idea of what causes it, but how do we make it go away? That’s why you’re reading this article if you’ve gotten this far!
Well, we spoke to our science team and our Chief Scientific Officer, Sunil Malhotra, MD, who also happens to be one of the top surgeons in the country, and got some answers for you…read on!
Poor diet is probably what’s ailing you here, and it probably leads to a lot of conditions in addition to brain fog. When you are eating right, you just feel right. Here are some of the key foods that will help alleviate brain fog and generally are among the best brain foods (and good for the rest of you too):
Omega-3s. Since your brain is mostly fat (really!), feed it some good fat. The brain is composed of around 60% fatty acids, which are the building blocks of fat molecules. 2/3 of those fatty acids are in the form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the same omega-3 fatty acid in salmon and other fatty fish. Salmon is one of the most ideal brain foods, feeding your brain exactly what it needs.
Blueberries. Perhaps we should call them brainberries as does Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life. As Dr. Pratt notes, in select animal studies, researchers found that blueberries helped protect the brain from oxidative stress. Blueberries are a brain superfood that needs to be part of your regimen.
Walnuts. As reported in a great article in Reader’s Digest, walnuts are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The article further noted that researchers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center studied the lifestyle habits of 6,000 people who were unaffected by the memory-robbing condition, and found that those who ate the most vitamin E-rich foods had a reduced Alzheimer’s risk. Vitamin E may isolate free radicals that can damage brain cells, explains the Alzheimer’s Research Center.
Green vegetables. Spinach, kale, mustard greens and Swiss chard are leafy green vegetables which are a good source of antioxidants and carotenoids and which contain significant amounts of folate and Vitamin K. These nutrients all may help improve focus, memory and overall brain power.
James Maas, a preeminent psychology professor and sleep researcher at Cornell, has been insisting for years that 8-9 hours of sleep a night was one of the most important things you could do for your health. And he started saying this in the go go 90s, when people thought it was a feather in your cap to have a job or lifestyle that only allowed you 4 hours of sleep a night which somehow made you “tough.”
Now thanks to Silicon Valley, I think that lifestyle and quality of life trump this outdated badge of honor, and it is more common wisdom that sufficient sleep can do wonders for your health and wellbeing. And when you wake up with uninterrupted sleep, brain fog often disappears. Fitbits to track sleep and natural sleep supplements also do wonders.
3. Lifestyle and stress.
One of our high school chemistry teachers, a brilliant guy by the name of Mr. Brady, used to repeat this mantra originally developed by the Navy in 1960. KISS, or “keep it simple stupid,” is a design principle of the U.S. Navy. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.
We live in age of multitasking and smartphones. Sometimes, you just have to shut these things out and concentrate on one thing at a time. Following this principle in life leads to great results. We suggest you try it everyday for as long as you can…we think you will find the reward to be less stress and more productivity which of course leads to more and better quality free time to do more of the things you want to do.
4. Inflammation and Hormonal Balance.
Lately, we have noticed another theme developing in the literature about inflammation as a possible cause of brain fog. The thinking is that brain fog is your mitochondria, which are the energy producers in cells, breaking down. “When you take away mitochondria function, you have less energy in your brain,” says Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof Coffee and author of Headstrong.
At the cellular level, brain fog may also be caused by a change in the levels of three key hormones: dopamine, serotonin and cortisol. These substances help to determine energy, mood and focus. Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone and fuels your “fight or flight” response, but it also works with your brain to control mood, stress levels and fear. Dopamine and serotonin are involved with your brain’s reward and pleasure centers as well as mood and serenity. There is a complicated balance of hormones that keep you on track, and if any one of them is too high or low, the result could be felt as brain fog.
Can Supplements Help Stop Brain Fog?
The factors described above are the primary culprits involved in brain fog and so you are best served to deal with those first and foremost to help lessen it. Once you have done that, it makes sense to also incorporate supplements into your regimen to aid in getting rid of brain fog for good. Feel free to check out our brain health and energy supplements at www.supplematix.com.
To Your Health!
The Supplematix Team