How To Hack Yourself A Better Brain

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We don’t know about you, but we feel foggy way too often. We know our attention spans have diminished to a depressing degree for obvious reasons, but we’re also feeling forgetful, overwhelmed and so mentally exhausted most days that all our overtaxed brains want are hours in front of the telly. This, we feel, is a vicious cycle. We’re shocking our minds awake every morning with caffeine and then lulling them to sleep at night with television—and during those hours in between we seriously struggle. If you, like us, feel your tired brain is holding you back, here are some insights from Parsley Health‘s Robin Berzin, MD, as to why this is happening, plus ways to make your mind perform again.

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"Food sensitivities, imbalances in gut bacteria called the microbiome, high cortisol levels, high blood sugar and nutrient deficiencies can all cause brain fog, difficulty concentrating and poor short-term memory."

"The number-one thing you can do, food-wise, is to start a 21-day elimination diet that cuts out gluten, wheat, refined carbs, processed food and added sugar. You might initially feel more tired as your body shifts from dependence on metabolizing these foods, but by week three, many people feel a huge difference."

"For brain function, ensure you're getting adequate vitamin B12, folate and B6. In addition, take a high quality source of cod liver oil or fish oil—at least 2 grams daily—as omega-3 fatty acids are powerful brain food. In addition, probiotics can be a great way to improve GI health and regular elimination, both of which can improve mental focus. We like Prescript Assist, which is a well-studied soil-based probiotic."

"Be sure you're not experiencing digital dementia, a new phenomenon linked by neuroscientists to overuse of computers and mobile devices. Take an hour each day to meditate, do yoga, go for a walk or do another activity totally screen-free."