Long Covid: Expert shares six easy tips on how to ‘banish’ brain fog – from diet to sleep
Morning Live: Dr Ranj Singh explains what 'brain fog' is
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Research from Cambridge University reports that a staggering 70 percent was found to suffer from brain fog. Fortunately, leading brain health expert, Professor James Goodwin (PhD), shares easy tips that could ease this difficult sign.
Professor Goodwin said: “When the pandemic hit, it was the milder, but more common neurological symptoms, including brain fog, which immediately sparked concern amongst physicians specialising in virus-related neurology.
“Covid wreaks havoc through the inflammatory responses in the body, which can be of such severity that it leads to damaging implications to long term brain health.”
The expert explained that certain groups of people are more at risk from suffering from long-term illness, including elderly or immuno-compromised people and those with underlying, long-term illnesses.
These effects of Covid put these groups but also others at the risk of an uncontrolled immune response.
Sadly, this can result in organ damage, “most concerningly to the brain”, he added.
But there’s plenty you can do to “banish” brain fog, ranging from your diet to exercise.
Lower your calorie intake.
The Director of Science for Brain Health Network advised: “Aim to establish a healthy calorie range to prevent overeating, with a reduction of about 10 percent recommended.
“This will reduce the output of reactive oxygen species, which drive inflammation and cellular damage.”
Although the professor recommended cutting your calorie intake, you should ensure that your nutrient intake remains the same.
Avoid a sugar rush
While treating yourself to sugary snacks can hit the craving right on the head, your mitochondria – cell organelles that produce most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell’s biochemical reactions – might not be that happy.
Professor Goodwin: “Astonishingly, certain neurons in the brain can actually feel a sudden rise in sugar levels and their mitochondria rapidly change shape and structure, which can lead to profound overall metabolic changes, such as type 2 diabetes.
“Lowering the consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars, removes this pressure on our precious mitochondria.”
The expert said: “This forces your brain cells to generate energy, especially important as we get older, due to an incipient loss of mitochondria as we age (one to two percent a year from middle age onwards).
“Exercise reduces this trend and can even reverse mitochondrial loss.
“After a period of consistent exercise, mitochondria increase in number, capable of generating more energy.”
This research-backed advice was found to increase the temperature of muscle tissue, increasing the efficiency of your mitochondria.
Professor Goodwin recommended opting for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, two to three times a week.
Value quality sleep
The professor said: “Hormones such as corticosteroids, which regulate our mitochondria, are extremely sensitive to disruption from poor sleep.
“Relaxation and meditation can also play a part in keeping our mitochondria healthy, reducing the effects of the stress hormone cortisol.”
Try essential oils
The expert’s last advice is also based on new “exciting” research.
He said: “Carvacrol, found commonly in the essential oils of thyme, oregano, black cumin, and wild bergamot, has been reported to block the entry of the Covid virus and has anti-viral, anti- inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-moderating properties.”
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