7 Dangerous Foods That Can Damage Your Brain

The most valuable organ in your body is arguably your brain. Sure, you can’t survive without several others but the brain controls them all. And it not only keeps your heart beating and your lungs breathing all the time, it’s the repository of all that makes you, you. All of your thought processes, feelings, and memories come from or reside within the brain.

Obviously, keeping that most vital organ happy and healthy is essential. Better nutrition can make a significant difference between a clear brain with a sense of intent and a foggy brain with a sense of desperation. Healthy eating, as a daily habit, also slows down the age-related cognitive decline and reduces the threat of developing dementia.

On the other side, there are food products that are the worst for your brain. Indulge too often, and you are likely to face uncertainty, depression, and slowed down reactions. In a vicious cycle, the depressed brain has a poor ability to make better decisions to improve.

If you realize you’ve got the bad practices, it’s time to begin scaling back. Your brain won’t like a major dietary shift at once, and even if you believe it’s the right choice, you’ll struggle to keep it going. Rather, eliminate the following 7 foods from your lifestyle one by one, allowing a gradual change that will preserve your brain’s wellbeing for a long time. The surprising thing to quit is probably # 7.

  1. Trans Fats

The great news is, not all the fats are bad for you. Nonetheless, a particular form of fat called trans fat has a harmful effect on the brain. Trans fats are commonly present in animal products, including meat and dairy products, but they are not as problematic as trans fats manufactured industrially, which are injected into all kinds of processed foods.

Excessive consumption of trans fat in the form of margarine, baked goods, chips and crackers, frozen and processed foods, and creamy beverages leads to higher risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Research has shown that big trans fat consumption also causes to earlier cognitive decline, lower brain volume, and weaker memory.

2. Sugary Drinks

Sugary beverages such as soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and even fruit juice have little to no nutritional benefits. Daily consumption of sugary drinks can lead to a wide variety of physical disabilities, including type two diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and yes – Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

A higher intake of fructose, a mega-concentrated sweetener used in many sugary drinks, has been shown to impair cognitive efficiency, memory, overall brain function, and the development of new brain neurons. It can also contribute to increased inflammation of the brain, which adversely affects all forms of brain function.

  1. Refined Carbs

Refined carbs are products made from processed grains. They may not actually taste sweet, but they turn into sugar very easily in your body. It’s because the refining process takes all the fiber and nutrients out of the initial grain. A meal rich in processed carbs is a high glycemic load that increases the blood sugar. It triggers the same complications as if you had consumed pure sugar, including memory loss, inflammation, and a higher chance of developing dementia. Research has shown that children who eat high-refined carbohydrate diets perform lower than nonverbal IQ tests.   Elderly people who consume more than 58% of their daily calories in processed carbohydrates are at double the risk of mental decline and dementia than those who eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

4. Processed and Packaged Foods

Processed and processed foods strip essential nutrients from whole foods and substitute them with sugar, fat, and salt. This is our so-called Western diet, one that depends on comfort and fast food over slow-cooked home-made meals. So we get it – people are too busy, and sometimes you can’t make your own sauces, dressings, pastries, and baked goods.

 

That being said, it is necessary to prepare with whole healthier options as much as you can, since the Western diet is known for creating an accumulation of fat around vital organs. It, in effect, is associated with brain tissue harm and a decrease in brain volume. It can also cause damage to the blood-brain barrier, the membrane responsible for shielding the brain from harmful substances

5. Alcohol

It’s common to assume that alcohol can damage the brain, knowing how much idiotic things people seem to do under their influence. Feeling tipsy every once in a while is usually not going to do serious harm, but alcoholism and binge drinking will do it.

Chronic alcohol intake appears to compress the brain and destroy the neurotransmitters the brain uses to communicate. Alcoholics most often develop a vitamin B1 deficiency that may lead to the development of Korsakoff Syndrome. This disorder is accountable for serious brain damage that causes loss of memory, uncertainty, unsteadiness, and occasional vision loss.

6. Fish High in Mercury

Fish is usually a safe and balanced addition to your diet. It is low in saturated fat and includes safe omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin B12, zinc, iron and magnesium. Though, some fish are especially high in mercury, which is a heavy metal contaminant and a neurological toxin. Mercury has been preserved in animal tissue (including human) for a long time.

Fish that are long-lived and predatory appear to have the greatest proportion of mercury in their flesh. They eat other fish that bear lower levels of mercury as long as they live. Over a lifetime, these fish will produce 1 million times the amount of mercury in the water they swim in. It is safer to avoid or severely restrict your intake of tuna, swordfish, orange rough, king mackerel, shark, and tilefish in order to prevent the destruction of your brain’s neurotransmitters.

7. Aspartame

Regrettably, it is not possible to avoid the damage of too much sugar by substituting it with an artificial sweetener, especially not aspartame. Though the producers of this sugar substitute claim that it is healthy, numerous studies have associated aspartame with behavioral and cognitive problems. As a chemical stressor, it can inflict deleterious effects on the ability to learn and control emotions.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that your diet serves a significant role in the wellbeing of your brain throughout your lifetime. Avoiding or drastically restricting your intake of 7 foods on our list will boost your cognitive ability every day as well as in the future when the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia rises.

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