The best vitamins and supplements for brain fog
Are you forgetful, having trouble paying attention, and concentrating when you want to? Do you feel like your brain is fuzzy, hazy, and cloudy?
If you are experiencing trouble with attention, focus, memory, and concentration you may have signs of brain fog.
And while there are many causes of brain fog one major cause of brain fog is nutrient deficiency.
And that is why taking a supplement can help you find the mental clarity you need to go about your daily life with confidence.
Especially if you have some nutritional gaps in your diet, then you need the brain support a health supplement can offer to clear the fog.
But please note: it’s very important before taking any supplements that you consult your doctor first.
WHAT IS BRAIN FOG?
The term brain fog is not recognized as a medical term. But brain fog describes feeling scattered, being forgetful, and being unable to focus or concentrate.
Brain fog describes the lack of clarity, inability to focus, problems with both shorter and long-term memory, mental fatigue, and reduced cognition. a person experiences when the brain is not working as well as it should.
According to the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, brain fog is experienced as cognitive difficulties, as a result of various health problems including lack of sleep, poor nutrition, medications or drugs, and chronic low-level neuroinflammation.
Research finds that people who have a health condition such as Hashimoto’s, celiac disease, depression, autism, or chronic fatigue syndrome may also have deficiencies in selenium, potassium, iodine, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, and vitamins A, C, D, and B.
And so, if you are not feeling as sharp, having trouble with focus and concentration, and trouble remembering things, the brain fog supplements listed below may help you clear the fog and improve concentration, focus, and memory.
What are common signs of brain fog?
When you are suffering from brain fog, you may experience symptoms such as :
- Trouble remembering stuff
- difficulty with word finding
- Feeling distracted and disoriented
- Slow decision making
- Decreased motivation, depressive feelings
- Lack of energy
- Word finding difficulties
- lack of focus
WHAT CAUSES BRAIN FOG?
Brain fog can be caused by a variety of factors and health conditions such as;
- Nutrient deficiencies like vitamin B 12
- Bad sleep habits
- Excess stress
- Medications you may on
- Hormonal imbalances
- Covid 19 and other infections
- Depression and anxiety
- Neurological and inflammatory conditions like lupus, MS, and Lyme disease
BRAIN FOG SUPPLEMENTS
If the cause of your brain fog is nutritional deficits and deficiency in certain key vitamins and minerals, these natural supplements for brain fog will clear the fog and boost your focus and memory.
We know that healthy food is important for brain function so if you are not eating foods rich and certain nutrients brain function declines.
However, if you cannot adjust your diet then the best way to boost cognitive ability and prevent poor memory problems is by taking supplements. And supplements for brain fog will also reduce fatigue, boost your energy and give you a general sense of well-being.
These supplements may also improve some health issues such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, and hormonal imbalance.
Here are brain fog supplements to improve your focus and memory.
Vitamin B Complex
B vitamin include, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9
Chances are that if you already eat adequate foods rich in B vitamins you may not need a supplement.
But the truth is some people may not get enough of the B vitamins
These B vitamins are used in many metabolic pathways in the body including energy metabolism and cell synthesis so a deficiency can affect your nervous system and brain function.
B12 for example is required in cell synthesis including making red blood cells.
So obviously if you are low on oxygen because you have ill-formed red blood cells you will feel tired and foggy.
Deficiency in B12 may even lead to neurological conditions and dementia-like symptoms or even psychosis.
Also, certain B vitamins such as folate may not be broken down to their methylated form that the body is able to use if one has the MTHFR gene mutation.
In that case, a supplement of methylated folate or methylated B12 is needed.
Research shows that vitamin B12 supplementation in deficient subjects led to improvement in cognition and memory.
And so if you think you are not getting enough and you are feeling foggy in the brain, a complex B vitamin can help.
Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in over 300 enzymatic functions in the human body. However many people are also deficient in magnesium and many don’t know.
So if you have brain fog low magnesium levels or a magnesium deficiency may be to blame.
You can get more magnesium by eating foods rich in magnesium such as beans, leafy greens seeds, and nuts.
And because there are so many functions in the body that require magnesium including brain and nerve function, magnesium deficiency can easily occur without adequate consumption.
Another reason you may have magnesium deficiency and brain fog is a stressful lifestyle. Stress can cause a magnesium deficiency leading to brain fog.
The problem with stress and magnesium deficiency is that the more stressed you are the more magnesium you need and because you don’t have enough magnesium you become more stressed and the brain gets foggier, and you may even develop anxiety and depression.
Other lifestyle causes of magnesium deficiency include excess alcohol consumption which causes magnesium wasting.
In some cases, magnesium deficiency also caused cognitive deficits, a study in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found.
So given these effects of magnesium deficiency, supplementation with magnesium can help alleviate symptoms of brain fog.
A deficiency in vitamin D may have far-reaching outcomes besides weak bones and teeth.
Vitamin D in its active form acts as a prehormone and influences many functions in the body including mental health.
Researchers have found a relationship between vitamin D deficiency, depression, and anxiety.
A research study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found that supplementation with 50 mcg of vitamin D daily for 6 months improved depression and anxiety.
Keep in mind that if you are suffering from anxiety or depression you may also have brain fog. By improving these conditions, you also reduce the feeling of brain fog.
Unfortunately, many people have a vitamin D deficiency because, for those living in the northern hemisphere during the winter months, everyone is indoors and not exposed to the sun.
Plus people with darker complexions are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency. And so taking vitamin D supplements is important to boost cognitive health as well as general wellness.
Interest in the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for brain health has risen in recent years.
And it appears per research that omega-3 fatty acids may benefit brain health and help improve brain fog.
The two forms of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA or docosahexaenoic acid are essential for proper brain function.
These healthy fats are required to maintain healthy neuron membranes and communication between neurons.
Plus omega 3 fatty acids are also associated with reduced inflammation and therefore protective of the brain.
A research study found that having adequate concentrations of omega 3 in the blood was associated with reduced brain aging evidenced by a larger hippocampal volume the part of the brain that is responsible for memory and learning.
Furthermore, the researchers found that consuming a large amount of omega 3 led to better abstract reasoning, the ability to understand complex subjects, and improved logic.
Omega 3 fatty acids are readily available in fatty fish such as salmon which are the best sources.
Other sources include flax seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables.
However, if you are not consuming these foods, an omega-3 supplement or fish oil supplement can help to improve your brain health and reduce brain fog symptoms. These days there are many omega-3 supplements in the market, so it’s essential to choose carefully so you get one that is high quality.
I recommend Barlean’s Ideal Omega-3 Fish Oil Softgels with 1,000 mg EPA/DHA because it is third-party tested, is a pharmaceutical grade, and has really good reviews too.
Research shows turmeric has several health benefits. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin- a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that gives turmeric its yellow color.
As a result of these properties, curcumin may protect the brain against neurodegeneration. In fact, a study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that taking a 90mg dose of curcumin twice daily provided significant memory and attention benefits boosting cognitive abilities.
These cognitive benefits were likely due to a reduction in plaque and tau tangles-markers of brain inflammation that happen in Alzheimer’s disease.
Brain scans before and after treatment found a reduction in the plaques and tangles and that also correlated to improved cognition.
But before you start taking turmeric make sure to check with your doctor as curcumin can have a potentiating effect with blood thinners and can also make you bleed more if you have a bleeding condition.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin that fights free radicals and protects the body and brain against oxidative stress.
Having excess oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain can cause symptoms of brain fog due to neurodegeneration and damage to brain cells.
This is especially likely as you age from the accumulated oxidative stress leading to brain aging and inflammation.
You can easily get enough vitamin E by eating foods high in vitamin E such as nuts like walnuts, and almonds, seeds like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and leafy greens such as spinach.
But if you are not consuming such foods regularly, a vitamin E supplement can help reduce brain fog.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant vitamin normally associated with immune health.
Vitamin C is also a powerful reactive oxygen species scavenger. and as such vitamin C, works hard to beat oxidative stress, and free radical damage, a major cause of brain fog and cognitive impairment.
Vitamin C improves cognition attention, memory, and focus according to a 2019 study.
But vitamin C is important for many functions in the body and that includes brain health.
Studies have shown that vitamin C also supports cognition, memory, and focus.
Research also indicates that vitamin C is important for mood health and a deficiency can lead to depression and even problems with cognition.
It’s easy to have adequate levels of vitamin C by consuming foods such as citrus fruits, peppers, leafy greens, broccoli, and many other good sources of vitamin C.
But if you think you are not getting enough vitamin C from your diet to boost brain function, a good supplement can reduce signs of brain fog if symptoms are due to deficiency.
L. Theanine And Brain Fog
An amino acid found in both green tea and black tea and certain mushrooms, L-theanine increases serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. It also influences cortisol and thereby boosts mood, sleep, and stress management.
Serotonin also increases alpha brain waves activity in the brain responsible for increased attention and focus helping remove brain fog.
Studies also show that L-theanine may help improve attention, memory, and cognition. L theanine is therefore a great supplement to improve brain fog.
Ashwagandha For Brain Fog
An adaptogen herb, and a shrub in the nightshade family, ashwagandha is reputed for relieving stress and improving cortisol levels.
A recent 2021 study found that ashwagandha improved memory, focus, sleep quality, stress levels, and a general sense of well-being in stressed healthy adults.
And since stress can have great adverse effects on concentration and focus, taking an ashwagandha supplement can help improve cognitive performance and lift brain fog.
Also, this 2012 study in the Indian Journal of Psychological medicine found taking full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract improved stress resistance and quality of life.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO IMPROVE BRAIN FOG
If you are experiencing brain fog the first thing to do is see your doctor.
This is important because you need to eliminate chances that you have a medical condition such as those mentioned above that could be producing your symptoms. Remember brain fog can be a sign of a more severe health issue that needs to be addressed first.
Then it helps to look at your lifestyle and make the necessary changes.
And to that end here are some lifestyle changes you can make to lift and reduce the haze of brain fog.
Ensure That You Have Good Sleep Quality.
Lack of sleep obviously affects concentration and increases stress and fatigue.
Aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep. Eat foods to help with sleep, have a calming night routine, and practice good sleep hygiene. Having enough sleep every day is necessary to avoid brain fog.
Best foods for sleep
Eat Healthy Food.
Brain fog can occur because you are not getting the right nutrients to support healthy brain function and sustain energy.
And we all know that eating a balanced diet definitely boosts brain power, prevents mood swings, and boosts energy levels but we don’t always get the nutrition we need for good health.
So if you are not eating healthy foods rich in omega three fatty acids, complex B vitamins, and whole grains rich in minerals like magnesium you will attain a healthy cognitive function and boost your focus, attention, memory, and energy.
Healthy foods will also keep your blood sugar levels appropriate because high blood sugar can also give you brain fog.
It’s no secret that regular exercise boosts energy and decreases stress levels. This in turn boosts your focus, concentration and general sense of well-being.
Make it a habit to take a walk every day for at least 30 minutes. You can even do some moves in the house like stretches, or yoga.
Keep Well Hydrated
Even low-key dehydration affects your ability to concentrate and excess dehydration can cause trouble with memory, and focus and even cause confusion.
So aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day unless you have doctors’ orders to restrict fluid intake.
Manage Stress Appropriately
Stress can greatly affect the quality of life, and keeping excess stress under control can help improve brain fog.
Incorporate mindful practices into your daily routine. These may be stress-relieving practices like journaling, yoga, and meditation.
Other healthy ways to reduce stress include listening to music, talking to friends and family, and resting as much as possible to keep stress in check.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR BRAIN FOG: CONCLUSION
Brain fog can affect many areas of your life making it difficult to feel like yourself. Brain fog negatively affects mental performance, work performance, attention span, and productivity.
And because nutritional deficiencies can cause brain fog, correcting these deficiencies is essential to prevent memory loss and mental fog, and cognitive decline. So balanced nutrition is the best way to prevent brain fog.
But since sometimes even when we try our best we still fall short of getting the daily values of certain nutrients, the best supplements for brain fog can help.
So if you are experiencing the common symptoms of brain fog mentioned above, try to include the essential nutrients for a healthy brain to help boost energy production and clear brain fog so you are clear-headed and boost your memory, focus, and cognition. But if you cannot manage to eat a healthy diet every day, it is important to take supplements to prevent brain fog.
And the good news is that boosting your brain health with a healthy diet and the support of healthy natural supplements boosts your overall health too so you feel vibrant happy and energetic. Remember you are what you eat. So eat healthy and supplement wisely.
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