Transcription: EP 332 – Dr. Taz’s Take: Brain Fog 101 and Diet & Supplements That Help
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Dr. Taz: Reactivated viruses, long COVID, and inflammation as all being causes of brain fog, but there are more, unfortunately. Nutrient deficiencies, being low in iron, being low in B vitamins, being low in protein, and being low in healthy fats are other things I’ll see in the exam room when it comes to brain fog.
Hi, everyone, and welcome to Super Woman Wellness. I’m Dr. Taz. I’ve made it my mission throughout my career in integrative medicine to support women in restoring their health using a blend of Eastern medical wisdom with modern science. In this show, I will guide you through different practices to find your power type and fully embody the healthiest and most passionate version of you. I’m here for you, and I can’t wait to get started. This is a Soulfire Production.
Foggy brain is the curse for so many of us, especially if you are busy multitasking, trying to get a million things done, or simply trying to take care of your family. I meet so many men and women who tell me that something has happened to their brain. They almost feel like they’ve been hijacked. Well, there are a ton of reasons nowadays to have brain fog, but I’m going to get one of the most recent and most obvious ones off the table right here at the get-go. If you’ve had COVID or long COVID, brain fog is actually one of the most common symptoms. So many people are roadblocked after COVID, foggy, unable to focus, unable to concentrate.
Infection can lead to brain fog, especially infections that reactivate or become chronic and really start to live in our immune systems. Because at the end of the day, brain fog, believe it or not, is not just about the brain, it’s holistic here, it’s about how the entire body works together, including your immune system. Now, what are these reactivated viruses doing? They’re triggering inflammation. And inflammation, remember, can create neuro-inflammation, which is essentially many of the symptoms that I see so many people deal with today. Anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD, ADHD, and so much more. Now, many times you don’t feel quite right mentally or cognitively, but you don’t get a label.
It’s okay. Your symptoms are still real and brain fog does not need to be where you have to stay. We’ve talked about reactivated viruses, long COVID, and inflammation as all being causes of brain fog, but there are more, unfortunately. Nutrient deficiencies, being low in iron, being low in B vitamins, being low in protein, and being low in healthy fats are other things I’ll see in the exam room when it comes to brain fog. In fact, with the rise of more vegan and vegetarian diets, we’re actually seeing more brain fog too, because the protein grams have gotten so low over time. It’s something to keep an eye on.
All right, so nutrient deficiencies. We know gut health is connected to brain fog. If you’ve got a gluten issue, candida, or an overgrowth of yeast in the gut, these things too can create brain fog, feeling like people are saying things to you, but you simply can’t comprehend what they’re saying and you can’t remember anything. All right, nutrients, gut health, reactivated viruses. No, I’m not done. We have to talk about hormones. That’s right. When testosterone drops, when thyroid levels are off, when the female hormone pregnenolone drops, which is actually a derivative of progesterone, there is a lot more brain fog.
I’ve got women telling me they could walk in a room and run a meeting and remember everything that they were supposed to be doing, and all of a sudden, they can’t remember what day it is or what time it is, or they stop cold in the middle of their presentation and are searching for their next thoughts. That is one of the worst feelings in the world, and I don’t want that for anyone, but it comes down to a hormone change. So many people look at me and they’re like, “I must be getting old, right? This is aging, right?. Your brain goes. Your memory goes.” No, this is your body needing to be rebalanced.
Maybe there are nutrients that need to be replaced, hormones that need to be balanced, inflammation that needs to be dialed down, or an immune system that needs a little bit of love and support. It doesn’t matter why it’s happening, but it is happening. And if it’s happening, it’s real, and there are absolutely answers to helping you cure your brain fog. All right, let’s now turn our attention to what actually works to reverse brain fog and talk about the things that you can do.
Hi, there. It’s Dr. Taz, and I am thrilled to bring to you my product and supplement line, the East West Way. I never meant to start a line of products, but what I found in my own personal health journey and those of many patients just like you is that there weren’t products that merged together the best of Eastern medicine and the best of Western medicine. I couldn’t find things that really tapped into the wisdom of both philosophies in a single product and had answers that worked. I first developed Boost, my methylated B vitamin, because I couldn’t find the right B formula for so many patients, including myself. And now it’s a hero product that thousands of people can’t live without.
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No one wants to live with brain fog. We all honestly have such mental lives and such mental jobs nowadays that we need our brains to work. When brain fog hits, it can derail us. But I want to spend some time today just breaking down what you can do for brain fog, because yes, there are answers. And when we apply the East West philosophy to brain fog, we have a toolbox that actually works. All right, we’re going to start with the fundamentals, and I’m going to run through it really fast because I know you’re tired of me talking about this over and over again, but it’s still important, so I still want to mention it. Number one rule, let’s look at your diet.
Remember that your diet has a lot to do with brain fog, getting rid of excessive amounts of sugar, alcohol, high yeast foods, which really overgrow candida or yeast in the gut, in addition to fattening up your brain. Think about getting in a lot of healthy fats, things like olive oil, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, gee, even MCT oil. Here’s the reason why. Fun fact, almost 60% of our brain is made of fat. Who knew? You need the healthy fat when we’re dealing with something like brain fog. All right, moving on a little bit from diet, we also know that managing how much blood flow is getting to your brain is really important.
Again, we’re in this technology world where a lot of us are sitting, we’re on our screens, we’re on our phones all day long, and that’s actually mentally draining, believe it or not, and it might be contributing to the brain fog. Getting up and moving around, getting blood flow to the brain, making sure you’re making time for your workouts, all of that is going to help you beat brain fog as well. That’s another really important one to continue. And then the next one, can’t have a conversation about reversing brain fog without this one, is getting a good night’s sleep. Remember, falling asleep and staying asleep is fundamental to repairing the brain, allowing the brain to rest so we can do all the crazy work.
We’re expected to do more nowadays than in any generation prior. All right, so those are just some really quick bullet point fundamentals of laying the foundation for a healthy brain and for reversing brain fog. But you might be listening to this and saying, “I don’t have the brain space for that. What do we do?” There are supplements. They’re actually called nootropics, N-O-O-T-R-O-P-I-C-S. I’ll win that one in a spelling bee, but they are a whole host of vitamins, minerals, supplements, food extracts, nutraceuticals, and even medications that are all about creating a healthy brain. Some of those include your classics, right?
You might be on prescription medications for ADHD or Vyvanse or even some of the non stimulants like Wellbutrin or Strattera, but I bet you found that there’s sort of an end point with some of that stuff, right? It works for a period of time, then the dose has to be changed, or the medications have to be changed, or it works when you take it, but when you’re off of it, then you’re foggy again. That’s a bandaid. We really don’t want that band aid approach when we’re dealing with something like your brain, right? We really want to fix it and give it what it needs. Some of the supplements I love for brain fog are really about shifting chemistry permanently.
One is methylated B vitamins. We love the B vitamins because they’re so important for almost every neurotransmitter in your brain, serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, so many of them, all of which are important in how we feel and also how we think. The B vitamins are a big one for me. Now, going back to that sleep conversation that we just had, magnesium is a really important mineral for the brain and for brain fog because it calms the brain down and it helps us fall asleep and stay asleep. It takes away that excess electrical activity or noise that’s constantly going on in our brains. B vitamins and magnesiums are super important.
In addition to magnesium, I love using fish oils or omega-3 oils because they actually help to reduce inflammation and improve brain fog as well. And speaking of inflammation, we know turmeric is a tried and true. So many great ways to take turmeric. You can take it in a capsule form, but I also love using the power of teas, another hack for brain fog, and maybe even adding a couple of teaspoons of turmeric into my favorite tea, helping with that afternoon boost of energy as well. Let’s talk about teas for a minute. There are so many different ways. Again, I could talk about these nootropics ad nauseum, but there’s so many different ways to take them.
Tea and coffee is actually a way for you to get some of these nootropics in your system and help you with brain fog. Mushroom extracts like lion’s mane and cordyceps. Adding a tablespoon of mushroom powder to your tea or coffee is a hack that often helps with brain fog. We know that other teas like teas with ashwagandha or ginseng, panax ginseng in particular, can also help with brain fog, along with ginkgo, which can come as a tea as well.
Whether it’s a pill or a tea or a powder, there are definitely ways to help you improve brain fog that are not limited to medications like your ADHD, Vyvanse, that whole family of medications that often has side effects and keeps you on a little bit of a roller coaster when you’re trying to reverse brain fog. If you’re struggling with issues, focus, concentration, memory, take it seriously. We have to save our brains. We know that really improving brain health is possible, it is connected to nutrition, to gut health, to hormone health, to inflammation, and so much more. There are answers whether you choose to do a tea, a pill, a powder before you even get to a medication.