While “brain fog” is not a medically recognized term, it is a common phrase that sums up symptoms of confusion, forgetfulness and a general lack of mental clarity. That feeling that your head just isn’t on straight is common, but its not normal. Feeling foggy? It’s time to reevaluate.
While sometimes brain fog can be linked to another medical condition, mental sluggishness or inability to focus is most often lifestyle or diet-related. Here are some of the most common reasons you might be experiencing brain fog:
Overdoing it on refined carbohydrates and sugar.
Too much, then too little glucose puts your brain on a blood sugar rollercoaster ride. Low blood sugar leads to mood swings, irritability, fatigue and confusion. Sound familiar? To combat brain fog related to diet, work on eating more protein and high-fiber grains and vegetables.
You aren’t getting enough healthy fats.
Low-fat diets are a scam. Your brain is largely comprised of fat and low-fat diets have been as damaging to our brains as they have been to our waistlines. (Spoiler: low-fat diets are making us heavier.) When you don’t eat enough healthy fats think olive oil, wild salmon, nut butter, avocado your brain begins to literally digest itself in order to get the nutrients it needs.
You have a food allergy.
Eating foods that you are sensitive or allergic to can certainly cause brain fog. At the top of the list are dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish. If you suspect that you are having an adverse reaction to foods you normally eat, consider eliminating them from your diet, then note how you feel.
You’re addicted to caffeine.
It’s no secret that a cup of tea or coffee can help you stay alert. The downside is this: caffeine is addictive. If you’ve been cut off from your supply or are intentionally weaning yourself off the stuff, it’s likely that you’ll experience symptoms like brain fog or headaches even something as alarming as nausea!
You’re being triggered by gluten.
It’s not only people with celiac disease that experience brain fog when they eat wheat. Gluten, the main protein in wheat, is known to trigger all sorts of negative reactions in the body. In fact, it’s been tied to diseases like schizophrenia, autism, dementia and ADHD. Yikes!
There’s a reason drinking water is one of the first suggestions you’ll get if you have a headache. Your brain is made up of 75 percent water by volume, and even mild hydration will affect your ability to think clearly and creatively. The bummer is this: more than 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Odds are, you are too!
With a few tweaks to your diet and lifestyle, your mind can become sharp and quick again.