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  • Writer's pictureNarelle

Brain Farts

Brain fog - that moment when we just can’t recall that bit of information we need, like why we went into a room, the name of our first born child or …..

Or when we feel like we are thinking through cotton wool - spaced out, distracted and just forgetful. Lights are on but nobody is home.

And then small decisions can become such a big deal and we end up overwhelmed and worried we are heading toward early onset dementia.

Brain fog is not in your head - it is caused by changes to brain cells and there are a few things that can cause this.

Nutritional deficiencies are common. A low grade iron deficiency can create issues with concentrations and decreased levels of Vitamin D is associated with impaired cognitive function.

What about digestive health? I am sure you have all heard that your gut is your second brain and the gut and brain are strongly connected. In fact your gut is where many of the brain chemicals are produced like GABA, serotonin and dopamine to name a few. So it goes to stand that we need to look after our gut and digestion to avoid brain fog. Your digestive system needs to be functioning well to make the nutrients available to your body and brain. So if you are experiencing digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, loose bowels, constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain then things could not be going well in terms of accessing those nutrients needed for healthy brain activity.

When a brain is fed poorly - it functions poorly. It all starts with proper food selection and digestion - a healthy diet with lots of veggies, fruit, wholegrain and avoiding processed or sugary foods. Plus making sure you get adequate amounts of proteins and fats which make up a huge part of your brain. Lack of protein intake is related directly to dementia and memory function plus it is essential for the synthesis of various neurotransmitters. Make those fats are good healthy ones to ensure your brain works properly - olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, or flaxseed oil are all good choices. Improve your diet, improve your gut health and brain fog often goes away.

Stress can manifest as brain fog . Your body primes itself to run from the bear and this activates the fight or flight response. All your energy is directed towards the stressor (that is, running from the bear) which makes it harder to focus and difficult to think clearly. You just need to get away so stress monopolises your brain so you can do just that. And then it doesn’t have the space for processing information concentration, paying attention and remembering…even your kids names.

Lack of sleep or sleep issues including poor sleep, irregular sleep and irregular wake times all impact our memory. Disrupted sleep means no time for the brain to switch off and consolidate and process the memories and information from the day. It is like leaving all the tabs open on your laptop and wondering why it slows down. Sleep deprivation makes our brains sloppy disrupting our brain cells ability to communicate with each other leading to mental lapses that affect memory and visual perception.

Move it or lose it - we know a sedentary lifestyle is not great for us but neurodegenerative disorders and even mild cognitive impairment are more prevalent in sedentary populations Plus increased activity levels are clearly associated with sharper mental acuity, better memory and elevated mood. Getting your heart pumping increases the flow of oxygen rich blood throughout your body including your brain. And this boosts brain cell performance Researchers at the University of British Columbia concluded that regular aerobic exercise that gets the heart pumping and causes a sweat seems to increase the size of the hippocampus. This area of the brain is responsible for verbal memory and learning, and is particularly sensitive to the effects of aging and neurological damage. Plus exercise gives your better quality sleep which we already know is helpful.

So lets recap…

Brain fog is not in your head - well it is but you are not imagining it. It is real and it is common. If brain farts are a regular recurrence then maybe it is time to make a few small changes for focus, clarity, a sharp mind and a powerful brain.

Brains are amazing and awesome and are definitely worth keeping in shape.


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