Tag Archives: Brain Fog

Supplements to Clear Your Cloudy Brain

Brain fog feels like a heavy cloud has invaded your mind, making it difficult to think clearly. You may not able to remember what you wanted to say or intended to do. When it lingers for any length of time, it can be very frustrating. In the extreme, it can even make it difficult, or even impossible to learn something new. These problems are bad enough when you are by yourself and can be embarrassing when you are dealing with other people.

Most of the time brain fog comes and goes; but, it can linger for some time, which carries some serious challenges.

There are supplements to clear your cloudy brain and help reduce the effects of this mental condition.

Listed below are some supplements you may want to consider (with the approval of your doctor, of course).

B Vitamins

The NIH (National Institutes of Health) lists the following as necessary B Vitamins

  • B1 (thiamine)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3 (niacin)
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6
  • B7 (biotin)
  • B12
  • Folic acid

You can get B vitamins from proteins such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products. Leafy green vegetables, beans, and peas also have B vitamins. Many cereals and some breads have added B vitamins.

Fridge fill with healthy foods
Image by olesiabilkei

These vitamins help the body process food into energy. Specifically it aids in processing glucose, which is the primary source of fuel for your brain – so, it stands to reason that taking B Vitamin supplements will increase your brain function. This group of vitamins also help breakdown fats and proteins, which aid the normal functioning of the nervous system, plus muscle tone in the stomach and intestinal tract

Vitamin D

Web MD reports:

Your body must have vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Too little vitamin D results in soft bones in children (rickets) and fragile, misshapen bones in adults (osteomalacia). You also need vitamin D for other important body functions. Vitamin D deficiency has now been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and other maladies….. [it also] helps regulate the immune system and the neuromuscular system and plays major roles in the life cycle of human cells.”

Many people feel the effect of Vitamin D deficiency in the winter months when it is hard to get out in the sunshine. Vitamin D helps boost your mood and can possibly help counteract the effects of depression.

Magnesium

Your brain needs oxygen and nutrients in order to function properly. These are cycled through the body via the blood stream. A magnesium supplement can help improve circulation and enhance mental clarity.

There are also recent studies that support the theory that regions in the brain associated with learning and memory experience significant improvements in synaptic function as a result of magnesium dietary supplementation.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Image by Andrew Brown
Image by Andrew Brown

Brain tissue is largely made up of DHA which is found in Omega 3 Fatty Acids.  They are necessary for human health, but the body does not produce it. You have to get it through food or supplements. Omega 3 can be found in nuts, seeds, salmon and other fish, which is why the American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) at least 2 times a week.

Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. In recent years, they have become more popular because they may reduce the risk of heart disease.  Fish Oil Supplements can be helpful, but be careful if you have a bleeding condition or are on blood thinners of any kind, use them only with your doctor’s approval.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are compounds that act as building blocks for proteins, according to National Institutes of Health online medical encyclopedia Medline Plus. Your body uses amino acids for a variety of purposes, such as proper brain function. There is evidence that dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin may modulate learning and memory, as well as mood, anxiety, and other aspects of mental status.

Amino acid supplements are still new, with mixed opinions from the experts.  My recommendation is that you do not venture into this area without a physician’s guidance. In fact, it would be best to consult your doctor or naturopath before beginning any supplement therapy – just to be safe.

** Please note the author is not a medical professional. Every effort has been made to include accurate information, but further research and the advice of a physician is highly recommended before following any of the advice listed.

Get off The Couch and Move Your Body

Exercise Helps Clear Brain Fog

We live in a busy, intense society and having a clear, focused mind is important to live life to the fullest. If your brain does not get adequate oxygen and the proper nutrients it needs to function efficiently, there is no question you will have cognitive issues.

Increase Blood Flow

Good blood flow is critical for the brain to be well-fed. So, how do you make sure that happens? Easy – get up off the couch and MOVE YOUR BODY – EVERY DAY!

Exercise Woman joggingExercise is critical to ensure good healthy blood flow through your body.

Cardiovascular exercise (to be precise) gets your heartbeat up, which promotes blood flow throughout your body, including the brain.

Any type of exercise that raises your heart rate is good. Find two or three types that you can do regularly.  For example: a brisk walk in the park, an aerobics class at the local gym, or a hike in the mountains, walking uphill on the treadmill, swing dancing. No matter what types of things you enjoy there are exercises that will work for you.

If you cannot or simply do not like to go out, there are things you can do in your home. For example, the Wii system has many types of fun games like tennis or bowling that do not feel like exercise but will help get the blood circulating. There are also exercise videos for all levels that you can do in the privacy of your own home. And…you can always dance around the house to your favorite music.

Eliminate Toxins with Exercise

As discussed in a previous post, toxic buildup contributes to brain fog, forgetfulness, and other memory issues.

There are several ways exercise helps remove toxins from your body:

  • Sweating – Serious exercise makes you break a sweat, which is good for you. Sweating releases impurities (toxins) through sweat glands – part of the body’s natural detoxification system.
  • Deep breathing – Exercising generally makes you breathe harder – and hopefully deeper, which releases built-up toxins through your lungs.
  • Promotes bowel movements – Exercise helps move waste more efficiently through your system. The more exercise you do – the better your elimination system works, which releases more toxic waste from your body.

Exercise Your Brain Too

Your brain is one large muscle and like any other muscle in your body you must exercise it to keep it strong and healthy.

Stay sharp by playing games that stimulate your brain and make you think. They are helpful in improving memory and reducing brain fog. Some good ones are: crossword puzzles and brain teasers (lots of books available – buy one and keep it handy for “waiting time”).

Make up your own brain exercises such as mini-math sessions – count backwards in different increments. For example, start at 250 and count backwards by 10s (250, 240, 230 and so on). Increase the difficulty each time you correctly complete a series.  Another fun one is to say all the states in alphabetical order. (You did it as a kid, why not now?)

There are apps to help you increase brain function that are built on the idea of mini-games and brain teasers to help keep your brain strong and alert. Check out Lumosity.

If you need more inspiration for brain games check out your local library, bookstore, or the Internet.

Regular exercise is very important in battling brain fog and mental decline; so, get out there and MOVE – for your body and your mind.

Photo Credit: 23 via photopin (license)

High Stress Slows Down Your Brain

High Stress Creates Brain Fob
Image by B-D-S@StockFresh

Are there times when you have trouble remembering someone’s name, even someone you have known for a long time?

Do you go into a room to do something, but once you get there you forget what you wanted in the first place?

Have you had difficulty remembering exactly how old you are?

Forgetting the little things, having temporary memory lapses, feeling confused or out of sorts can be irritating and embarrassing.

Brain Fog May Be the Culprit

When you live with high stress levels day in and day out, it can wreak havoc on your body and mind.  Brain fog is a common result of chronic stress.

Your body increases the production of a hormone called cortisol in order to cope – it maintains homeostasis in your body. It also aids in the short-term memory functions in your brain and contributes to the fight or flight response caused by stress or fear.

But, if your body produces too much on a regular basis, it can cause memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and decreasing your ability to learn new things.

Do Something About It

If you are living with chronic stress, it is time to  take action!

You may be thinking,  “Sure, that would be great, if only I could.”

It may seem like the stress you have is unavoidable and… it may very well be. Stress at work can seem impossible to alleviate. But, you  can learn to manage it. If you don’t, it will continue to take its toll.

An important step is to find ways to relax and enjoy peaceful down times when you are not at work.

Start Moving . . . 

Exercise is a great stress combatant.

It produces endorphins, a feel-good chemical reaction in your brain that leads to a natural high, which relieves stress and produces a sense of well-being.  (BTW – a good belly laugh and chili peppers also stimulate endorphin production.)

Choose your relaxation techniques wisely. They should be good for your mind and body.  Drinks with friends may take the load off briefly, but in the long run, they worsen the effects of your stress.

Consider the following positive, healthy ways to relax:

  • Daily meditation
  • Treat yourself to a weekly massage
  • Walk on the beach/hike in the mountains/drive in the country
  • Practice yoga or tai-chi
  • Have frequent heart-to-heart talks with a close friend
  • Watch a good movie that makes you laugh out loud
  • Learn to live in the moment and appreciate all the good in your life
  • Develop an attitude of gratitude.

I challenge you to implement at least one new practice each month that will lower your stress levels to ensure long-lasting mental clarity.

I know you can do it!

Related Article:  Man’s Best Friend

 

5 Reasons You Are Feeling Foggy

Brain Fog – What to Do About It

Image by David Mark
Image by David Mark

Are you feeling scattered, out of sorts, and finding it difficult to stay focused? Not feeling your brainy best? Chances are the reason(s) is something over which you have control. Let’s look at some of the potential causes for the cobwebs in your brain.

Consider each possibility carefully. Be honest with yourself about the impact it may be having on your ability to think clearly.

Poor Diet

A diet filled with highly-processed foods, fast foods, and junk foods will definitely leave you feeling foggy. These are high-calorie, low-nutrition foods. The ingredients have been completely changed from their natural state – taking this and that out, and adding in more chemicals than anyone can count to develop products that will stay on the shelf indefinitely.

Putting these foods into your body is like putting bad gasoline into your car. You know the result of that – the car will sputter, ping, cut out and just run poorly. The fact is that highly-processed foods are bad fuel for your body and create the same result.

Get more fresh whole foods into your diet to combat brain fog. Eat organic as often as possible and fill your body with the goodness that comes from food as close to nature as possible.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Leading a life without much movement prevents your brain from getting oxygen and the vital nutrients it needs to be clear and alert.  Without exercise to get your blood pumping, your brain will lack the elements it needs to do its job properly.

Exercise improves brain function, so get off the couch or out of your desk chair and move. Even a 10-minute walk will go a long way toward clearing the fog and improving your brain function.

Toxic Buildup

Your body is continually taking in pollution from chemicals in the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the foods you eat. These toxins can build up, causing your body – and your brain – to function at sub-optimal levels.

There are many methods of detox available. Do your research and find one that makes sense for you (taking into consideration any health issues you may have).  Don’t go overboard!  Two or three days of detoxification a couple of times a year would be a good place to start.

Detoxifying can be an unpleasant experience the first time you do it because you are stirring up all the crud that has built up over time. The more often you do this the easier it becomes and you will feel the effects of having a cleaner body and a clearer mind.

Stress

Living under constant stress can lead to physical and mental problems. Stress elevates a hormone in your body called cortisol that causes inflammation in your brain and body. Chronic inflammation can cause a host of issues including fatigue, damaged brain cells, depression, weight gain, and glucose imbalance.

It is critical to find ways to manage and relieve your stress. And . . . up comes the “E” word again. Exercise!

Adding an exercise regimen not only helps you feel better by releasing endorphins into your brain, it will also help you shed unwanted weight when coupled with a healthy diet,

Other excellent ways to relieve stress are: learn to meditate, do yoga, and set aside regular time to pamper yourself – take a long hot bath, get a massage.

Dehydration

The body needs water. It flushes the waste and toxins out of your body. If you do not drink enough each day, you may suffer from dehydration.

You should consume a minimum of 5-6 (12-ounce) water bottles per day. An easy way to incorporate more water into your day is to drink a full bottle at room temperature upon rising and another before each meal – that makes four. Drinking two more throughout the day should not be too difficult.

To Summarize

If your health is generally good, but you find yourself feeling foggy on a regular basis, chances are you may be suffering from one or all of these issues.

Start eating a healthier diet, get some exercise every day, implement methods for releasing stress, and drink lots of water. The brain fog will begin to dissipate and your thinking will be clear and sharp.

** Please note the author is not a medical professional. Every effort has been made to include accurate information, but further research and the advice of a physician is highly recommended before following any of the advice listed.