Bust Brain Fog with Matcha
Matcha as brain food.
By: Sierra Wright, holistic nutritionist and owner of Cultivate Roots Wellness
Matcha is a powerful brain food that acts as a natural nootropic boosting cognitive functions, such as memory, concentration, attention and motivation. The nutritional properties work as a natural vasodilator and allow nutrients to be more bioavailable through enhancing fresh oxygen to our brains. Matcha supports the mental performance of our brains by maximizing nutrient availability, helping rid the body of excess impurities, and activating dopamine production in the brain.
First, what is brain fog though? Brain fog is not a medical term but can be described as confusion, unclear thoughts, forgetfulness, or hazy clarity. The identifying cause of brain fog can be challenging because of any dysfunction happening within the body. Overgrowth of candida, hormonal imbalances, anemia, heavy-metal toxicity and high levels of cortisol are a few examples. Working with a licensed practitioner to find the root cause of any "brain fog" is always prioritized.
What are toxins?
Toxins are free radicals caused by external and internal substances that can disrupt normal cell structure and function within the body. Things like pesticides, herbicides, pollution, poor diet choices, lack of body movement, malnutrition, smoking, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, and processed foods can contribute to toxins and negatively impact our health. Generally, the kidney and liver are effective at filtering out most of these accumulated toxins. However, if there is an excess, our bodies may not be able to keep up with sufficient elimination - further causing disharmony within our cellular matrix and leaving us vulnerable to free radical damage.
By incorporating more supportive detox foods and practices into our lives, such as lowering stress through mindful practices and increasing the flow of fresh oxygen to our blood, we can accelerate this filtration process. With fewer impurities in our bodies, we can make better, sharper choices in our lives.
Why are free radicals harmful?
Free radical damage can cause oxidative stress, which plays a significant role in developing chronic and degenerative ailments, such as cancer, arthritis, inflammatory diseases, aging, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Incorporating more antioxidant-rich foods into our daily lives can help neutralize free radicals by giving up some of their electrons. They act as a natural "off" switch for the free radicals in making this sacrifice by helping break a chain reaction that can affect other molecules in the cell and other cells in the body.  Antioxidants prevent free radical-induced tissue damage by preventing the formation of radicals, scavenging them, or promoting their decomposition. Our liver plays the most significant role in detoxification, where toxins get eliminated out of the body through our urine with the help of the kidneys into both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of our detoxification pathways.
Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter. Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells, also known as a chemical messenger. It plays a role in how we feel pressure, our ability to think and plan by encouraging the flow of information, in addition to being responsible for thought and emotion. The consumption of matcha leaf and its calming properties have been studied to show the activation of dopamine D1 receptors related to anxious behaviours. The presence of amino acid L-Theanine is suggested to contribute to neuroprotective behaviours in our brains with the increasing production of dopamine. 
Matcha for brain health
Matcha powder is abundant in antioxidants called polyphenols that help in combating free radicals, and stopping them from damaging the body's healthy cells. These specific antioxidants have also been studied to have powerful neuroprotective effects and may even help ward off dementia in some people.  The compounds found in matcha can support our bodies' natural detoxification pathways resulting in the exertion of impurities and toxins, resulting in a clearer mental state. The presence of L-Theanine in the matcha green tea leaf directly supports the pathway to our neurotransmitters in relation to our mental well-being. The conclusion? It's important to incorporate more antioxidant-rich foods into your life to help banish the clouds in our mind.
- Incorporate more antioxidant-rich foods to accelerate detoxification processes, such as matcha.
- Lower our stress levels through mindful practices.
- Increase fresh oxygen to our blood with breathing exercises and vasodilator boosting foods to support our circulatory system, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells while removing impurities.