5 ways to clear brain fog
We are all guilty of it. Focusing so much on our career, business and family that our own health is put on the back burner. Before we know it, we are feeling stressed and barely have enough energy to get through the day. While health and wellbeing is always a long-term commitment, here are five steps you can put in place to gain more energy, get happier and have less brain fog.
1. Be kind to your liver
No, I'm not necessarily talking about alcohol - although that plays a part. But a sluggish liver can affect your whole wellbeing - we're talking low energy, brain fog, inflammation... the list goes on. Having a backlog of toxins (e.g., food preservatives, hormones, environmental pollutants, pharmaceutical medication, substances such as alcohol and caffeine, etc.) to process means your system is always trying to play catch up and is not able to deal with the constant influx of new toxins. A hardcore detox is not necessarily needed though. Supporting your liver through foods such as cruciferous veggies (e.g., broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), herbs such as turmeric and garlic and focusing on a low-stress lifestyle can be just the break your liver needs to focus on firing itself back up again.
2. Love your guts
Your gastrointestinal tract is not just about digestion. Did you know that 80 per cent of your neurotransmitters (happy hormones such as serotonin) are created in the gut before they head on up to do their business in the brain? Your guts also influence your immune system, weight gain/loss, inflammation, moods and happiness. I like to say that a happy gut = a happy life. The key is to make your gut a really nice, comfy place for all the good stuff to happen. Probiotics plus a fibre-rich diet full of whole foods, good fats, low-gluten/GF and low sugar all contribute to a healthy microbiome (your own army of gut bacteria).
3. The business of B's
Feeling a tad stressed? B vitamins are the first to be used up when we are go-go-go so it's super important to replenish these so we don't feel like we are burning out. The great thing is that B vitamins are available in most nutritious, whole foods like lean meats, high quality whole grains and delicious vegetables.
4. Magnesium matters
You've got butterflies in your tummy, you think your nerves are shot, your muscles are all crampy and you have low energy. Are you getting enough magnesium? Magnesium is used across so many systems in your body but it is especially great for stress and nervous system support - a key aspect to look after when you're an ambitious go-getter. Magnesium supplementation is great (just watch what type you get) but getting it into your diet is key. Nuts (especially cashews), legumes, seafood, whole grains, dark green veggies and yes, dark chocolate, are all good sources of magnesium.
5. Rest and digest
Heard of fight or flight? There is also an opposite state our body can be in called rest and digest, and it is essential to actually absorb all the good stuff we are putting into our body. If you are constantly in a high-energy, go-go-go, stressful state (remembering stress can be mental, emotional or physical), then your food will be going in one end and out the other without the full capacity to absorb all those lovely nutrients to give you energy, fire up your brain and clear out any toxins. All the energy in your body is focused on being ready to react to a threat, rather than focused on digesting your food. Lovingly preparing your meals, slowing down when you eat and being mindful of your food all help your system to focus on absorption.
So start small, implement one thing at a time, and see that brain fog begin to fade away.