Your brain is working 24/7, taking care of your breathing, your heartbeat, your movements, and your thoughts. Imagine you have an expensive car and it will only run on premium fuel. Likewise, your brain is important to the functioning of your body, and it needs to be fed the nutrients it needs to continue doing its job.
Unhealthy food has become so common, especially since it’s fast and quick to consume, but it has left our brains sluggish, forgetful, depressed, and in a fog. This creates inflammation, which is the start of chronic disease. These are eight foods to avoid in order to keep your brain in top shape.
8. Simple Refined Carbohydrates
Many simple carbs are made of processed foods, which contains highly processed, refined grains like white flour. These impair your memory and add to your sugar intake. Simple carbs include quick meals like a sausage breakfast sandwich, donuts, muffins, French fries, or any bag or boxed instant food.
7. High Fat, Fried Foods
Partially hydrogenated fats, or trans fats, are in many prepared foods but are extremely common in fried foods. This category includes French fries, potato chips, donuts, egg rolls, and deep fried fish or chicken. A study found that trans fat damages the hypothalamus region of the brain, the area in charge of the hormones that regulate your thirst, hunger, sleep, and moods. Too much of these tasty fried foods can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s.
6. Food with Added Sugar
Natural sugars, like what is in a pineapple slice or a strawberry, are A-OK. But when you look at the ingredient list and see that any kind of sugar is in the top three listed ingredients, that means it has more added sugar. This can increase your blood sugar level and inflammation, which damages your nerves. It also affects the hippocampus or your memory control center part of the brain, according to a study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.
Tuna is one fish that is high in the toxin mercury, which affects your cognitive abilities. It is best to eat it infrequently, maybe two or three times a month. Try salmon, anchovies or sardines; all are safe and high in good omega-3 essential fatty acids that are good for the brain.
4. Sweet, Sugary Drinks
Soft drinks or any prepared high energy, carbonated juice drink can increase your chances of type 2 diabetes. Avoid these drinks to improve the agility of your brain and decrease the risk of dementia. We do not need these added sugar drinks!Related: The MIND Diet and 10 Foods to Help Prevent Alzheimer’s and Brain Disease
3. Alcohol in Excess
In moderation, alcohol is all right, but in excess it could become chronic or excessive drinking. This much alcohol can shrink your brain, causing disruption and metabolic changes of your nerve’s transmitters. A study published in The Lancet in February 2018 found that 57% of cases had early onset of dementia related to chronic heavy drinking.
2. Artificial Sweeteners, Especially Aspartame
There are many kinds of artificial sweeteners, but the most common is aspartame, which is 200 times sweeter than regular sugar. It has been used for many years in prepared foods and beverages since it has zero calories. That is why so many no-calorie drinks and sweeteners like Diet Coke, Zero Coke, Equal, and Nutrasweet have become so popular.
There are some genetic issues with some of the amino acids involved with aspartame, but more commonly people use this no-calorie sweetener as an excuse to overuse it. This causes more obesity, metabolic disease, and diabetes because the body still recognizes it as sugar.
1. Foods with Additives or Toxins
Many conventional fruits and vegetables are coated with toxic agricultural chemicals, and people who have higher levels of these pesticides in their blood have a higher risk of brain and nervous system problems. It also increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. It is best to use organic, or at least avoid the fruits and veggies on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list.Related: 11 Masked Symptoms of a Brain Tumor You Cannot Ignore