Brain fog is the weird feeling you get when no matter how hard you concentrate, you can’t form cogent ideas in your mind. Something unseen seems to be blocking your thoughts. You know you have the horsepower under the hood. You just can’t access it. What the heck is going on?

I usually experience brain fog during the worst times. I’ll come up with an idea but when it comes to developing that idea, that’s when brain fog steps in. When this does happen, I usually evaluate my current state of health and what I’m eating.

The brain is a unique organ in the body because of a structure called the blood-brain barrier. This clever biological mesh helps to keep all the nasties out of the brain, allowing it to function optimally for as long as possible. This barrier, though, isn’t perfect. Sometimes it lets inflammatory factors enter, activating the immune system and generating a response. 

Historically, people would have experienced brain fog when they were sick with a virus. The immune system would go into overdrive, churning out chemicals designed to kill the infection at the expense of perfect cognition. In the modern world, though, the drivers of inflammation are mainly lifestyle-related. They have nothing to do with germs. This is one of the big reasons I take time to evaluate my overall health when I’m experiencing brain fog.

Feed people fast food, for instance, and a few hours later, the level of inflammatory factors in the bloodstream rises. It is as though the body is responding to the meal in the same way as it would a pathogen. It sees it as a threat and goes into overdrive. Worse still, it never learns. So every time you eat a hotdog, it goes mad. 

For many people, this is the source of their brain fog. Continually eating a poor diet leads to a surfeit of inflammatory factors. And these, in turn, prevent the brain from thinking clearly. 

A lot of people with leaky gut experience the condition for the same reason. Foreign bodies slip through the lining of the stomach and into the bloodstream. The body then mounts a systemic immune response, causing inflammation all over, to process the invader. 

So what can you do to fight back against brain fog? 

Cut Inflammatory Foods From Your Diet

While the food industry likes to promote the idea of eating a “balanced diet,” it’s a bit of a misnomer. No diet requires foods like chips, hot dogs and ice cream. It’s just that people love eating them. If you experience regular bouts of brain fog, you might want to consider skipping these junky items seriously. 

Add Brain-Healthy Foods

In addition to cutting out pro-inflammatory foods, like processed goods, you might also want to add brain-healthy foods. In this category, you’ll find walnuts, flax seeds, greens, and berries. Eating blueberries daily, for instance, can reduce the rate at which your brain ages, which is quite remarkable. 

Stop Smoking

Though we haven’t discussed it so far, smoking is a significant contributing factor to brain fog. Chemicals from cigarettes can pass the blood-brain barrier and leave you struggling to concentrate on the task in front of you. 

Reduce Your Calorie Intake

Finally, eating too many calories in a single sitting can leave you feeling sluggish and slow. Where possible, try to cut back on your calorie intake and avoid going to restaurants that serve decadent food.