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5 Causes of Brain Fog and How to Beat It

Do you often forget where you place your keys or phone? Struggle to find solutions to complex tasks? Miss deadlines? Or, maybe you just feel like your brain isn’t working as it should. If any of these apply to you, it could be that you’re suffering from brain fog.

Brain fog is a term used to describe the general feeling of suboptimal brain function. This includes forgetfulness, a lack of focus, poor memory, difficulties making decisions, and a loss of overall mental clarity.

In most cases, brain fog is a red flag that indicates a certain aspect of your lifestyle or diet needs an upgrade. Here are 5 of the most common causes of brain fog so you can take the necessary steps to regain your mental clarity.

1. Environmental Toxins

You’re exposed to thousands of toxins on a daily basis in food, water and personal care products. These toxins can accumulate in your body over time which amplifies their negative effects.

One of the negative side effects of toxins is brain fog. Several heavy metals including arsenic and lead are neurotoxins, or toxic to the brain (1). Most toxins also cause oxidative stress which can lead to chronic inflammation.

As a result of the neurotoxic effects and inflammation, environmental toxins can be a huge contributor to brain fog.

To combat brain fog caused by environmental toxins, it’s essential to detoxify the body on a regular basis. Removing the built-up toxins from your body can make a significant difference in how you feel.

The best way to detoxify is through supplementing a natural volcanic mineral called zeolite. In a nanosized liquid form, zeolite binds to toxins on a cellular level like a magnet and rapidly transports them out of your body.

2. Nutrient Deficiencies

Perhaps one of the most obvious yet overlooked causes of brain fog is nutrient deficiencies. If your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it simply won’t work as it should. This includes your brain.

Vitamin D deficiencies, for example, are known to cause cognitive impairment (2). Omega-3 deficiencies may impair brain function since they play a critical role in cognitive performance (3). A lack of vitamin B12 is associated with neurodegenerative disease, a decreased ability to make decisions, and difficulties with learning new skills (4).

There are countless other nutrients essential for healthy brain function. But the point is, if you are lacking in key nutrients, it can harm your memory, cognition, and ability to learn new skills.

Eating plenty of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds is the best path to give your body vital nutrients. If you have trouble eating multiple veggie servings per day, an organic green juice powder is one of the easiest ways to fill this nutritional void. Even if you do eat a healthy diet, supplementing with a green juice helps you get the micronutrients missing from many foods (5).

3. Inactivity or Lack of Exercise

Research suggests that physical exercise is one of the single most important things you can do to keep your brain healthy (6).

According to Harvard Medical School, exercise specifically helps your memory, ability to think clearly, and stimulates growth factors that are involved in the production of new brain cells (7).

But exercise isn’t just a one-way street. If you’re inactive, the opposite can happen. Your muscles begin to waste away, bones lose their strength, inflammation becomes more prominent, and it’s easier to gain weight (8). 

The negative effects of physical inactivity can contribute to brain fog. One review that looked at over eight studies on the topic, for example, found that inactivity is strongly associated with decreased cognitive performance (9).

If you find it a challenge to find time to exercise or struggle with motivation, know that every little bit helps. Steps such as parking the car further away, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and taking regular stretching and movement breaks from your desk all help.

Another strategy is finding activities you enjoy the most—swimming, biking, or a recreational sport—so it doesn’t feel like a chore. You can also time save by combining phone calls with a quick walk or cycle on a stationary bike.

Even gentle, short bouts of exercise are enough to clear the cobwebs out of your mind.

4. Chronic Stress

Chronic or constant stress is another common cause of brain fog.

Studies have specifically found that it can make you more forgetful, reduce your ability to think clearly, and cloud your judgment (10, 11). Researchers have also found that stress can promote inflammation, which is one of the underlying causes of brain fog (12).

When you take steps to manage your stress levels and improve your resilience to the effects of stress, it could markedly improve mental clarity.

A daily meditation practice can help with stress management, as can switching out a cup of coffee for tea. Research shows the compound L-theanine in tea can effectively boost your brain function and help you relax (13). 

One of the best natural remedies to combat stress is full spectrum hemp oil. Studies have shown that cannabinoids in hemp oil can stimulate biochemical changes in the body that help you relax and improve your ability to cope with stress (14, 15).

5. Lack of Quality Sleep

Even if you get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, you still could be suffering from sleep deprivation. What most people don’t realize is that sleep quality is just as important as sleep quantity.

So when either your sleep quality or quantity are subpar, evidence shows that your brain function will take a nose dive (16).

Try to avoid artificial light sources 1-2 hours before bed or look for ways to minimize your exposure by installing a blue-light filter app on your phone. Scientists have found that exposure to electronic screens at night can significantly damage the quality of your sleep (17).

Other sleep strategies include sticking to a set bedtime routine, consuming hemp oil before bed to improve sleep quality, and doing something relaxing so you can wind down. You could read a book, meditate, listen to music, take a bath, or do some gentle stretching.

The Bottom Line

It might be tempting to think of brain fog as being a normal part of getting older. But the symptoms of brain fog—lack of focus, loss of mental clarity, and forgetfulness—can be eased by taking some simple lifestyle steps.

By detoxifying the body, upping your nutrient intake, becoming more active, and managing stress and sleep quality, you’ll start to see big improvements in brain health. As an added benefit, you’ll gain renewed energy and vitality throughout your body.