Let me paint you a picture: you’ve been trying to send the same email for the past 30 minutes. With no luck, you check your to-do list but lately, it only seems to grow larger, not smaller. You reach for your computer charger since you’re running low, but surprise, surprise, you’ve misplaced it, along with nearly every other item of value that week. Oh, and your headache serves as a not so subtle reminder that the effects of your third cup of coffee have started to wear off.
Sometimes it feels like there are seasons of life where our mental battery is constantly running at zero. Like no matter how hard we try, we just can’t seem to focus on anything and we end up in an anxious, frustrated mess. And, believe me, I get it. My most recent case of mental fog, resulted in me locking myself out of my home two nights in a row. Not fun. But each time, it’s always the things I want to overlook that bring me back to clarity. Usually when our minds become foggy, one of the first things we stop paying attention to is our diet. While journaling, meditation, and all forms of self-care are great tools to enhance mental clarity, it all begins with the foods we eat. A nutrient rich diet loaded with anti-inflammatory foods will do wonders in reducing anxiety, improving mood, and boosting cognitive function. So the next time you’re struggling to focus, try incorporating these ingredients into your grocery list to help lift the fog:
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas are incredible for your cognitive health in large part because they are rich in magnesium. Magnesium speeds message transmission, and relaxes blood vessels which means more blood is pumped into the brain. Try Field Trip’s creamy classic chickpea butter on a sandwich or as a snack!
- Leafy Greens: Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and collards have been shown to reduce cognitive decline from aging, due to their high levels of folate and nitrate. These jalapeño lime chips from Pulp Pantry are perfect when you’re on the go!
- Fish: Fish has been shown to reduce fatigue, boost memory, and improve mental clarity because they are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for cell membrane functioning. Throw some of Fishwife Tinned Seafood Co.’s Smoked Atlantic Salmon onto a bagel or some of their Smoked Tuna in your next salad.
- Turmeric: Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and it has loads of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to improve memory, reduce depression, and stimulate new brain cell growth. Blume’s Turmeric Blend is perfect to mix into your coffee, smoothie, or oatmeal.
- Avocado: Full of healthy fats and Vitamin B, avocados have been shown to reduce stress, improve focus, and slow cognitive decline. Try using Madhava’s Avocado Oil instead the next time you find yourself reaching for olive oil.
- Prebiotics & Probiotics: Probiotics are living strains of the good bacteria that aid the digestive system, while prebiotics are fibers that feed that good bacteria. The bottom line? Prebiotics and probiotics support your gut health which has been shown to have an intrinsic link to our mental health as well. Check out Llama Mama’s Prebiotic Sodas and Trust Your Gut’s Probiotic Powder.
- Cacao: Cocoa contains nutrients that increase blood flow, and support a healthy heart. Incorporate them in your diet to lower cortisol levels and reduce anxiety. For something that feels like a treat, try some of Lil Bucks’ Chocolate Reishi Clusterbucks in your granola or your yogurt. Bonus: it also includes mushroom powder which is full of adaptogens!
- Matcha: Rich in antioxidants and amino acids, matcha is praised for providing a “clean” energy boost without the crash. Swap it out for your coffee this week and see how you feel! Looking for a good matcha powder? Try out Blume’s Matcha Coconut Blend.
About the Author: Andreina Pardey.
Andreina is the lead blog contributor at Basquet. She is a storyteller at heart, passionate about understanding people and the things that connect them. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring new restaurants, listening to live music, or at her favorite bookstore. Connect with her on LinkedIn.