Do you suffer from brain fog? Do you suffer from a poor ability to concentrate, remember and focus?
Many dismiss brain fog as absentmindedness, old-age, or fatigue.
But actually, it’s about digestion.
There is a one-cell thick wall, your digestive wall, between you and the outside world. If your digestive wall is irritated, hyper-permeable or ‘leaky’ from the foods you eat, the stress you experience or an imbalanced lifestyle, undigested food passes beyond your digestive wall and into your body causing a whole host of problems, including slow brain function.
What’s more, when your body is irritated by poor food choices, stress and an imbalanced lifestyle, it produces excess mucous to protect you from what it deems foreign invaders. But an increase of mucous production and subsequent build-up further compromise your body’s ability to carry out normal digestive processes; break down, absorb, assimilate and eliminate the foods you eat.
If you are not breaking down, absorbing, assimilating and eliminating what you eat correctly, you’re body breaks down, with inflammation, poor concentration, poor memory and poor inability to focus but some of the expressions your body is in trouble.
Inflammation in your gut means inflammation in your brain.
In “Why Isn’t My Brain Working?” Dr Datis Kharrazian says inflammation in the brain slows down conductivity between neurons.
So what does that mean for you and your ability to focus?
Slow brain function triggers slow, dull thinking.
To counter brain fog and slow brain function, try these 5 healthy lifestyle strategies to improve your digestion and gut health, to improve your ability to concentrate, remember and focus.
- Eliminate common inflammatory foods. The top 5 toxic triggers are gluten, dairy, sugar, coffee and alcohol. In the ideal scenario, you will eliminate all 5 for 21 days. Then add 1 food (beverage) back in every 2 days during a reintroduction phase. During this phase you monitor your body’s response to each food you add back in. The cool thing about the reintroduction phase is, you will know right away if the food is a toxic trigger for you, or not, because you will notice brain fog, lack of focus, or poor memory return. I had one client say, “I knew I was feeling much clearer, but didn’t realize how much so until I reintroduced gluten and dairy again.” His response told him that gluten and dairy were his toxic triggers.
- Drink fresh, whole food green smoothies for breakfast. Load your smoothie up with fresh kale, spinach, cucumbers, berries, avocado, fresh almond milk and a clean plant-based protein powder. Think about it, by starting your day with a whole food, green smoothie, you’re starting your day with nutrient-dense fuel that will help balance the microflora in your gut, alkalize your body, quell inflammation and fuel your focus for many hours. Include a meal-sized green salad and a green juice daily too, for added healing benefit.
- Balance your gut health. Do you know that you host more bacteria in your body than cells, by a ratio of 9 to 1? That means you host a community of trillions of bacteria inhabiting your gut, mouth, lungs, nasal passages, skin, and brain, your microbiome. The gut microbiome is critical to the normal functioning of the brain-gut axis. Balance the friendly flora in your gut to promote digestive health, to in turn support clear thinking and healthy cognitive function. Your brain depends on the neurotransmitters produced by the microflora in your gut to process thought and emotion. To repopulate the friendly flora in your gut, take a high quality probiotic of 50-100 million units daily. Alternate your selection monthly to nourish the diverse community of bacteria that live in your body. Include fermented veggies daily. You can make them yourself, or buy them in the cooler section of your natural health food store.
- Reduce stress. Stress triggers the fight-or-flight response and causes a cascade of hormonal responses, increases inflammation and causes an imbalance in your gut flora, which all impact your cognitive function. Include stress management as a daily practice to not only help you decompress and lighten up. Try, for example, yoga, meditation, deep breathing and even walking in the woods or going on a bike ride. While meditation, yoga and deep breath work are noted to help improve concentration and focus by quieting and calming the mind, choose what you enjoy. If it brings you pleasure, it’s the right choice.
- Exercise. Beyond the physical benefits exercise offers, research shows over and over that exercise improves overall brain performance. Exercise increases your decision making skills and promotes higher thinking and learning by releasing feel good hormones, increasing oxygen in your bloodstream and nourishing your microbiome.
Want to play a fun game? Implement these 5 healthy lifestyle strategies and watch what happens!
Your digestion will improve, your focus, concentration, memory and clarity of mind will return … and you will very likely experience healthy weight loss, balanced emotions, glowing skin and a skip in your every step! Think I’m kidding? Go ahead, prove me wrong … and in the interim, get ready to have your socks blown off and your brain turned on!
My area of expertise is gut health. From personal experience and 30 years of research, study and close scrutiny on the steps it takes to heal your gut, I've got something to offer you. Let's talk about the ways I can help you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.