Eating the wrong foods can have some serious negative effects on your waistline! This is a fact that most of us know all too well. But did you know that eating can harm your brain as well?
That’s right, eating the wrong foods can harm your intellect, your memory, your concentration, and your recall. Wondering what those foods are? Here are a few to stay FAR away from:
WHAT? But caffeine helps us stay awake, right?
Sadly, not so. The body processes caffeine quickly, sending it to the brain, where it sits for hours before being excreted. While it may not damage the brain, it’s certainly not good for it. In fact, when assessing mental health, psychologists tell patients to eliminate caffeine. Caffeine can also cause those with depression to enter manic states or suffer from panic attacks.
2. Processed Foods
Anything processed is likely to contain chemicals and additives that have NO place in your foods! These ingredients can affect not only your cognitive function, but even your behavior. Your body is incapable of processing them, so they turn into toxins and free radicals that affect your overall health. Hyper-allergenic foods can take a serious toll on brain health, and high-fat processed food can cause damage to the hypothalamus- the part of your brain responsible for your natural cycles and rhythms.
Monosodium glutamate is an excitotoxin, meaning it stimulates the nerves in your brain -sending signals of pleasure over the "delicious flavor" of whatever you’re eating. But it can over stimulate the neuron receptors, exhausting and eventually killing them. Definitely harmful for your brain!
High salt intake can cause your body to store too much fluid, which can reduce your body’s receptivity to the electric signals sent from your brain. High sodium diets can lead to poor vascular health, which is directly linked to a faster age-related cognitive decline.
While soy products are believed to be healthy, they do have a potential risk. Eating too much tofu can lead to a decline in memory, particularly among those over the age of 68. The phytoestrogens in tofu may reduce memory function and increase the risk of dementia.
The sugar rush isn’t always a good thing! Chronically (long term) high blood sugar levels can reduce memory, decrease your ability to learn new information, slow down insulin (which processes emotions and thoughts in the brain), and affect your brain negatively. High fructose corn syrup, in particular, is deleterious for your brain health.
7. Trans Fats
Saturated fat may no longer be the enemy, but trans fats are still TERRIBLE for your health! These fats increase cholesterol and clog the arteries, leading to reduced blood flow. They can also shrink the brain, cause an artificial stiffness in the blood vessels around the brain, and reduce brain plasticity. This reduces the amount of nerve transmission in your brain, and can increase inflammation (which leads to oxidation and decay).
8. "Diet" Anything
Aspartame is the sugar alternative used in just about every "diet" product around, and you’ll find that it’s one of the least healthy ingredients in your food. Animals fed aspartame developed brain tumors and suffered seizures. Eating aspartame can increase your production of glutamate and aspartate, two neurotransmitters that stimulate the brain cells. Too much stimulation, and the brain cells become exhausted and die. Aspartame can also increase levels of phenylalanine, an amino acid that, when over-produced, can throw off the healthy balance of neurochemicals.
See Also: How to Be a Happy and Healthy Person
If you want to have a healthy brain, you’d do well to limit (or, even better AVOID) these foods as much as possible! Your brain will thank you by working at full steam for years and decades to come.