Do you secretly fear that your forgetfulness and brain fog is linked to cognitive decline?

Many patients come into my office complaining of not being able to remember words, forgetting dates or misplacing their keys. These symptoms can happen 20 years before being diagnosed with cognitive decline.

Have you gone to your doctor and they’ve told you you’re just getting older? It is true. However, it is also possible that you are in the early stages of cognitive decline.

The first way to slow cognitive decline  and clear brain fog is with regulating blood sugar through intermittent fasting.

Making new brain cells is known as neurogenesis. The process of neurogenesis is insulin dependent. When blood sugar is balanced there is an adequate amount of insulin to make new brain cells. In other words, people with cognitive decline and brain fog have impaired neurogenesis.

A great way to regulate blood sugar is by intermittent fasting. You can start with a 12 hour fasting window. This looks like fasting at 8pm and eating again at 8am. If this feels good for you slowly work your way up to a 16 hour fasting window, one hour at a time. Patients often feel brain clarity when intermittent fasting and their brain fog goes away. If you need support implementing intermittent fasting, work with your healthcare provider.

The second way to slow cognitive decline and clear brain fog is brain fitness.

I’m talking about physical exercise. Exercise improves brain function by increasing mitogenesis. Mitochondria are small cells within each cell that produce energy and mitogenesis is the process of creating new mitochondria.

For instance, different kinds of exercise can produce mitochondria. Therefore, the more mitochondria you have, the more energy you have in your brain cells for all of these cognitive functions.

Exercises that improve brain health are high intensity training (for 10 to 15 minutes), explosive interval training and weight training. In addition, Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation have been linked to mitogenesis. Remember, physical exercise increases your mitochondria (your energy production cells), and your brain is full of them!

The third way to slow cognitive decline and clear brain fog is through a whole foods diet with healthy fats

Consuming a whole foods diet is vital for providing the vitamins and minerals needed for brain function.

The best healthy fats for brain health are Omega-3’s. These fats decrease inflammation and help with healing. In fact, your brain structure is partly made up of Omega-3’s. In other words, you require Omega-3’s to build your brain. Good sources of Omega-3’s include olives, olive oil, coconut, avocado, grass-fed beef and salmon. These are all wonderful foods that we can eat to help increase our brain function.

Let’s talk about the diets I typically encounter that negatively impact brain health. Those of us who are a little bit older were told that fats are inflammatory, they’re bad for you and can cause heart disease. However, a low fat diet is basically starving your brain. Getting the right amount of fats is vital to nourish and grow your brain.

The other thing I see is what I call ‘dirty keto’ diets. These are diets that are based on high fats but the wrong kinds of fats. This diet is mostly high in Omega-6 fats. Not only do these fats not help build a brain, they cause massive inflammation in the brain. This inflammation definitively contributes to cognitive decline, brain fog and poor brain function.

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