Endo brain fog is a symptom that affects many people with endometriosis. A hazy mind, poor memory, and trouble focusing are all issues I’ve found myself talking about with countless endometriosis patients. In yesterday’s column, I began discussing the changes I’ve made to my life that have helped me overcome brain fog and feel more human than zombie once more. Today, I’ll leave you with some diet choices and practices that are all proven to affect a positive difference in brain function. In fact, many of them are essential.
It’s always better to get your sources of vitamins and minerals from food when possible, and the endometriosis diet is conveniently full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts that can provide so many of the nutrients that tackle brain fog.
You may have heard a lot of hype around essential fatty acids for cognitive function in the past few years, and there are good reasons for it. Omega-3 is important for brain health: It improves serotonin levels (the good mood chemical that is so helpful for depression) and even reduces the risk of conditions like dementia. If you’re following the endo diet, you can get sources of omega-3 from organic, farm-reared, oily fish (ocean-caught fish are often laden with toxins) and from walnuts and pumpkin seeds. You may have heard you can also find omega-3 in flax and soy, but as both of these foods can mimic estrogen, I avoid eating them if I can.
Believe it or not, good sources of glucose are also essential for the brain. The brain needs feeding, and it can only use energy in the form of glucose. There are different types of sugar, and the brain doesn’t need the type found in a pack of Haribo candy (and that kind of sugar would increase inflammation and pain, anyway). Instead, it needs glucose in the form of complex carbohydrates, found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Some of the best and healthiest sources of glucose are beetroot, sweet potatoes, and different types of beans.
Many other foods boost brain power and reduce endo brain fog, including blueberries, broccoli, and avocados. To find out what else to add to your diet, and why, read this source and the other links above.
Vitamins and minerals
As most of you know, I’m no stranger to depression and fatigue. A few years ago, it felt like my body and brain were falling apart. I was doing some research and discovered that my diet had almost zero sources of B12. I looked up the symptoms of B12 deficiency, and pretty much had them all. I bought myself a B vitamin blend, and within days, my mood changed, my ability to think and speak clearly improved, and my energy levels shot up. I’ve since discovered how important B12 and other vitamins and minerals are to brain health and supporting its function. The brain isn’t just a permanently developed organ — it actually needs nutrients to perform.
Some of the most important minerals for brain health include magnesium and vitamin D, and of course, my beloved B. Magnesium is essential for energy production (the brain needs energy, too!) and for optimum neurotransmitter functioning. The majority of us have low magnesium levels, but it can be easy to up your intake with daily supplements, magnesium baths, and magnesium spray. Magnesium is also great for reducing period cramps and it encourages sleep, so it’s one of my personal go-to supplements for endometriosis.
Vitamin D is another nutrient important for nerve growth and neurotransmitter functioning in the brain. You can up your body’s vitamin D production by getting more sunshine, but in a place like the United Kingdom, a supplement may be helpful.
The brain needs plenty of other nutrients to function well, but I have found that increasing my uptake of B vitamins, vitamin D, magnesium, and omega-3 have had a significant impact. However, I would recommend you read about all the other vitamins and minerals that aid brain function, then either get tested or try to work out where you’re lacking.
I find that whenever I practice mindfulness before I start my day, I’m sharper, more energized, and can think much more clearly. And there’s scientific evidence to back this up.
Many studies prove mindfulness helps us reduce anxiety and depression, and it has also been shown to improve our ability to focus, and even physically increases the size of the area that’s responsible for learning and memory.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.