Five foods that help you fight brain fog and gain your mental clarity
Most of us have experienced brain fog at some point. Whether it was from pulling that all-nighter to study for an exam or staying up all night as a new parent.
Beyond the occasional fatigue, extended periods of the symptoms of brain fog (forgetfulness, cloudiness, difficulty focusing, lack of concentration) can interfere with our daily lives. In the short-term, it’s a distracting nuisance that can keep us from being present in our home and work life. In the long-term, it can contribute to reduced cognitive function and memory loss.
The exact cause of brain fog is still unknown, but it often occurs alongside other medical conditions that are associated with inflammation and fatigue like fibromyalgia, depression, hypothyroidism, or Celiac’s disease.
It also can occur from temporary inflammation in the body caused by various stressors or a vitamin deficiency. To fight back against brain fog, we can incorporate nutritious foods that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins.
These foods fuel our bodies to reduce inflammation or address vitamin deficiencies that might be the root of your brain fog.
This super-power flavonoid helps reduce inflammation - specifically in the brain - as well as neutralize free radicals, police viruses, and improve cognitive function. It’s also easy to find in many vegetables and herbs including: celery, broccoli, carrots, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, and thyme.
Legumes are not only a great source of antioxidants, but they are also packed with folate and magnesium - both of which combat brain fog. Deficiencies of either folate or magnesium can cause memory impairment, poor concentration or anxiety. To get an idea of just how impactful legumes can be against brain fog: one cup of cooked lentils = 90% of the suggested daily value (DV) of Folate, 17% of DV of magnesium, and lots of antioxidants.
Pregnant women, older adults, and people with diseases like Crohn’s or Celiac’s are at a high risk of a folate deficiency which can have a big impact on the brain’s functioning. Legumes are one way to get this essential nutrient, but so are leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and arugula.
The color of food can tell us a lot about the nutritional content. Foods richer in color tend to have a greater number of nutrients, as well as these specific antioxidants, or flavonoids:
It’s a classic for a reason. In addition to inflammation being a common companion to brain fog, so is dehydration. Considering our brain is about 75% water, keeping it hydrated also helps keep it functioning at a high level.
Even though science hasn’t determined the singular cause of brain fog yet, we know that these five types of foods can make a big difference in preventing and fighting the cognitive symptoms of brain fog. Try to keep your brain clear by incorporating these foods into your diet and getting a good night’s rest.