After treating my sleeplessness, I had a long, hard look at my diet.
As a chef, I work with food all day long, so I thought I was eating a pretty balanced diet. Turns out I wasn’t, because I had been eating the wrong quantities of the wrong foods!
Yes, food pyramid, I’m shoot daggers with my eyes at you…
If you want to beat brain fog, you simply have to ADJUST YOUR DIET – safely! By cutting down on processed foods & refined sugar you will go a long way in avoiding inflammation. Eliminating the artificial colors, flavours, and sweeteners will also help your body fight inflammation. Less inflammation = less brain fog.
At the same time, ensuring an adequate supply of protein in your diet is important. Your body needs the amino acids from protein to supply the brain with all the required chemicals to think clearly.
Animal proteins contain all the essential amino-acids, but if you are vegan you can still ensure an adequate intake of amino acids by combining proteins with wholegrains, as described in this handy guide by Greatist. Another worthwhile read for vegans is one by authour Eliot Cunningham.
Your diet should also be rich in Omega 3 fats. The best sources for these are wild-caught fish, grass fed beef, nuts like walnuts and cashews, and seeds like chia seeds and flaxseed oil.
Having enough of these types of fats in your diet will make it easier for your brain to produce the feel good hormones serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. Cutting down on my caffeine intake was also a great help in reducing my brain fog.
Wait, what? I thought coffee was meant to make you more alert?!
Au contraire! Caffeine, found naturally in coffee and other common drinks and even some mind clarity supplements, is really a stimulant drug. The scary thing is that not all scientists agree on the way it affects the human body.
The addictive qualities of caffeine are certainly concerning, let alone the fact that it can worsen your anxiety. Drinking caffeinated drinks can also cause or worsen insomnia and other sleep-related problems. I had simply come too far, and worked too hard, on raising the quality of my sleep to beat brain fog, to give it all up for a cup of coffee! Caffeinated drinks can also deplete nutrients from your system, contribute to dehydration and cause havoc with your blood pressure.
If you are serious about beating brain fog, the message is clear: adjust your diet. Doing so will give your body the best chance possible to fight the fog and come out clearer on the other side.
It also goes hand in hand with my next tip, which is avoiding allergens.