If you’ve ever experienced brain fog, you know it’s difficult to pinpoint—slow thinking, haziness, difficulty focusing, confusion, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, and difficulty communicating. Unfortunately, because symptoms for brain fog are subjective and brain fog is not (yet) a diagnosable medical condition, getting the appropriate care can be difficult.
Why do we get brain fog?
Studies as to why we get brain fog are still ongoing, with some suggesting that it can be associated with inflammation and in blood flow to the brain. During the pandemic, many people reported symptomatic brain fog as a result of contracting Covid-19, with some claiming this continued long after they first got ill.
Some studies show that eating excess sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can contribute to the symptoms of brain fog. With other studies showing that eating a balanced diet with a colourful variety of nutrient- dense and antioxidant-rich foods can help. Nutrients fuel our brains and antioxidants help to get rid of toxic compounds and counter inflammation. At Balance Box, one of our core mantras is, ‘eat the rainbow’, but can eating the rainbow significantly help us to combat brain fog?
Colour is nature’s way of advertising the inherent goodness and nutritional value of food. Fruits, vegetables, and legumes have a variety of antioxidants and nutrients. Their colour can indicate the presence of certain antioxidants (flavonoids) that give them their pigment. Eating the full range can help your brain get the antioxidant support it needs and in turn, will help to alleviate brain fog.
Researchers propose that luteolin, a flavonoid, may help decrease brain fog by reducing inflammation in the brain, limiting oxidative stress, inhibiting the activity of viruses, and reducing cognitive decline. You can find luteolin in foods such as celery, artichokes, peppermint, green pepper, parsley, thyme, olives, and carrots.
Here’s our breakdown of some of the key benefits of eating the rainbow by colour:
Foods such as broccoli, cabbage and spinach- contain nutrients and antioxidants including lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin, folic acid and glucosinolates – all of which have been associated with lowering the risk of cancer as well as countering inflammation.
Carrots, oranges, squashes and sweet potatoes – are high in carotenoids, crucial for maintaining a good immune system and supporting cell repair and healthy vision.
Blue and Purple
Blueberries, blackberries, grapes and purple sprouting broccoli – are extremely high in antioxidants, promote healthy blood, and are thought to have anti- ageing properties.
Corn, pineapple and squashes- contain large amounts of bioflavonoids, which fight infection and reduce inflammation.
Cherries, strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries – contain high level of anthocyanins, which are thought to be effective in fighting cancer, bacterial infections and neurological diseases.
As well as eating the rainbow, we would also recommend getting plenty of folate (vitamin B9), found in leafy-green vegetables as low levels are associated with symptoms of brain fog and feelings of fatigue.
Regularly incorporating fermented foods and spices—black pepper, turmeric and chilli pepper (as a spice or a tea)—into your meals can help add antioxidants to your diet.
Are you struggling with brain fog? Let us help you to beat it with our fresh meals, developed by nutritionists to ensure you are eating the rainbow every day. Cooked by our team of expert chefs and delivered to your door, we make healthy eating easy.