Are you feeling fatigued and unproductive? Are you having trouble in concentrating on things and not able to think clearly? If yes, you are attacked by a brain fog. Brain fog is the condition that is characterized by cognitive impairments to attention, memory, executive function, and weakening of the speed of cognitive processing. Although it is not exactly a medical condition, it is an underlying condition that ranges from poor nutrition and diagnosed food sensitivities to illness and sleep deprivation. It is recommended that you visit your doctor once when you experience the symptoms of brain fog. However, if you haven’t seen a doctor yet, you can try to clear the fog yourself by avoiding certain foods and improving your nutrition by eating foods that help in “clearing up” your brain. Nutrition has a big role to play in improving or worsening brain fog. Read on to know what are the foods that you must avoid when you experience brain fog.
1. Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame is one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners in the world and has also been one of the most controversial. Aspartame, when ingested, breaks down into three components: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. This means that when aspartame is consumed in large amounts, these three different compounds can cross the blood-brain barrier, excite the brain cells, and even trigger the death of brain cells. Methanol, the third compound, can even break down to formaldehydes, which are not only neurotoxic but also carcinogenic in nature.
The common symptoms of aspartame toxicity are headaches, imbalance of the body, numbness, and mental confusion.
2. Processed Meats
The salts that are generally added to processed foods and particularly, processed meats are sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, and sodium/potassium benzoate. These salts not only enhance the taste of the foods but also, make them look attractive and help in catching the attention of consumers easily. Although these additives and their use is approved by the Food and Drug Association in regulated amounts, they have been classified as “Group 1 Carcinogens” by the WHO (World Health Organization) experts.
Consumers of bacon and such processed meats have reported to have faced skin problems, respiratory problems, headaches, dizziness, and brain fog. This the reason why you must always read the labels before buying processed meats. The best way to avoid these additives is to plainly choose to eat unprocessed foods.
Alcohol contains different components that can cause sensitivity and severe allergic reactions that depend on a person’s genetic profile. One of them is brain fog. Alcohol contains sulfite additives that are used to sterilize barrels and tanks before any kind of fermentation takes place. These sulfates, along with histamines that are used in wine, cause brain fog. Alcohol also contains ethanol, that induces allergic reactions in humans and especially in Asian people and certain other populations as these people lack the enzyme that metabolizes ethanol. Most beers have been reported to contain gluten as well, and people who have eliminated gluten from their diets, have noticed significant improvements in brain fog.
4. Precooked Foods And Salad Dressing
If you are using a generous dose of dressing in your salad almost every day at lunch, you might be causing your brain fog. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a food additive that is used as a taste enhancer and a flavoring agent and is hidden in almost all processed foods. These processed foods can range from bottled salad dressings to soups, canned fish and other canned foods, and even precooked restaurant meals. After eating these foods, people are prone to experiencing symptoms of brain fog. It is very tricky to identify the foods that contain MSG, as this ingredient goes by many names. This is why we must try to eat more whole and unprocessed foods and avoid processed foods as much as possible.
It has been found that turmeric contains curcumin, an active component that decreases glutamate toxicity in the brain. This is why turmeric has proved to be beneficial for people who suffer from brain fog.
5. Dairy And Whey Protein
The Food and Drug Administration has reported that milk, milk products such as yogurt and cheese, and whey protein are major allergens and cause allergic reactions in some people. These allergies can range from mild to severe, and in some cases, they can turn fatal as well.
Next time when you experience brain fog, you will know what are the foods you must avoid to get better.