What you eat can have a negative impact on your memory, cognitive function, and emotional health. When it comes to nutrition, it must be mentioned that there are all sorts of foods: some super-foods are your greatest allies against extra pounds, while others stimulate your cognitive function and improve your memory. On the other hand, some foods are known to have a devastating effect on your brain functioning, and nutritionists advise us to consume them moderately in order to limit their negative impact.
You know avocados, berries, and dark chocolate (score!) do the head good. But for every brain food out there, there’s another food—sometimes an otherwise healthy one—that’s ready to sap your smarts. Having said that, here are the top 7 foods that are unhealthy for your brain and worse- that kill your intelligence, slowly but surely.
Top 7 foods that are unhealthy for your brain:
Alcohol is known to harm your liver in the long run, and it also causes what is known as “brain fog”. Like the name suggests, the term of brain fog refers to a feeling of mental confusion, it acts like a cloud that impacts your ability to think clearly, as well as your memory. If you cannot remember common item names, or you cannot recall certain events or you are not sure whether they were dreams or they actually happened then this might be influenced by the high alcohol intake which impacts the balance of the brain. Fortunately, these symptoms are reversible provided that you stop consuming alcohol, or you limit your intake to one or two drinks per week.
2. Sugary products
Sugar and sugary products are bad not only for your waistline, but for your brain function as well. Long-term consumption of sugar can create a wealth of neurological problems, and it can also interfere with your memory. It’s sugar, but foods and ingredients high in this specific type of sugar may affect the brain differently that regular table sugar, which has about equal parts fructose and glucose.
3. Processed Or Pre-Cooked Foods
Processed or pre-cooked foods also impact your central nervous system and they also increase the risk of developing a degenerative brain disorder later in live (such as Alzheimer’s disease). Your blood pressure and heart health are intimately linked, and high systolic blood pressure is associated with increased cognitive decline.
4. Junk Food
A recent study that was performed at the University of Montreal has revealed that junk food can change the chemicals in the brains, thus leading to symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. These foods affect the production of dopamine, an important chemical that promotes happiness and an overall feeling of well-being. Moreover, dopamine also supports the cognitive function, the learning capacity, alertness, motivation and memory. This is why it is important to avoid all foods that contain excessive fat.
5. Fried Food
Almost all processed foods contain chemicals, dyes, additives, artificial flavors, preservatives and such – these can affect the behavior and the cognitive functioning due to the chemical that causes hyperactivity, both in children and in adults. Fried or processed foods slowly destroy the nerve cells located in the brain.
6. Processed Protein
Proteins are the building blocks of muscles and they are very important for the proper functioning of your body. Meat is the richest source of high-quality protein, but avoid overly processed protein such as hot dogs, salami, sausages and such. Unlike the natural proteins that help your body insulate the nervous system, processed proteins do exactly the opposite. Opt for natural fish (especially tuna and salmon), dairy, walnuts and seeds as these are natural, high-quality protein sources.
7. Trans Fat
Trans fats can also have other effects on your brain: if consumed for too long, they can result in a sort of brain shrinkage that is somewhat similar to the shrinkage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. This brain shrinkage takes place due to the fact that trans fats slowly damage the arteries – you can prevent this and lower the stroke risk by simply limiting your intake of trans fats.
As much as possible we avoid taking too much of these 7 foods that are unhealthy for your brain. We have all heard the touted benefits of “smart” foods that can boost our brain power by increasing alertness, memory, and even brain cell production. While we try to eat our way to good physical and mental health, we often ingest willingly, and unknowingly, foods that can have an impact on our brain development.