Your waistline is not the only reason to keep watch on your food intake. In fact, what you consume can actually hurt your brain, thereby causing a huge negative impact on your memory irrespective of your age. Yes, there are certain types of food that can stimulate the production of toxins in your body. Some foods could develop build-ups in your brain, and lead to severe inflammation. It will mess up with your cognitive function and you will end up damaging your memory slowly. In order to boost your memory and keep up with your mental clarity, you should stay away from those intelligence killing foods.
Minimize intake of 10 Foods that are Bad for your Brain
1. Trans Fats
Trans fatty acids are basically hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils that are present in all sorts of processed foods. Bakery items, salad oils, frozen pizza, stick margarine, corn chips, candies, coffee creamer, etc. should be avoided in large amounts. According to a study conducted in the year 2011, these are dangerous for our brain health. People who consume it in high amounts are more prone to have impaired cognitive function and reduced cerebral brain volume. Inclusion of trans fats in the regular diet can also hamper your ability to score high on cognitive and memory tests.
2. Saturated Fats
Scientists have already proved that saturated fats are unhealthy for our overall health. It also affects the health of our brain to a huge extent. Mostly found in animal sources like pork, lamb, fatty beef, chicken with skin, full-fat dairy products including cheese, butter and cream; and a few plant sources like palm oil, coconut oil, etc., saturated fats are linked to cognitive decline and memory loss upon regular consumption. They disrupt the complex transport system named the ‘blood-barrier’ and interrupt the nutrient uptake by our brain. This makes the brain vulnerable to injury. Make sure that you follow a diet low in unhealthy fats in order to keep your memory strong for years.
3. Sugar (Both Natural And Artificial)
Sugar is one of the worst enemies of our brain and needless to say, it takes a toll on our memory too. If your diet is full of natural sugar, you will end up causing irreversible damages to your brain cells. It also makes memory substantially poor over time. Artificial sugar makes things even worse. It contains compounds like aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which affects central nervous system (CNS) and destroys memory gradually.
4. Refined Carbohydrates
If memory is your concern, highly refined carbohydrates are a strict ‘no-no’ for in high quantities. These include foods like white rice, white bread, potato, cornflake, pasta, and so on, which are known to have high glycemic index (GI). Intake of these items causes a sudden spike in your blood sugar level, thereby increasing the secretion of insulin in your blood. This has a negative impact on your brain, which eventually induces memory loss in long run.
5. Soy Products
When it comes to retaining a sharp memory, soy and its products can actually do more harm than good. Several types of research have concluded that considerably high intake of soy or tofu can increase the risk of cognitive impairment as well as memory loss. It could lead people to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and similar other disorders. Though the exact reason lying behind this is yet to be ascertained, scientists believe that it is the phytoestrogen content of soy and its products that affect the functionalities of brain.
6. Tuna Fish
No matter how much you love the tuna fish as a protein-rich diet item, it is messing up with your mind and putting your memory at risk. Like many other seafoods, it also contains very high levels of mercury, which is responsible for cognitive dysfunction in human beings. Hence, too much consumption of tuna is damaging for our memory too. In fact, it is true for bass, snapper, swordfish, grouper, shark, and all other species of fish that are high on the food chain.
7. Fruit Juice
You might have apparently been making healthy choices by replacing soda cans with fruit juice cartons. But, it could also compromise your brain function, thereby affecting both your short-term and long-term memory significantly. Fruit juice is high in sugar which, as already mentioned, is a culprit in reducing your cognitive flexibility. Moreover, it alters the healthy bacterial system in your gut and such microbial changes have a negative impact on our memory. Avoid too much of fruit juices that are high in sugar.
Doughnuts are loaded with unhealthy saturated fats and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol. While the memory-destroying effects of saturated fats are explained earlier in this article, it is also important to know how bad cholesterol can stimulate such damages. Studies have revealed that high levels of bad cholesterol in our bloodstream builds up a certain type of protein called ‘beta-amyloid’ in our brain. This hampers normal functionalities of our brain and weakens our memory.
Alcohol not only impacts our brain in a negative way but also endangers our memory extensively. Binge drinking can even cause permanent memory damages. However, if you drink occasionally, most of the side effects including impaired cognitive flexibility and memory troubles will be temporary for you.
10. Food Additives
Well, these are not independent food items but using additives in foods can also reduce the performance of your brain in terms of memory. Almost all synthetic food additives come packed with harmful chemicals like glyphosate, interesterified fat, and so on. Being unnatural ingredients, they remain unprocessed by our body, get accumulated in it, and induce memory loss in the long run.
Changing dietary habits is not at all an easy feat. It is even more challenging to steer clear of the aforementioned foods that are quite common in our regular meals. But you must make an effort to counteract damages by choosing healthier items. Choose food items that can restore your cognitive function as well as enhance your memory.
So, are you ready to protect your memory by avoiding foods that affect the brain?