Having trouble focusing, or feeling dazed with ‘brain fog’? You may be eating foods that kill your intelligence. Avoid foods that are bad for your brain and feel smarter again.
Did you know that what you eat directly affects your ability to focus? The brain and the body are all influenced by nutrition and lack thereof. That is, just as some foods are bad for your body, some foods are also bad for your brain. If you want to be healthier and smarter at the same time, skip foods that impair cognitive function.
Avoid this list of unhealthy foods that kill your brain:
It’s a well-known fact that alcohol isn’t exactly good for your brain. In fact, it impairs judgement, slows reaction time, messes with you memory, and disrupts the growth of new brain cells. That’s why alcohol is at the top of the list of foods you should avoid in high quantities. Too much overloads your liver and releases toxins into the brain. It also increases the risk of making ‘stupid decisions’.
2. Sugar And Artificial Sweeteners
Sugar is bad for your memory. Recent scientific research has shown that eating too much sugar decreases the level of the brain chemical BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which helps your brain form memories. Without it, your brain is unable to retain information and learn much of anything. Low levels of BDNF are also linked to depression and dementia. In addition, artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and Splenda, have also been shown to cause permanent neurological damage.
3. Junk Food
A study at the University of Montreal found that eating junk food can mess with your dopamine levels and production in the body. This means that the hormone that makes you ‘happy’ is directly affected by eating too much junk. Not to mention, empty calories lack the nutrients your brain needs to think properly, such as essential vitamins and minerals. Any foods devoid of real nutrition should be avoided in order to keep the brain sharp.
4. Processed Food
Processed foods contain additives, dyes, preservatives, and artificial flavors that interrupt normal bodily functions. That is because these ingredients aren’t exactly edible. Many artificial ingredients used in processed foods can actually cause memory loss and damage to your central nervous system. Stay away from foods with an extended shelf life or that come out of the box or freezer bag.
5. High Sodium Foods
Not only are salty foods bad for your blood pressure, studies show that a high sodium diet impairs cognitive function. Salty foods also make you crave more salt, which changes your perception and ability to resist hunger. Food can seriously become one big distraction when you consume too much salt. High sodium foods include canned goods like pickles.
6. Gluteny Grains
One doctor of the #1 best seller Brain Change, Dr. David Perlmutter believes glutens and carbs destroy your brain. Eating things with gluten or a high glycemic index may cause symptoms such as, “dementia, decreased libido, depression, chronic headaches, anxiety, epilepsy, and ADHD.”
7. Processed Meats
Stay away from processed meats that may contain preservatives or sodium nitrate. The list includes hot dogs, salami, bacon, lunchmeat, and sausage are all processed meats. In addition, keep in mind that many meats that come from industrial scale farms contain remnants of large scale animal processing. That is, many animals in industrial farms are treated with antibiotics or hormones, which end up in the meat that you eat. These ‘extra’ ingredients increase the risk of cancer by introducing the body to the toxins called free radicals.
Trans-fats are to be avoided at all costs because they not only cause weight gain, they kill brain cells. When you eat trans-fats over a long period of time, look out! It may also even cause your brain to shrink. Trans fats-kill brain cells, clog your arteries with cholesterol, and put your at higher risk for a stroke.
9. Fast Food
Many don’t realize this, but fast food contains a ton of sugar, additives, and preservatives. Not only does it make you crave more of the food, it may introduce your body to free radicals through artificial ingredients. Research also shows that fast food is linked to lower academic scores in children.
10. Fried Foods
Many fried foods not only contain MSG (monosodium glutamate), they also clog your arteries. MSG is a controversial ingredient that has been linked to brain damage, and clogged arteries may lead to permanent brain damage through a stroke. Too much glutamate may result in neuron death and disrupt neurological processes in the body.
By avoiding these foods, you might just feel the effects of faster reaction time, better memory, and focus in concentration.
Now want to boost your brain with foods? Try these Top 5 Foods to Boost Your Brainpower.