One of the more debilitating symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. I clearly remember a phase where I really struggled with this, having a conversation with someone and not being able to think quickly or find particular words I was looking for, which then set off hot flushes. Not a good look when you are trying to make a good impression.
Thankfully, there is lots you can do from a nutrition perspective, but the quickest and easiest one to implement is to drink more water! Aim to sip water regularly throughout the day rather than downing in one go to get the full benefit and avoid needing the loo every 5 minutes. I find using a water bottle makes this much easier for me. If you get a bit sick of water or fancy something warmer in this weather, you can opt for herbal or decaffeinated drinks. The Wild Women Tea Club have a lovely menopause support pack ‘Queen Bee’ that contains teas to give relief from menopause symptoms.
Getting more sleep will also help but I’m aware this can also be difficult to achieve at times. Following the tips I’ve highlighted here will help with this too.
Cut down on sugar
This includes alcohol, dried fruits, fruit juices and smoothies (yes even that homemade one that you think it healthy!) white bread and pasta. Our ability to respond to insulin is compromised as we transition through perimenopause. Keeping your blood sugar as balanced as possible keeps you on an even keel energy wise, which helps to give you clarity of thought. Including healthy fats, protein and plenty of vegetables at each meal will help with this as they slow your digestion down.
Eating a wide variety of vegetables and some wholegrains will help your microbiome to flourish. A healthy microbiome is an essential part of keeping mentally sharp. You can read more about this in my post ‘Eat to beat menopause anxiety and depression’
Examples include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and live yoghurt. Some studies have shown that fermented foods can slow the digestion of carbohydrates, which in turn reduced blood sugar fluctuations. They also provide a welcome boost of good bacteria to your gut where feel good, neurotransmitters are produced. Happy gut, happy brain!
These can be found in oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines). Flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds, rapeseed and olive oils and walnuts. These help to regulate hormone production, as well as giving you a steady source of energy. Keeping your energy levels stable prevents slumps where the brain fog can kick in.