Have you ever tried typing on a keyboard that is missing keys? Probably not. Do you think you could read sentences that are typed on a keyboard missing keys?

“It tuns out that if you ty to ead sentenes that ae missing lettes, you an still undestand the majoity of the ontext. It takes moe fous, onentation, and effot, but you an still do it.”

As you can probably tell from the context above, you can still read sentences even if they’re missing letters. It takes more mental effort and some of the specifics are unclear.

What about if the letters are mixed up?

“I cnduo’t bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.”

The point of that message is that food is information to your brain just like a keyboard is information to your computer. Eating bad food is like typing on a broken keyboard.

Have you heard of the gut-brain connection?


The communication tool that food uses to talk to your brain is your bowels.

Food is the content (or the message).

Your bowels are the keyboard.

Your brain is the display (or monitor).

With this metaphor, there are two ways to make the brain “foggy” or unable to interpret the message.

Food: If you are giving the bowels bad information, then your bowels type strange, unusual messages to your brain. Naturally, your brain will not be able to function with the wrong messages. If you are eating high carbohydrate and saturated fats like most Americans, then you are contributing to your own brain fog.

Feed your brain better foods. Focus on eating mostly plants and not too much. If you want to track which foods affect your brain, then get a sheet of paper and fold it in half. As you eat foods throughout the day, record foods that make you feel good at the top and foods that give you brain fog or fatigue on the bottom. Then, after one week, rip off all the top pages and eat only those foods for a while.

Bowels: If your bowels poorly digest foods or improperly absorb foods, then your brain is receiving messages that have missing letters.   A healthy gut breaks down food into its microscopic pieces, and it absorbs all of the appropriate nutrients while leaving the unnecessary pieces inside the bowels. If your bowels are improperly absorbing nutrients, then your brain cannot comprehend the message. Or, it requires more mental effort to function, which causes brain fatigue and fog.
If you are experiencing bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, or heartburn, your bowels are trying to tell you something. They need help!

Complexity of foods correlates with the complexity of communication.

If you eat simple foods like toddlers often do (chicken nuggets, French fries, pizza), then you can expect your bowels to communicate like a 3 year old. Short-pointed phrases without much thought or meaning.

However, if you eat a complex diet full of multi-colored plant nutrients, the messages that your bowels send to your brain get much more complex. This allows for higher brain functioning and unlocks the brain fog.

Simple foods = Simple language

Complex foods = Complex language

Take home message:

Food: Eat the rainbow and eat mostly plants. Do not overeat.

Bowels: Restore function with an in-depth evaluation. You may need additional digestive enzymes, stomach acid (Betaine HCL), or probiotics. Avoid obvious triggers like gluten and dairy.

January 06, 2016 — Philip Oubre, MD

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