Your brain is the most important organ of your body. It controls all the other functions of your body, which includes the beating of heart, lungs breathing and all other systems in the body.
Because all the bodily functions are dependent on the functioning of your brain, it is important to keep it healthy with a wholesome healthy diet and exercise.
Some foods can negatively affect your brain functioning, including your memory, mood and increased risk of conditions like dementia.
Here is a list of certain foods, by cutting down on which, you can reduce your risk of brain-related problems.
Sugary drinks like soda, cola, juices, energy drinks and sports drinks expand your waistline, increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Not just this, they also have a negative effect on your brain. Type 2 diabetes has been linked with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Most sugary drinks are high in fructose, which is linked to obesity, high blood pressure, high blood fats and arterial dysfunction. These aspects of metabolic syndrome can lead to an increased risk of dementia. Diet high in sugar can lead to brain inflammation and impaired memory.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can have serious side effects on the brain. Chronic alcohol use can result in the reduction of brain volume, metabolic changes and disruption of neurotransmitters. People who consume too much alcohol are often deficient in vitamin B1, which can lead to a brain disorder called Wernicke’s encephalopathy, which in turn can develop Korsakoff’s syndrome. This syndrome can lead to severe damage to the brain, including memory loss, disturbance in eyesight, confusion and unsteadiness.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener found in sugar-free products. People who are trying to lose weight often choose to have these sugar-free products. Aspartame is made of phenylalanine, methanol and aspartic acid. This sweetener is linked with behavioural and cognitive problems, though the research is controversial. A study conducted in mice has found that repeated intake of aspartame is liked with impaired memory and increased oxidative stress in the brain. To avoid aspartate, simply cut artificial sweeteners and excess sugar from your diet.
Fish high in mercury
Mercury is a heavy metal containment and a neurological poison that can be stored for long in the animal tissue. Long-lived predatory fish are susceptible to accumulating mercury and carry amount over 1 million times the concentration of their surrounding water. If a person ingests mercury, it spreads all around their body, concentrating in the brain, liver and kidneys. In pregnant women, it also concentrates in the placenta and fetus. The mercury toxicity can lead to the disruption of the central nervous system and neurotransmitters, resulting in the damage of the brain. High mercury fish includes shark, swordfish, tuna, orange roughly, king mackerel and tilefish. However, it’s safe to have two to three serving of other low-mercury fishes per week.
Highly processed foods
Foods that are highly processed are high in sugar, added fats and salt. These foods include chips, sweets, instant noodles, microwave popcorn, sauces and ready-made meals. These foods are high in calories and low in nutrients, which can lead to obesity and have a negative impact on the brain. A small study of 243 people found that fat around the organs is associated with brain tissue damage. Another study found that a diet high in unhealthy ingredients resulted in lower levels of sugar metabolism in the brain and a decrease in brain tissues. The two factors that are the markers for Alzheimer’s disease. A study conducted on 18,080 people found that a diet high in processed foods and fried foods is associated with lower scores in learning and memory.
High trans-fat foods
Trans fats are the unsaturated fat that can have a detrimental effect on your brain health. The trans fat found naturally in animal products like dairy and meat are not a problem. It’s the industry-based trans fat, also called hydrogenated vegetable oil, which can be a problem. Studies have found that people who consume a higher amount of trans fat are at an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, lower brain volume, poorer memory and cognitive decline. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids can help protect against cognitive decline. You can increase the amount of omega 3 in your diet by eating foods like fish, chia seeds, walnuts and flax seeds.
Refined carbs include sugar and processed grains like white flour. Refined carbs have a high glycemic index, which means they get digested very quickly, resulting in sudden blood sugar spike. Foods that have a glycemic index have been found to impact brain functioning. Studies have found that people who consume foods high in fat and refined sugar have poorer memory. Another study found that elderly who consumed more than 58 per cent of their daily calories from carbohydrates had double the risk of mild mental impairment and dementia.
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