Brain Fog: How to Regain Focus and Mental Clarity

May 30, 2024
Minute Read

This article will provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of brain fog, including its meaning, causes, and effective treatments, and offer practical strategies for regaining focus and mental clarity.


Have you ever found it difficult to focus? Maybe you are experiencing problems concentrating, issues with recall, or limited productivity. This might be related to brain fog.

Brain fog refers to neurocognitive symptoms that can come from several causes, but in general, all present with symptoms like problems concentrating difficulty paying attention, and memory issues. This can interfere with your overall well-being as well as productivity.

This article will help explore brain fog meaning as well as brain fog causes and options for brain fog treatment if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. This will help you utilize strategies to regain mental clarity.

Understanding Brain Fog

What is brain fog meaning? Brain fog is a term that can be applied to any situation where you are struggling cognitively. This can include symptoms like:

  • Poor focus
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Problems concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Poor attention

Causes of Brain Fog

There are many causes of brain fog, including exposure to diseases like COVID-19, sleep, mental health, diet, exercise, and stress.

Sleep, Diet, and Exercise

One of the most basic causes of brain fog has to do with what you eat and how well you sleep. When you sleep, your brain and body flush out all the toxins that have built up throughout the day, helping you with memory storage and hormone regulation as well as cognition.

But when you don't sleep enough, or you don't get good quality sleep, your body doesn't have a chance to do this, so we can leave you tired and sluggish the next day. Regular problems with sleep can contribute significantly to brain fog.

Tangentially, what you eat can contribute to your mental clarity. If you consume too much sugar, drink too much, or don't get enough of a well-balanced diet consisting of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, it can overload your mental function, making it difficult to stay focused and providing symptoms of brain fog.

Exercise is a natural way to boost your endorphins, including dopamine and serotonin, and it's also good for flushing toxins with increased blood flow. If you don't get enough exercise, it can inhibit how clearly you can focus.

Mental Health

Many of your hormones are responsible for improving things like memory and focus. For that reason, if you struggle with depression or anxiety disorders, you might see an increased amount of brain fog symptoms like trouble focusing.

Those who struggle with depressive disorders typically have low resting serotonin levels, and serotonin is a chemical in the brain uniquely responsible for helping your focus, attention, and memory. 


However, you don't need to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder to experience brain fog related to your mental health. Regular exposure to stress combined with things like poor diet, lack of sleep, or limited exercise can contribute significantly to brain fog.


Recent long-term research has found that people who get COVID experience brain fog for several months after. The reason for this is that the virus continues to live in the gut long after an individual has gotten over their symptoms, and it uniquely attacks serotonin production. Serotonin is responsible for sending messages between the brain and the body that regulate things like digestion, memory storage, sex drive, mood, and cognition.

It is for this same reason that changes to your gut microbiome because of stress, poor mental health, or diet can contribute to brain fog.

Brain Fog Treatment and Cure 

So, what is the best brain fog treatment or brain fog cure?

Medical treatments

If you need fast relief from brain fog, brain fog cure options involve lifestyle changes, nutrition changes, as well as medical treatments.

Some of the most common medical treatments include things like IV infusions, which can give your body a boost of necessary vitamins and minerals, especially if your diet is one aspect of the brain fog.

If you are concerned that your brain fog is being caused by issues in your gut, you can get advanced gut testing for personalized gut treatments that include special diets and protocols to help your microbiome.

Natural remedies

Natural remedies might include comprehensive blood tests and sleep monitoring tests that will help you identify any biomarker imbalances and assess your sleep quality so that you have actionable information to help with a brain fog cure.

This type of brain fog treatment would center on improving your sleep based on science and getting treatment for any hormonal imbalances that might be contributing to your brain fog.

Lifestyle changes

For most people, brain fog treatment requires lifestyle changes. These changes might be temporary, based on alleviating acute stress from a recent job or change in your family life.

For others these lifestyle changes might be more permanent such as incorporating more exercise, using special diets, and focusing on the incorporation of mindfulness and mental health exercises that reduce stress and boost things like serotonin.

Diet and Nutrition for Combating Brain Fog 

Diet and nutrition can play an important role in combating brain fog. You might not realize that you have certain food intolerances that are contributing to your brain fog, but with customized gut repair diets, you can improve your energy and focus by undergoing tests for food intolerance and finding a diet that works best for you. 

Foods to include for mental clarity

There are several foods that you should consider incorporating into your diet in order to help you with brain fog.

  • Dark, leafy greens like kale and chard are very effective at improving cellular function and providing the vitamins you need.
  • Fermented foods like kimchi, soy sauce, sauerkraut, and unsweetened yogurt can be very effective and easy to make at home.
  • Make sure you drink enough water, as 75% of your cognitive processes need water.
  • Consider lots of fruit, particularly berries, that have high levels of antioxidants. Blueberries, in particular, have anthocyanins, which improve the health of your cognition.
  • Seeds and nuts that contain antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin E are effective as well.

Foods to avoid that may contribute to brain fog

It's important that you avoid foods that contribute to brain fog.

  • Alcohol can leave you confused and groggy but also brings with it high levels of sugar, which exacerbates symptoms of brain fog.
  • Refined carbohydrates like processed pasta and bread will break down and become sugar, which means your body is getting significantly higher levels of sugar than you realize, which can contribute to brain fog.
  • Trans fats have been shown to lower your brain volume and decrease your memory, especially as you get older, so these should be avoided at all costs.
  • Sugary drinks like natural fruit juices, sports drinks, soda, and energy drinks leave your body overflowing with sugar to the extent that it contributes to brain fog.

Practical Strategies to Regain Focus and Mental Clarity

There are practical strategies you can use as part of your brain fog treatment as well.

Time management and organization

Firstly, focus on time management and organizational exercises. When you manage your time and stick to a set schedule you will have fewer opportunities for distraction and you'll be able to stay more focused on what you have to do. Routines go a long way toward helping this as well. Plus, the more organized you are, the easier it will be to stick to your routine.

Cognitive exercises

Secondly, use cognitive exercises. Cognitive exercises are always useful in improving your cognitive function, whether or not you have brain fog. If you are experiencing any issues with focus and memory, you can find online games that help you boost your memory, problem-solving, concentration, and other cognition.

Mindfulness and mental exercises

Finally, consider the power of meditation and mindfulness. Studies have shown that participating in regular meditation is extremely good for your mental health and your cognition. It doesn't take any experience in meditation for this to be effective.

Mindfulness and mental exercises go a long way toward boosting your mood, increasing serotonin, decreasing stress, and helping maintain good mental health. In this way, exercises like mindful meditation and mental exercises can naturally increase your serotonin and, at the same time, give you better coping strategies for moments of stress, reducing the likelihood of brain fog. 

Summing Up

Brain fog can be caused by many things like poor sleep, stress, or a bad diet. There are lots of things you can do to change your exercise, mood, diet, and overall health to reduce your brain fog symptoms. If you are experiencing brain fog it's important that you address it right away especially if it's been something that has disrupted daily life. Consider implementing the strategies above and seek professional help if needed.

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