Updated: Sep 25
"Fibro Fog," or brain fog, is a common Fibromyalgia symptom that affects memory and focus. You may feel like thinking is slower than it once was, or you forget things more often. Perhaps you struggle to focus at work or home, even with simple tasks like cooking or reading a book. Some people feel that Fibro fog limits their ability to hold a conversation because the words they want to say come slower or aren't retrievable. This can be not only frustrating and embarrassing but also extremely scary.
We all know that processed foods are not optimal for good health. On the contrary, they increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. But we need to remember that eating foods high in sugar, salt, and saturated fats can also harm our energy and concentration levels, adding an extra layer of difficulty to our struggles with fatigue and Fibro fog.
This can be due to a low-fat diet because the brain requires certain essential fatty acids to work correctly. And on the other side of the spectrum, diets high in fat also reduce memory and concentration levels.
It can also be due to eating foods high in sugar in its sucrose form and simple carbs, like white rice and flour, resulting in sugar crashes that significantly reduce concentration levels. In addition, if your diet lacks essential minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin B group and vitamin D, your ability to focus will worsen with time.
We get cranky when we're hungry because blood sugar levels drop, so do our energy levels. And when we don't have enough energy, we feel sluggish, and hence, are unable to focus on the task at hand.
Most people know that overconsumption of caffeine can lead to feeling shaky, digestive discomfort, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. But did you know large amounts of caffeine coursing through your body also decrease its production of neurotransmitters responsible for concentration and attention?
Water is crucial water to your concentration levels. Even a 1% drop in normal hydration levels can affect how well you concentrate. Dehydration can also bring on headaches, low moods, and fatigue.
Just as there are factors that diminish focus, there are many factors that improve focus levels, such as:
A good diet
A nutritional diet for fibro fog should include minerals and vitamins as:
Magnesium is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and soothing effect on the brain.
Zinc is essential for the healthy production and performance of neurons; brain cells.
B vitamins are all known for maintaining good brain health. Thiamine (B1) especially helps boost mental strength and short-term memory. Vitamin B6 is crucial for keeping up focus levels. Vitamin B9 (folate) sustains memory and healthy brain function. If your body lacks vitamin B12, it can cause brain fog, confusion, and memory loss.
Vitamin D could b a helping factor because it aids in serotonin production, one of the feel-good hormones that help keep you focused and calm.
Vitamin E keeps up the brain's energy and strength.
Protein is also perfect for concentration because it is considered the building block of the brain. Research shows that a high-protein diet, including lean meat, beans, omega-3 fatty acids, beans, and nuts, can improve concentration and focus.
Dietary supplements While supplements aren't substitutes for real food, they can come in handy, especially when your body lacks certain minerals and vitamins and you're unable to provide them through your daily diet.
Drink lots of water. Your brain is 85% water. It can't function without it. In addition, neurotransmitters and hormones produced by the brain rely on water. This is why when you drink plentiful amounts of water, you'll be able to stay focused and alert for longer.
Knowing what to eat throughout the day can significantly affect your ability to focus and concentrate. It can also greatly impact your short-term and long-term mental health, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.
Seek medical advice if you are experiencing any memory or functioning deficits. Check with your doctor if what you are experiencing can be attributed to "Fibro Fog" or not.
Read next- How to Keep a Fibromyalgia Food Journal.