How many of you enter a room to get something, only to stop dead in your tracks wondering what the heck it was that you were getting?
For many of us brain fog during our day is common and we find that the more we push ourselves the less productive we are and the less sharp.
My father says, “it’s called old age, Katherine.” My children tell me, “Don’t worry, Mom, you just have too many things going on and your memory’s on overload.” I actually do worry, though, because an uncle had Alzheimer’s and my father has progressed dementia. Still, I’m fascinated with how the brain operates and why certain functions remain and others go by the wayside.
As a nutritionist, I know that what I put in my body also should be feeding my brain. I want to do all I can to clear my “brain fog” and keep it sharp with the right nutrients. Do you want to join me? Read on.
- Feed your brain. The brain is made up of essential fatty acids and thrives on protein but also glucose. Start your day with foods that have a low glycemic load – ones that release their sugars slowly and steadily. Include some protein, as well as good fats like coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, omega-3 eggs. Eat at regular intervals throughout the day to regulate your blood sugar and avoid dips or crashes that affect your physical and mental functioning.
- Get some rest. Rest is not just for when you’re sleeping at night. Try getting away from your everyday routine to do something restful. Take a yoga class and really enjoy the whole class, taking time to fully engage your body and breath. Or pick up a journal and do some writing. Play solitaire. Let your brain wander to think about different things. Take a walk in nature.
- Go to bed. Get to bed by 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. to reset your adrenals. Those are the organs that secrete hormones and guess what? When your body secretes stress hormones like cortisol because you’re in “fight or flight” mode, it contributes to brain fog. It’s important to get 7.5 to 8 hours of good solid sleep each night.
- Reduce electromagnetic radiation. That is what’s emitting from your TV, laptop, tablet, cell phone, computer and other devices. Turn them off sometimes – especially at night or if you notice that you’re getting headaches, or pain in the base of your neck, or tension in your shoulders. Keep a log for a week and see just how many hours you’re “tuned in” and on Wi-Fi. Research has shows that too much exposure affects the immune system, brain, and nervous system.
- Supplement with vitamins and minerals. Sometimes we think we’re eating really well but may be missing out on many vitamins and minerals, for example many seniors and vegetarians are deficient in vitamin B12. Vitamins that support brain health include B6, B12, and folic acid. Vitamin C aids in production of neurotransmitters and improves blood flow to the brain, and vitamin D can ward off cognitive decline. Phosphatidylserine is another important supplement for brain health, which helps maintain cellular function, especially in the brain.
If you’ve been noticing some foggy thoughts or forgetfulness, speak to your healthcare practitioners or holistic nutritionist about which of these tools might work best for you.