You may have heard of “brain foods” that supply your brain with the nutrients it needs for proper function, healthy blood flow, and improved mental agility. Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and B-vitamins are beneficial for mental functioning. Conversely, there are foods on the opposite end of the spectrum, which can contribute to brain fog and a decreased ability to think clearly, reason, and comprehend. To keep your mind nimble and provide your brain cells with the fuel they need to keep you alert, avoid the foods that will prevent you from operating at peak mental performance.
The immediate effects of an episode of binge drinking on the brain are apparent in slurred speech, decreased reaction time, and impaired judgment. These effects tend to go away as alcohol leaves the body. However, chronic overuse or abuse of alcohol can have long-term effects on brain health. Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the dendrites in brain cells, impairing the brain’s ability to relay messages between brain cells. Furthermore, chronic alcoholism can contribute to Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. This syndrome occurs due to a deficiency in thiamine, often related to excessive alcohol use. Symptoms are confusion, memory loss, weakness, and vision problems.
This artificial sweetener provides a sweet taste to many products, including chewing gum, sodas, sugar-free desserts, and sugarless candies. While aspartame was created to combat the adverse health effects of sugar, this chemical is not without risk of its own. A study by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that aspartame may interfere with several critical processes in the brain. This study suggests that decreased brain function may be related to interference with amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids, neurons, and hormones in the brain.