Ever heard of “brain fog”? It’s a serious cognitive condition that we’ve all suffered from at some point in our lives, often unknowingly. Recent studies showed a severe spike in its onset in America due to the unease caused by living through a global pandemic, and mental overload from the never-ending news cycle. Our brains are the body’s control center, constantly sending signals to keep our systems running smoothly. Remember, your brain is an organ just like any other and if you overtax it, it will switch to survival-mode and negatively affect your body’s ability to function. So what can we do to keep our minds from getting foggy and dysfunctional? First, we need to really understand what this disorder is, and how it’s brought on…
Brain fog is a result of behaviors such as:
- Incessant attention on social media
- Focusing on depressing world news
- Lack of sleep
This manifests as:
- Lowered productivity
- Decreased focus and concentration
So what can we do to combat this? Here are 3 tried-and-true tips to help lift mental malaise:
- Eat for energy
What we consume plays a huge role in reversing, or exacerbating, mental fatigue. While it’s tempting to reach for a cup of coffee when you’re feeling sleepy and sluggish, caffeine is simply a quick fix, but doesn’t have long-lasting effects. Nourishing your body with energy-boosting foods can make a dramatic impact on brain function. Scientists have identified a handful of superfoods that, when added to our diet, can help clear out those mental cobwebs. Here are four to add to your next grocery list:
- Berries: Strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries contain a high concentration of flavonoid antioxidants. Studies have shown that these compounds increase communication and plasticity between brain cells, helping to boost learning and memory, and stimulate blood flow in the brain.
- Dark chocolate: Like berries, the cacao contained in dark chocolate is packed with brain-boosting flavonoids. Who knew that candybar could be so good for you?
- Nuts and seeds: Sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and almonds are rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, which protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Studies have found that vitamin E may also contribute to improved cognition and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Oily fish: salmon, tuna, and sardines are plentiful sources of omega-3s. These vital fatty acids have been proven to increase learning, memory, cognitive well-being, and blood flow in the brain.
- Improve your sleep habits
Researchers have confirmed that sleep deprivation disrupts our brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other, leading to temporary mental lapses that affect memory and visual perception. The optimal amount of sleep for adults is 8-9 hours of sleep per evening, however for many people this is unattainable due to overnight work schedules, restless children, snoring partners, etc. If you’re unable to get the recommended amount of sleep each night, it’s important to be sure the sleep you are getting is high quality. Some tips for a better night’s sleep include:
- Investing in a good mattress
- Misting your pillow with calming aromatherapy scents like lavender or chamomile
- Using a white noise machine to help you fall asleep
- Not eating or consuming alcohol close to bedtime
- Keeping your cell phone out of arm’s length, and avoiding scrolling in bed
- Exercise often
While this might sound counter-intuitive, moving your body is one of the best ways to keep brain fog at bay. Getting your heart pumping during a brisk walk, quick cardio session, or dynamic yoga class increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain, boosting brain cell performance, stimulating the growth of new brain cells, and helping to keep our existing neurons in stellar shape. Plus, regular exercise is widely revered as one of the best ways to relieve stress and enhance your mood, which will inevitably make you feel lighter and sharper from the inside out.
By improving our diet, sleep regime, and adding daily movement into our lives we can make significant positive changes to our mental state. It’s important to note that if you are experiencing prolonged brain fog and also have a medical condition you should talk to your doctor before engaging in exercise, and to determine the best course of action. If you feel stress is the main offender in your feelings of fogginess, Asé Pure Naturals’ products can help calm your body and mind. Take a moment to explore our inventory of natural, holistic, vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO CBD products, all made in the USA. And if you have any questions or need a specific recommendation, contact us directly.