Sharpen Your Brain By Changing Your Diet
Diet is super important. We know this. But did you know it also impacts how your brain functions? When you’re feeling particularly unfocused or mentally slow, chances are it’s your diet that’s at fault. This article explores the reasons why experience mental fatigue and some dietary changes you can make to clear away that mental fog.
Since we use our brains to process our experiences, concentrate on tasks, as well as store memories for later recall, we need to take extra special care of our brains and mental health to ensure we are always capable of focusing on what we are doing and have the ability to remember names, numbers, and other relevant information we pick up daily.
One particular symptom that people experience when their brains aren’t operating at their best is mental fog. This is a term used to describe a range of symptoms that cause mental impairment.
To help you through those days where your brain feels foggy and you are simply unable to concentrate, we have prepared a list of the best brain foods that you can incorporate into your diet.
What Causes Mental Fog
Before we consider the different foods that can be included in your diet to help you overcome mental fog, we should first explore what causes it. There are quite a large number of elements that may interfere with your cognitive function and psychological well-being.
- Sleep deprivation. During sleep, the brain performs numerous essential functions. When the brain does not get an adequate amount of sleep every night, it doesn’t perform optimally.
- Stress. Leading a stressful life can also have a significant impact on mental performance.
- Poor nutrition. Consuming an inadequate amount of nutrients to support your mental function on a daily basis can also lead to mental fatigue.
- Medications. Some, such as those that are used to alleviate pain, treat allergies, or reduce blood pressure, can interfere with a person’s mental performance.
How To Relieve Mental Fog, Naturally
Now that we have discussed the various potential causes of mental fatigue, we would like to focus on foods and other remedies that you can use to relieve mental fog and regain your mental performance.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the human body and have numerous benefits for your brain.
Fatty acids can reduce the symptoms of depression. Omega-3 fatty acids can even improve the efficacy of antidepressants. In addition to these benefits, omega-3 fatty acids also possess anti-inflammatory agents, which can help reduce the physical stress placed on your brain.
Flaxseed oil, fish oil, chia seeds, walnuts, cured fish, soybeans, and spinach are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods not only reduce mental fatigue but also improve your general cognitive performance.
Hydration is essential for a healthy body and mind.
A study that was published in the Journal of Nutrition found that even being slightly dehydrated can have a significant adverse impact on a person’s mental performance. The study tested mental performance, including the ability to focus and mental fatigue, among a group of 25 women. Some women had proper hydration, while the rest had 1% less fluid content than the optimal level (a very minimal dehydrated state).
The women who were less hydrated experienced mental fatigue, a lower mood, and found it harder to concentrate than those who had proper hydration.
It is already common sense that drinking a lot of water can help you stay hydrated. Consuming watermelons and other fruit with high water contents can also be beneficial to keep you hydrated
throughout the day. Watermelon is made up of around 90% water, which means it is the perfect fruit to help you stay hydrated.
Tumeric has gained a lot of popularity in recent years. It reduces the symptoms of arthritis, including both inflammation and joint pain. It is also beneficial for the brain.
The active compound in turmeric, known as curcumin, assists with breaking down substances that are called amyloid-beta plaques. These plaques have a significant contributing impact on the development of Alzheimer’s disease, as reported by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom.
Curcumin is not easily absorbed by the body. Thus it might be a good idea to opt for a supplement that contains curcumin, rather than rely on turmeric in your food.
Yogurt is another important food type to consume if you feel mentally foggy. It is a probiotic, which means it contains beneficial bacteria for the digestive tract. This benefits your brain as well.
According to Caltech, around 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut, which means only 10% is produced within the brain. A healthy gut microbiome can assist with the production of serotonin, which keeps you healthy and focused.
Other Foods That Are Also Helpful
There are many other types of foods that are also beneficial for keeping your mind sharp during the day. Men’s Fitness recommends consuming more nuts, crimini mushrooms, sweet potatoes, beans, oatmeal, and milk to reduce mental fatigue and elevate your cognitive performance.
Mental fog covers a range of symptoms related to a person’s cognitive abilities. It can cause mental impairment and interfere with a person’s ability to perform their usual day-to-day tasks. Most of us will experience mental fog at least once in our lives. So when you’re not feeling your sharpest, try changing your diet.