Do you find you are forgetting things? Maybe you have put something in the oven and carried on with another task, completely forgetting about it? Perhaps it takes longer to recall names and words? Or does your head often feel foggy and you cannot think straight?
We live busy lives with a lot of information coming at us constantly. Stress, overwork, a poor diet, electromagnetics from devices and advancing age can all affect our memories and brain function. Add to that, as we move further into our 40s, our memory can be affected in menopause.
What is Brain Fog?
Brain fog is one of the many symptoms that women talk about. It’s a term for symptoms that affects your ability to think clearly. You may experience poor concentration, feeling confused, thinking more slowly than usual, or fuzzy thoughts.
The good news is there are things we can do to help improve these symptoms. Our brains need certain nutrients, rest and exercise just as our body does. We often get so busy focusing on our bodies that we forget about our brains!
In this article post I’ll give some tips and advice on how to eliminate brain fog and improve your memory in your 40s, 50s and beyond.
Stay hydrated to avoid Brain Fog
Even small levels of dehydration can affect our cognitive functions, leading to memory-related issues and poor concentration. I have mentioned many times before the importance of staying hydrated. For better brain health, aim to drink 2 litres of water a day.
Getting good quality sleep will improve your memory
The benefits of a good night’s sleep are endless. In order to function properly and have better brain function and memory, you need to get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep a night.
To help achieve this, get into a regular routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Avoid large meals, caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol before bed, as this will disrupt your sleep.
Turn off screens a couple of hours before bedtime and try winding down with some gentle yoga, meditation or deep breathing.
Limit alcohol intake
Drink sensibly. Excess alcohol is not only terrible for your liver but can affect your brain too. It causes shrinkage and impairs short-term memory by decreasing the communication between nerves in the hippocampus.
Also, if you drink a lot of alcohol, you are more likely to choose unhealthy foods which impair brain function.
Cut down on caffeine
By all means have your morning coffee, or get a good swiss filtered decaf, and only have one or two per day. Cut out other caffeinated drinks and drink herbal teas or green tea instead. Peppermint tea has been known to enhance memory and cognitive function and increase alertness. Try growing peppermint and making a tea using the fresh leaves.
Foods to avoid
Processed foods and meats, refined carbs, sugary drinks, sweets, crisps, fast food and trans fatshave all been proven to impair brain function. It’s time to cut them out of your diet or have in moderation.
Foods that help improve your memory
Here’s a list of foods which you should add into your diet to help improve your memory and reduce Brand Fog.
- Berries, but especially blueberries
- Food high in omega-3 such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, anchovies, linseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and avocados, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- Foods rich in B vitamins like mackerel, eggs, spinach, chicken, and bananas.
- Kale, brusselsprouts, cabbage and broccoli, turmeric
Taking Omega 3 oil is good for the brain. Omega-3 is important for our brain throughout life. Brain cells with high levels of omega-3 in their membranes are thought to be better at communicating with other cells, an important process for brain function.
Reservatrol, a plant-based compound found in red grapes and wine is good for brain health. You can find it in a capsule form in any good health shop.
Exercise your brain
It’s not just your body that needs exercise. Your brain needs it too! Keep the brain active by exercising it regularly.
Problem solving exercises like crosswords, puzzles, jigsaws, and arithmetic exercises are great for looking after your brain.
Learning new skills such as playing an instrument, learning a language or dancing and teaching skills to others help.
Even listening to music is known to reactivate parts of the brain associated with memory, reasoning, speech, and emotion. Music not only helps us retrieve stored memories, it also helps us lay down new ones.
Good circulation is essential for brain function as it contributes to a good blood supply to the brain. Regular exercise increases circulation. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. This can be a something as simple as a brisk walk.
Give your mind a rest
Give your brain a break. Mindful practices such as meditation, yoga, breathwork, walking in nature and observing what’s around you, or drawing all calm and quiet the mind and help your brain clear stress which helps with brain fog.
I hope this article was all helpful. I work with women in their 40s onwards to improve their health from the inside out. If you would like to find out how I can help then get in touch.