Although it is not technically a medical condition, brain fog describes feelings of sluggishness or scrambled thoughts. More often than not, it is a symptom of other health conditions. For example, doctors recently found that brain fog can be a lingering symptom of COVID-19. Lacking mental clarity can interfere with your ability to focus or remember things. Psychologists even say that it can negatively impact the way you feel about yourself.
What Is Brain Fog?
People with fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, celiac disease, and depression can commonly experience brain fog. Researchers believe several factors play into the development of brain fog. It is common thought, however, that nutritional deficiencies or inadequacies are responsible. This is especially true for people who experience brain fog in conjunction with medical conditions.
If brain fog results from low vitamin or mineral levels, it can be beneficial to consume more foods with those nutrients. Should that not be enough to counteract the deficiencies, supplementation may be necessary. Continue reading to learn more about powerful nutrients that can help you beat brain fog.
All hail the omega-3 and all of its essential fatty acid goodness. Many studies have confirmed that taking concentrated omega-3 supplements positively affects brain health. One primary benefit includes fighting brain fog. Several studies confirmed that sufficient intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which are omega-3 fatty acids, improves attention span, memory, and overall brain health. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s also support healthy neurological connections. For people facing cognitive decline or brain fog, this is excellent news.
Vitamin C’s role in immune health and skin care often outshines its ability to help support optimal brain health. According to researchers, low vitamin C levels negatively affect mood and can lead to depression or cognitive decline. One study monitored men with higher than average vitamin C levels. The findings indicated that they they had lower rates of depression and confusion. Another study included 80 healthy adults with adequate blood vitamin C levels. The participants performed much better on tests that assessed memory, reaction time, focus, and attention than people with low vitamin C levels.
This fat-soluble nutrient aids with optimal brain health, immune function, and hormone regulation. Brain fog is a very common symptom of vitamin D deficiency, but so is depression. Researchers found that depressive people who supplemented with vitamin D experienced and improvement in symptoms, including brain fog. One small study found that a group of post-menopausal women with low vitamin D levels experienced better memory and clearer thoughts after supplementing with 2,000 iu of vitamin D daily for one year.
One of the primary things that B-vitamins support is methylation, which is the body’s biochemical superhighway. It plays an integral role in brain function and the body’s detox pathways. A deficiency in B-vitamins can lead to poor concentration, memory problems, and brain fog. One study found that people with low B12 levels experienced cognitive impairment. Supplementing with B12 helped 85% of participants in that study improve cognition. Nearly 40% of Americans are deficient in this nutrient, which means that brain fog, depression, fatigue, and memory problems are quite common. If you are low in other B-vitamins like B6, it’s possible to experience brain fog or poor concentration. Start supplementing with a high-quality B-complex supplement to help prevent deficiencies.
Magnesium exists in many different foods, including beans, walnuts, spinach, avocados, bananas, almonds, and various seeds. It is involved with energy production, blood pressure regulation, and enzymatic reactions. Failure to include enough magnesium in your diet can negatively impact brain function, leading to brain fog or mood swings. Some studies found that low magnesium levels caused slower reaction time and cognitive impairment. Brain fog was also a common side effect of suboptimal magnesium levels. One study found that people with higher magnesium levels performed better on cognitive tests.