Improve concentration and get rid of brain fog using natural alternatives. In today’s post, we’ll share a complete guide on this topic so you can get the best out of one of your most valuable assets: Your mind.
Has any of the following ever happened (or is happening) to you?
- Do you have trouble concentrating?
- Do you feel your memory failing?
- Do you feel confused and “heavy”?
- Are you tired most of the time?
- When you talk to someone, do you feel like you don’t know what they’re saying?
- When you read or watch a TV program, do you feel like you don’t know what’s going on?
Concentration and memory difficulties can be a big problem, not only for work or studies but also in everyday life. Its consequences can also go far beyond that since it can affect your self-esteem, personal relationships, and emotional stability.
What is brain fog?
Brain fog is an abnormality, not exactly an illness. It’s classified as an internationally accepted mental condition. Unfortunately, having brain fog is quite common, although it doesn’t make it “normal.”
This is a condition that goes beyond difficulties in concentration. When you have brain fog, you feel unfocused, confused, and have trouble thinking. With brain fog, your brain is sending an important signal that an imbalance in your life needs to be addressed.
Side effects of specific medications can also be the cause of this condition.
In reality, what may seem like a mental or psychological problem may be something else. In fact, brain fog can be due to lifestyle (where very different factors come into play than you might think, such as diet).
For this reason, brain fog is avoidable and treatable if you identify the factors that maintain it, which is different from the one that generates it. Sometimes, it’s as simple as leading a healthier lifestyle.
Why it happens and how to get rid of brain fog?
There are many cases where brain fog is due to conditions that are directly related to your health. In fact, many medications that treat various illnesses or dietary supplements can cause or help the appearance of brain fog.
As you will see next, feeding is a somber subject that goes beyond your physical health since it’s a determinant for mental and emotional well-being.
Now, let’s see how you can dissipate brain fog and improve concentration:
Unhealthy eating habits
When you eat poorly, the chances of suffering brain fog increase, but what exactly is bad eating vs. good eating? The answer is simple, but it’s challenging to assimilate, and, in fact, many people don’t like (or want) to hear it.
We must clarify that eating fresh foods is not the same as eating processed/frozen products.
The difference is that fresh food provides necessary and beneficial nutrients, while “junk” ones take away hunger or thirst, but deep down, they don’t provide what your body really needs.
That’s why when you eat well, you only need to eat a little. However, when your diet is not based on nutrient-rich foods, you need to eat more often since your body is demanding nutrients it hasn’t received.
This is the reason why you should reduce as much as possible a series of processed and junk products and replace them with real fresh foods.
There are 3 main nutritional deficiencies that can give rise to brain fog:
- Vitamin B12 deficiency: Vitamin B12 deficiency should not be taken lightly, as it can lead to a wide spectrum of mental and neurological disorders. Digestive disorders and the use of medications that suppress acid reflux (antacids) increase the risk of this deficiency
- Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D helps to elevate mood, dispel brain fog and depression, improve memory, and increase problem-solving ability
- Omega-3 essential fatty acid deficiency: Omega-3 essential fatty acids are found in high amounts in the brain. They are crucial for memory and general cognitive functions
A lack of quality sleep can cause brain fog. After all, sleep is critical to the brain’s functioning, both in the short and long term. During your sleep, a type of “brain cleansing” occurs that allows memories to be consolidated.
Besides, while you’re asleep, the brain creates new brain cells, which compensate for all those that have been lost during the day.
Just one bad night can be enough to affect memory, concentration, coordination, mood, judgment, and the ability to handle stress the next day. What’s more, some experts claim that losing a night’s sleep affects mental performance as much as being drunk.
Stress increases the risk of major diseases, including cancer and many feared brain diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
In addition, cortisol interferes with the formation of new brain cells
Chronic stress causes anxiety, depression, poor decision making, insomnia, and memory loss. Too much cortisol, the stress hormone, promotes an excess of free radicals, which damage brain cell membranes causing them to lose normal function and die.
Medications have some risks. Brain fog is one of the most commonly reported side effects of both prescription and over-the-counter medications.
For example, cholesterol-lowering drugs and prescription sleeping pills are known to cause memory loss. Furthermore, drugs known as anticholinergics work by blocking the action of acetylcholine, the brain’s chemical of memory and learning.
Typical side effects of these drugs include brain fog, forgetfulness, and inability to concentrate.
Many OTC drugs also work by blocking acetylcholine, such as allergy drugs, acid reflux drugs, neuropathy pain drugs, and insomnia drugs.
Hence the importance of reviewing the package insert carefully and assessing whether the side effects outweigh the benefit that may be derived from the treatment itself. Although, in any case, always consult with your Doctor.
Some health conditions can lead to brain fog problems as well. However, in some cases, it is the treatment that can cause these problems. This is the case with cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
A common side effect of chemotherapy treatment is associated with a specific type of brain fog. The official position of the American Cancer Society is that this particular brain fog is caused by a combination of the disease itself: treatments, sleep problems, hormonal changes, depression, and stress.
When researchers analyzed the patients’ brain activity before and after the chemotherapy treatments, they found that chemotherapy caused observable brain function changes.
Some health conditions associated with brain fog symptoms include:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Brain injuries
- Candidiasis (yeast infections)
- Toxicity of heavy metals
- Hepatitis C
- Hormonal imbalances
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Lyme disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neurodegenerative disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Seasonal allergies
- Drug abuse
How to get rid of brain fog with natural remedies
There is no easy, quick fix to dispel brain fog and improve concentration. Everyone has to look for their own personal solution, starting with identifying the factors that are causing it.
In most cases, people will have to start by correcting their eating habits and looking for ways to manage stress and improve their sleep quality.
The main guidelines we can give you to help dissipate this condition and naturally improve your concentration are the following:
- Eat healthy and balanced: avoiding refined sugars, refined flours, saturated fats, and caffeine. Consume healthy fats and quality carbohydrates
- Stay hydrated: even mild dehydration can cause problems at the brain level. Drink water and/or eat water-rich foods, but avoid sugary drinks (or drinks with artificial sweeteners), as well as caffeinated drinks
- Get into healthy habits to get good sleep, both in quality and quantity
- Practice meditation and relaxation techniques, as well as exercise – especially aerobics – helps to regulate and prevent stress effectively
- Check the medication you are taking (if any) to see to what extent it can be substituted or adapted, if possible, to avoid brain fog
- Get regular health check-ups to see if you have any diseases or nutritional deficiencies that may be causing your concentration and memory problems
- Unload your mind. Experts recommend breaking up the day into 90-minute phases to maintain the brain’s natural energy levels and preserve clarity of thought. This discharge consists of collecting all the thoughts that fly through your mind for 30 seconds or whenever you feel distracted
- Be proactive in adopting a healthy lifestyle, both for your body and your mind. Don’t make excuses; don’t look for blame. No one is going to care about your brain as much as you, and no one is going to enjoy it more than you do
Other alternatives to get rid of brain fog – Summary
Has it ever happened to you that you walk into a room and don’t remember why you went there?
Or you’re having a conversation, and suddenly you don’t remember what you were saying… or worse, you start babbling nonsense words?
Or the good old “I can never find the damn keys”?
These can be caused by mental fog, which can make you feel embarrassed, frustrated, cause serious damage to your self-esteem and image, and eventually trigger depression; due to inadequacy.
Getting rid of brain fog, which is a subjective problem that can seriously affect a person’s cognitive performance, should be your priority.
It affects short-term memory, planning, and staying focused, although it generally does not affect intelligence or long-term memory. The person becomes forgetful, cannot think clearly, and even feels confused, and soon realizes that his or her mental ability is diminished.
It should be noted that not just those with fibromyalgia are affected by it. Unfortunately, mental fog also accompanies various other conditions such as adrenal fatigue, fungal infection, antibiotic use, mineral poisoning, hypothyroidism, etc… It can be suffered for years, even without being fully aware of it.
Here is a list of 9 things with the potential to help you get rid of brain fog:
- Avoid drugs and alcohol: Alcohol is known to be a CNS depressant, which means it reduces arousal, affects judgment and motor skills. If you are trying to get rid of brain fog, you should also reduce (or stop) alcohol consumption. In the long term, frequent alcohol consumption alters brain function and neurotransmission – making it difficult to maintain optimal focus. Likewise, other illicit drugs and prescription medications that depress the CNS should be avoided.
- Diet: Are you eating enough quality food throughout the day? The brain needs energy from food to function at its best. Many cases of brain fog are partially caused by poor nutrition. Eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, nuts, and whole grains is considered ideal for mental health.
- Exercise: The psychological benefits of exercise go well beyond improving your mood. In many cases, getting enough exercise can improve your ability to think and learn new things. Also, cardiovascular exercise is associated with neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells), which is thought to be healthy for the brain. In some cases, getting enough exercise can significantly reduce hazy thinking. Just be sure not to exercise too much, as fatigue may contribute to fogging.
- Meditation: Not all types of meditation will help clear and rid brain fog. In fact, some types can make the problem even worse. “Concentration meditation,” which tends to increase focus, is ideal if you want to improve your focus and cognition. This involves focusing on a specific object for a period of time. The more you practice this type of meditation or other types that require specific attention, the more you will improve this trait and decrease the cloudiness.
- Sleep: If your sleep has been poor, you may need to consult a professional or find out how to correct the problem. Although too much or too little sleep can be a symptom of a larger problem. People with busy work schedules and/or busy family lives can easily put sleep on the back burner and not get enough rest.
- Stress management: Stress is a known cause of increased mental fogging. If you are excessively stressed due to your environment, lifestyle, or particular circumstances, you should make a conscious effort to reduce stress; otherwise, it will be complicated to eliminate brain fog.
- Working hours: How many hours do you work a week? If you’re overworking and not getting enough time to recover, you may need to cut back on your working hours to regain some energy and peace of mind.
- Natural Supplements: Many natural supplements are believed to help improve concentration and clear up the mental fog. Many people have found that supplements like L-Tyrosine, Omega-3, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 are beneficial in cases of attention deficit.
- Caffeine is a stimulant that has been shown to improve mental performance, BUT….. It is clear to anyone who drinks coffee in the morning how caffeine can get rid of brain fog and that heavy feeling when you wake up and start the day with increased energy and focus. However, coffee only gives you a short burst of energy… and then it tends to diminish. It’s important to understand that certain things like drugs or caffeine are only short-term cures, providing relief while they are being swallowed. It is better to avoid stimulant drugs in the long term because, over time, you develop tolerance to their effects. Also, in some cases, when the stimulant is withdrawn, the mental confusion can become even worse than before you started taking it.
In the Amazon basin’s humid forests, there is a seed called guaraná containing 2 to 5 times more caffeine than coffee alone, so its exciting effect greatly exceeds that provided by a coffee cup. Still, unlike regular caffeine, it is full of healthy fatty acids.
Guarana extract is a stimulant of the central nervous system, so besides providing energy, it helps stimulate memory and concentration.
Apart from its active compound, which is guaranine, it also contains other active substances such as theophylline, theobromine, xanthines, adenine, choline, and tannins, which act on the central nervous system more effectively than coffee, increasing vitality and alertness.
Guarana releases acetylcholine in the brain. When you have a lot of acetylcholine, your mind sharpens, and your memory becomes clearer.
When you drink coffee, the release of acetylcholine provides a similar, but not lasting, stimulus.
Ginseng doesn’t contain caffeine, but its own composition in ginsenosides acts as a stimulant of the central nervous system.
Hence, it helps to improve brain functions, such as memory and concentration.
Our brains have a great appetite for choline, a nutrient that is vital to mental performance. No one knew much about choline until recently when it was reclassified as an essential nutrient for cardiovascular and brain function; and normal functioning of cell membranes.
It is the main component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which the brain uses to maintain clear communication between all the body cells.
We use it to think, remember, sleep, and even maintain balance, stability, and mobility. The brain needs choline to stay healthy.
When choline is scarce, the brain begins to remove it from the nerve cell membranes. In an attempt to maintain normal acetylcholine signaling, the cell is disarmed.
In the short term, the brain uses this technique to keep its memory and other functions running. But in the long term, it affects the brain at the cellular level.
Many clinical studies have shown a significant link between choline and improved memory, so adding a choline supplement to your diet may improve mental fogging.
Choline is also important in producing new cell membranes and lipid metabolism, preventing them from being deposited in the liver, among other things, by promoting their transport and penetration into cells.
Group B vitamins
Research shows that B vitamins stimulate memory by forming a protective barrier for neurons in the brain. B vitamins have the ability to break down homocysteine (an amino acid that is toxic to nerve cells).
These vitamins also assist in producing red blood cells that carry oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body.
Among the vitamins in this group, the main ones are:
- Vitamin B1 or Thiamine
- Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
- Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine
- Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid
- Vitamin B7 or CDP Choline stimulates the formation of phospholipids, which produce the formation of neurotransmitter membranes
- Vitamin B3 or NADH (Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) stimulates energy in the body and helps improve the production of dopamine and norepinephrine (neurotransmitters in the brain)
There is another natural nutrient to stimulate the brain… the AMD. Dimethylaminoethanol is a safe solution to support cognitive performance. This component, 2-dimethylaminoethanol, helps to keep the mind alert and stimulate concentration and mental energy.
DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) is found in the brain in small amounts, and when supplied artificially, it significantly enhances brain function, cognitive and memory skills, concentration, and learning.
In a clinical study, a group of children was given AMD. They had better concentration and ability with no side effects such as nervousness or increased heart rate or blood pressure, as with other medications given to children to improve their concentration.
Short-term studies have shown increased vigilance and alertness, with a positive influence on mood after AMD administration.
Other clinical studies have shown that AMD can:
- Accelerate mental speed and ability to process thoughts and ideas
- Improve concentration
- Promote a healthy state of mind
- Decrease irritability and hyperactivity
- Increase attention, without causing drowsiness
When you combine these supplements, choline, guaranine, and AMD, you get a unique and powerful combination of super-nutrients that provides a better boost than a morning coffee and challenges the aging process by promoting mental clarity energy.
This plant is very active (it should not be taken without precautions) and stimulates blood circulation to the brain.
Ginkgo biloba extract provides nerve cells with more energy, thus increasing mental ability and activating microcirculation, both at the brain and peripheral level, achieving very effective results, noting how your mind is more awake, improving your concentration, intellectual performance, and memory.
Coenzyme Q10 is a chemical element naturally found in the human body that contributes to ATP’s formation (ADENOSINE TRI-PHOSPHATE, the most important energy source for the body, which can help improve mental concentration).
Improving your body’s cellular power can improve your energy levels and reduce the symptoms of brain fog.
CoQ10 is a natural supplement that helps maintain mitochondrial function and reduces inflammation throughout the body – both important considerations when treating mental fog.
In order to get rid of brain fog, consider multiple treatments
For best results, you may want to consider a combination of the above treatments. These days, everyone wants a quick fix and the easiest solution possible. Some of the things on the list above may take time and practice before you start feeling more mentally clear.
For example, it may take several weeks for your body to sleep properly before a normal circadian rhythm is restored. Generally, a combination treatment approach works best to help you overcome fibroneblins.
If none of the above works on an individual basis, i.e., as a monotherapeutic approach, choose a couple of options that you feel may work best in your particular circumstances.
Also, consider consulting a professional if you suspect that you have something like depression, sleep disorders, or other mental illnesses that may be contributing to the fog.
If a medical condition is causing mental fog, environmental and lifestyle changes will only help to a limited extent. Over time, you may want to continue taking medication to help bring the mental fog under control, especially if it is caused by severe anxiety or depression.
If you have ever had to deal with mental fog, don’t hesitate to discuss how you coped with it and what helped you control it.
Please leave us your comments below. Although not all mental fog cases are the same, sharing your particular solution may actually be beneficial to someone else.