Frances Davison for
"Brain fog" hardly seems like a medical term, but according to functional medical expert William Cole, it shouldn't be taken lightly. "Of all the health problems I talk to patients about, there is one that is dramatically overlooked and not taken seriously: brain fog," he explains in an article for .
Cole describes this condition as "living in a haze" and says afflicted patients struggle to concentrate on simple tasks. "Instead of being engaged in the present moment, [they] feel like they're watching life from a distance. Their thinking is no longer sharp, and their brilliant minds are sidelined," he says.
If you've ever experienced this sense of mental fatigue, Cole believes inflammation could be the cause. "Too much inflammation in the body can cause your protective blood-brain barrier to be more permeable, leading to brain inflammation," he explains. "This inflammatory oxidative stress in the hypothalamus of the brain is the underlying cause of brain fog." Thankfully, there is a way to combat this frustrating issue.
This is exactly what a functional medicine expert would eat, drink, and do to beat brain fog, once and for all.
Spend time outdoors. The sun's infrared light "is essential to balancing the immune system and calming inflammation levels," says Cole.
Eat reishi mushrooms. "Adaptogens like astragalus and are two great ways to balance the immune system and gently boost energy."
Sip on herbal tea. "Try adding some and gotu kola to your morning," he says. "These two plant medicines have been shown to decrease oxidative cellular damage and increase cellular energy, paramount to overcoming brain fog."
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This post was originally published on March 14, 2017, and has since been updated.