Any tips for easing brain fog?

Answered on December 12, 2015
Created November 21, 2015 at 4:47 PM


I've been experiencing problems with brain fog and i'm looking for ways to solve the problem. I went to my doctor about it but he just dismissed me and denied the existence of brain fog completely. I told him my family has a history of diabetes, dementia, parkinsons and i was concerned about it, but because i'm only 20, he completely disregarded what I was trying to say. I've found that i get this reaction only when eating grains, table sugar or soy (either by accident or when im starving and i can't find anything healthy in the nearest store). I've tried adding more ats which helped slightly but if I eat too much fat i get chest pains and other nasty reactions to it. ANy advice would be appreciated?


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on November 24, 2015
at 08:58 PM

I recently saw some paper about luteolin helping with brain fog.

The good news is that it's in parsley and cellery as well as a ton of other stuff, so you don't necessarily have to use supplements.  The bad news is that the article mentioned that a liposomal formulation was used...  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4490655/

Parsley is also high in Co-Q 10 which is very beneficial, but since you're young, you probably make plenty of Co-Q 10.

However, if you have brain fog when eating grains or soy you certainly need to stop.  That's a sign of an autoimmune disease and actual brain damage being caused.  Beware of hidden sources of grains when eating out.  i.e. stuff that's fried may have a flour coating that's not easily visible, or corn starch could be used as a thickener, canned tuna may have soy to increase protein content, etc.

Edit: A few more things:

Since you're noticing brain fog when you consume wheat/soy/etc. this indicates you have a leaky gut (a leaky blood-brain-barrier goes hand in hand with this.)  To heal this you should consume bone broth as well as about 5-20g of L-Glutamine/day.  You can get a large tub of L-Glutamine powder from health food stores (or Amazon).

Bone broth's very easy to make, just get a bunch of bones from whatever you can, for example, if you had a whole roasted chicken, strip all the meat off the chicken and take the bones and put them in water with a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of vinegar, bring it to a boil, then keep it covered and at a simmer for 24h.  Replace the water if needed.  Let it cool, skim off the fat (it's been oxidized so throw it away) fish out and discard the bones.  You can then turn this into soup, or just drink it straight.  It's best if you make this in a crockpot as it will make it much easier

One thing I've found helpful - in the MCT/coconut oil vein is butyrate.  You can get sodium butyrate which is also a SCFA, the stuff has a very strong cheese odor, so it might be worth putting the capsules in the freezer.  But it does seem to have a very beneficial effect.  (Butyrate is the gut's energy source, when there are gut issues, sometimes the beneficial bacteria that produce butyrate have been killed off by antibiotics or harmful pathogens and butyrate is low, so supplementing will help.)  This can also help the brain as well.


You could add a few other things to this.  Rhodiola can certainly help with brain fog.  It's very beneficial for brain issues.

In emergency cases, I've found that I can compensate brain fog events with some racetams, but go easy on those, as they can disturb sleep and cause bigger problems.  But taking a smaller dose of them can help.  (I have a different problem in that if I'm exposed to wheat/soy/corn, etc. I get a delayed acid reflux reaction at night, which causes me to lose sleep, on those days, I take half a dose of racetams to get through the day.)  Supposedly they work by increasing oxigen and communication between the two halves of the brain.

Be sure to eat things like wild caught salmon, blue/black/raspberies, their flavinoids will help cut down on inflammation which will help.  The whole "eat the rainbow" of veggies and fruit idea is a very good one.  Get lots of greens, lots of berries, salmon contains some very good antioxidants, etc.

In terms of fish oil, krill oil would be the best, but there's one source most people don't know about which is cod liver.  Don't bother with cod liver oil, instead find "canned cod livers in their oil" - they don't taste too fishy and and they're very tasty.  These also come with a lot of vitamin A, D, as well as omega 3's and loads of vitamin B's.  They are a very very health promoting food.  I think Amazon has like a 6 pack of these cans for $30, or if you have a Russian or Icelandic/Norweigian/Sweedish store near you, you might find then there.  One can lasts me more than a week - just eat a teaspoon a day and put the rest in the freezer.  The brand I have is King Oscar.

You could also get some high ORAC greens powders.  These claim to be gluten free, though I'm a bit weary that they contain rye or wheat grass - though I do react to rye and wheat, I haven't reacted to these, so I guess they're clean.  These are basically concentrated greens that have been turned into a powder.  It's a convenient way to get a ton of greens down quickly.  (OfC eating a lot of actual greens is much better, but you'd need to eat huge portions daily.)

High quality chocolate bars that are unflavored and are high in cocoa content and contain real cocoa butter, stuff like 90% and higher, (even 80%) are very good for the brain as well.  Plus their flavinoids are very potent antioxidants too.  The cocoa butter is a high quality beneficial fat as well.  You could also get raw cocoa powder and mix that into coffee or whatever else you drink.

I'd also be careful of sugar intake, in the long term this can cause problems, both with brain fog as well as gut flora issues.



on December 11, 2015
at 07:56 PM

i am going to pay attention to this and report to the forum. I have huge amounts of smallage, a very green wild celery that grows spontaneously in my garden. In winter, I save a dozen or so giant ziploc bags in the freezer for use in broth during the winter. But I wonder if luteolin is destroyed by near-boiling temperatures.

Medium avatar

on November 27, 2015
at 04:18 AM

Hey PrimalNick,

First off, this sort of mental blur is something that I have been battling my whole life until I stumbled across the Paleo lifestyle and my own personal biohacking techniques developed through my experiences, and they all remove the dualistic Mind vs. Body view and takes more of a simplistic, primal approach.

Here are my big 5:

1. Get your dirt - Thoughts aren't free, they use up resources in the brain and many of those resources we cannot develop on our own or on the typical American diet. As we think, we use up those resources and they need to be replenished. One of the most important resources most often overlooked is Lithium. I'm not talking of prescription Lithium that needs to be taken in suicidally toxic doses to help people. I'm talking about natural Lithium from dirt and water. We are depleting ourselves of Lithium and other nutrients that we cannot find otherwise eating foods that grow in the dirt (carrots, beets, sweet potatoes), or water that has not been strip filtered.

2. Get your sleep - Your body needs time to rest and catch up with your activities of the day, and don't skip on this one. Some people can live with 5 hours of sleep and be fine, but analytical people REQUIRE MORE SLEEP than others who aren't required to be as engaged. Everyone has their own personal number, and it changes all the time. Just make sure you have enough so you don't have to constantly rely on stimulants throughout the day to stay awake.

3. Meditate... - Just as your body needs sleep, so does your mind. Just think, when you are in REM, your mind is working faster than it does throughout the day. so how do we rest our minds? Meditation. Try out a sitting meditation practice. Even a 2 to 5 minute session a day can do huge wonders. From there, the sky is the limit to how far you would like to take that. There are some really awesome guided meditations also on Youtube. I personally love meditations made by TheHonestGuys and they have some really fun ones. They even have some fun Middle Earth Meditations that are really cool if you're into that.

4. Walk and sprint, in NATURE - The need for mediation comes from our society's disconnect from nature. Our fight or flight responses now come more from our meeting with our boss than a meeting with a saber tooth cat. A lot of us don't see much other than the inside of the same room for hours upon hours everyday, and we are intellectual creatures that evolved to use much more than that. Remove the fog by reconnecting with the present. Enjoy your walks on trails and make them leisurely. Try walking in dirt barefoot. It's awesome for your posture and feels amazing. (Just watch out for sharp things of course). And SPRINT. Sprint like something is chasing you. There is nothing better at waking you up from a fog than the urgency to save your life. Plus.. ironically, it's fun ;)

5. Replace the synthetic with the natural - Find ways to replace pharmaceutical remedies, but do it in a smart way. Please don't think you can replace an antidepressant or antipsychotic with fish oil from day one. Many people have tried, and that success rate isn't high or even existent at all. If you take either, explore to find nature foods that you could some day replace concentrated chemicals (if you take them). But please, do it in a controlled, comfortable setting tapering off doses and with trusted doctor supervision. It is a very hard thing to do and it won't be easy. Since everyone has their own brain chemistry, consciousness, biomes, and well, EVERYTHING, there will never be a one size fit all. But look at increasing natural anti-inflammatory and Omega-3s in your diet. Brain inflammation can cause brain fog and the brain is an Omega-3 burning machine so tart cherries and more salmon are a great place to start.

This sort of thing is a very tough topic especially when working with a doctor who says, "brain fog doesn't exist", but play with these things and see what works for you in your life. If you find out something cool and new please let us know! You're only 20, you have a lot in front of you in life. I wish you nothing but the best of luck!

- PrimalProgrammer



on November 27, 2015
at 02:46 PM

Well said.


Medium avatar

on December 12, 2015
at 11:35 PM

I think I know what you mean by "brain fog", but I'm not sure. When I started adding MSM to my drinking water, I began to feel as if I was thinking more clearly. But I didn't feel, previously, that there was anything wrong. So I'm not sure. MSM is just dietary sulphur, which might explain it, as modern humans (and pets) probably don't get enough. I'm not sure if a paleo diet would increase sulphur or decrease it - I don't really care. I like MSM in water. It tastes like the water in Germany. I use a half teaspoon per 20 oz glass of water and drink...I don't know...about 4 or 5 glasses per day? It really tastes good - to me. I don't know. Like mineral water or something. Plus I drink more water, so...



on December 09, 2015
at 04:54 AM

raydawg has hit it on the head with leaky gut & leaky blood brain barrier (bbb). 

this also fits with your other question/symptoms; Everything i eat makes me tired 

Note that you do not have to have celiac (coeliac) disease or have an issue with gluten (Non-celiac gluten sensitivity) to have leaky gut/bbb issues. Although you may have one of these. 

There are other proteins in grains that could be problematic for you (examples).


Medium avatar

on November 23, 2015
at 04:13 PM

Honestly I'm excited to see answers to this, as I suffer from brain fog as well- I am on two different anti-depressents that I suspect are the culprit. 

To help answer your question, there is strong research that coconut oil aids in mental health- studies have shown it is very helpful to Alzheimers patients, just as effective as many of the pharmeceuticals. Are you cooking with coconut oil or using it in your meals? 



on November 23, 2015
at 07:04 PM

I have but its very expensive and if I eat lots of it i break out



on November 27, 2015
at 02:43 PM

You could try MCT oil instead of coconut oil.  It's far more concentrated, and ofc, more expensive, but you'd need a lot less of it, for the good effects.  For example you'd start with half a teaspoon and work your way up.

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