What’s the name of the new contact you met yesterday? What were you about to do? What is the word to describe…? Be careful, this could be brain fog.
The issue of brain fog is more prevalent than you might expect in discussions around health, and as we address the importance of brain health, we see that these questions are not easily answered.
Brain fog is a decline in cognitive ability and it would be easy to pass it off as a side-effect of aging or a poor diet (think carb-coma after eating pasta or bread) and ignore other factors that create a degeneration in brain function more rapidly.
The brain controls so many of our bodily functions, that it’s vital to understand the impacts on how well it works and to take preventative measures on anything that might be causing you to be operating or performing below your best ability.
Here are common ways you could be affecting the capacity of your brain to work properly;
- Less than 7 hours on average sleep a night
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Hitting or heavily banging our head
- Over consumption of processed foods leading to poor gut health
- Chronic stress
- Lack of exercise
If you have decided to look after your brain then why not start with 3 areas that you could improve. What would be some small incremental changes you could make?
Sleep; the quality of your sleep is impacted by lights after sunset, caffeine after lunch and heavy eating late at night as some examples. Maybe you could choose to improve your sleep hygiene by dimming the lights, turning off screens and limiting exposure to blue light from your phone a few hours before bed. That’s right, no scrolling, swiping or searching after bedtime!
Nutrition; every organ in the body requires essential nutrients to perform well. The brain is also looking for essential vitamins, minerals and fats that it obtains from whole foods. A diet of processed food, excess alcohol and sugar can lead to poor metabolic health and an overgrowth of bad bacteria in our gut which communicates to our brain through neurotransmitters and hormones. Looking at a diet full of fibrous fruits and vegetables, whole grains, organic meats and oily fish (if that’s your dietary preference) can provide the nutrients your body and brain needs.
Exercise; improves your blood circulation, providing a healthy flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. This will also increase brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), molecules for memory and cognitive ability.
With these tools in mind, why not create a 30 day habit list and monitor what improvements you’re able to make to your brain?