It’s no secret that what you eat can profoundly affect your mental clarity. As the old saying goes – you are what you eat – and if you’re eating a diet heavy in processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats, you’re likely not doing your mental clarity any favors.
However, certain herbs and foods can help reduce mental fog and promote clarity of thought. Ultimately helping to improve blood flow to the brain, reduce inflammation, and provide essential nutrients that the brain needs to function optimally.
Some of the best herbs for mental clarity include:
- Bacopa monnieri
- Rhodiola rosea
- Lion’s Mane
- Ginkgo Biloba
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at each of these powerful herbs for mental clarity and provide you with actionable steps you can take to stop mental fog in its tracks.
6 Powerful Herbs for Mental Clarity
Many different herbs can be helpful for mental clarity. Ashwagandha is one of the most popular herbs in this category and has been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicine.
Ashwagandha is known for improving cognitive function and reducing stress levels, with research showing that it can help improve memory and attention span.
Given it can also help to lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone that can lead to mental fog and feelings of overwhelm, it’s no wonder that ashwagandha is such a popular herb for clarity of thought.
2. Bacopa Monnieri
Bacopa monnieri is a herb native to India and has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It is an annual herb that grows in wet areas and is known for its ability to improve memory and cognitive function.
Bacopa monnieri is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the brain from free radical damage. It is also known to improve cognitive function and memory.
3. Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola rosea is an herb that has been used for centuries to improve mental clarity and cognitive function. Also known as “golden root,” rhodiola rosea is a perennial plant that grows in cold, mountainous regions of Europe and Asia.
By helping to increase levels of neurotransmitters in the brain (more precisely – serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine), rhodiola rosea can help to improve cognitive function and memory, which in turn can help to reduce mental fog.
Rhodiola rosea is also a rich source of antioxidants, which help to protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals. If you are looking for a herb to improve your mental clarity, rhodiola rosea is an excellent option.
4. Lion’s Mane
Although not strictly a herb, Lion’s Mane is a type of edible mushroom that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Lion’s Mane is known for its ability to improve cognitive function and memory, which makes it a good option for those seeking herbs for mental clarity.
Lion’s Mane is rich in compounds called hericystins and erinacines, which are known to promote nerve growth factor (NGF) – a protein that helps support nerve cell growth and development.
And considering that cognitive function relies on healthy nerve cells, it’s no wonder that Lion’s Mane is such a beneficial compound when it comes to clarity of thought.
Turmeric is a powerful herb that has been used for centuries in Eastern medicine to treat a wide range of conditions. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Curcumin has also been shown to boost cognitive function and protect the brain against age-related decline. In addition, turmeric can help to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Turmeric is also helpful for those who exercise regularly, as it can help to reduce exercise-induced inflammation. So don’t be surprised to see it on the ingredients list of many joint health supplements.
6. Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is a tree native to China and is one of the oldest living tree species known for its ability to improve blood circulation and oxygenation to the brain.
Ginkgo biloba is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the brain from free radical damage. It is also known to improve cognitive function and memory.
Take a gander at our guide to the Best Nootropics for Studying, Memory, Creativity, and Focus if you’re looking for an easy way to get your daily dose of these powerful herbs.
10 Steps to Eliminate Brain Fog
Now that we’ve covered some of the best herbs for mental clarity let’s take a look at some practical steps you can take to start achieving greater clarity of thought today.
1. Eat more omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are renowned for their anti-inflammatory effects and ability to promote brain health. So if you want to improve your mental clarity, you must ensure you get enough of these essential nutrients.
You can find omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as in certain plant-based oils such as flaxseed and chia seed oil.
A high-quality omega-3 supplement is also an option if you’re not able to get enough omega-3s through your diet. Just be sure to look for a product that contains both EPA and DHA, the two most important types of omega-3 fatty acids for brain health.
2. Limit your intake of refined carbs and sugar.
Eating so-called ‘bad’ foods is fine in moderation, but regularly indulging in a diet high in refined carbs and sugar will likely harm your mental clarity.
Brain fog and fatigue can often result from blood sugar highs and lows, so if you want to improve your mental clarity, it’s important to limit your intake of refined carbs and sugar.
Instead, focus on eating more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods will help to stabilize blood sugar levels and provide your body with the slow-burning energy it needs to function at its best.
3. Get plenty of protein.
Eating enough protein is essential for maintaining a healthy body and a sharp mind. Protein provides the building blocks for neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which play an important role in mood, focus, and energy levels .
So if you want to improve your mental clarity, include plenty of protein-rich foods in your diet. Good protein sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, and nuts.
4. Eat more antioxidant-rich foods.
Free radicals can damage the brain, leading to inflammation and cell damage if left unchecked. That’s why it’s essential to include plenty of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet if you’re looking to improve mental clarity.
Antioxidant-rich foods help neutralize free radicals and protect the brain against damage, so you can feel sharper and more focused.
Looking to up your intake? Then be sure to add plenty of antioxidant-rich foods to your diet, including blueberries, dark chocolate, and green leafy vegetables.
5. Drink plenty of water.
Most of us have experienced that mid-afternoon energy slump when it feels like our brains are running in slow motion. We all know that feeling, and we’ve all probably tried different things to try to snap out of it.
But did you know that one of the simplest things you can do to boost your brain power is to drink plenty of water? That’s right – staying hydrated is essential for maintaining mental clarity.
When we’re even slightly dehydrated, our brain cells start to shrivel up, which impairs our cognitive function . So next time you feel foggy-headed, reach for a glass of water instead of a cup of coffee. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel.
6. Get enough sleep.
It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. Among other things, sleep helps repair and rejuvenate the brain, and it’s also crucial for consolidating memories and ensuring that we can focus and concentrate during the day.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, it will negatively impact your mental clarity since you’ll be more prone to brain fog and fatigue. So make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and you’ll notice a big difference in how you feel during the day.
7. Take supplements.
We’ve already mentioned omega-3s, but other supplements can also help to improve mental clarity, including those that contain the herbs we’ve already mentioned – ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, and turmeric.
These herbs have all been shown to affect cognitive function positively, so if you’re looking for an extra edge, consider adding them to your supplement regimen.
However, consider speaking to a healthcare professional before taking any supplements, as they may interact with medications you’re already taking.
8. Exercise regularly.
Most people are familiar with the physical benefits of exercise, but few are aware of its benefits for mental clarity. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, providing it with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function at its best.
Exercise also helps reduce stress hormones, which can interfere with cognitive function. High stress levels have been linked to brain fog symptoms, so keeping your stress levels in check is important for maintaining mental clarity.
Regular exercise is the perfect way to do this as it helps to clear the mind, release endorphins, and improve sleep quality – all of which help to keep mental fog at bay and stress levels in check.
9. Manage stress.
As we just mentioned, stress can have a negative impact on cognitive function, so it’s important to find ways to manage it if you want to maintain mental clarity.
There are many different ways to do this, but some of the most effective include exercise, meditation, and journaling. Experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you.
When stress becomes chronic, it can lead to more serious problems like anxiety and depression, so it’s important to address it before it gets to that point.
If you’re struggling to manage your stress on your own, consider speaking to a therapist or counselor who can help you develop a healthy coping strategy.
10. See your doctor.
If you’re struggling with mental clarity, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions. Conditions like anemia, thyroid problems, and sleep disorders can contribute to brain fog and cognitive impairment.
Bringing up your concerns with your doctor is the first step in finding out what might be causing your symptoms and getting the treatment you need.
Final Thoughts on Herbs for Mental Clarity
Achieving mental clarity can sometimes seem like an uphill battle. Between work, family, and social obligations, it’s easy to let our minds become cluttered and unfocused.
Fortunately, we can do many simple things to improve our mental clarity, including adding herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, and turmeric to our supplement regimen.
Just remember that these herbs are only part of the solution – to experience their full benefits, we also need to ensure we get enough sleep, exercise, and manage our stress levels.
Implementing the tips discussed here will help to clear the mental fog and restore focus and clarity. But if all else fails, don’t forget to see your doctor, who can provide additional support and treatment if necessary.