Science has found evidence of particular foods boosting brain health, helping our bodies think better, think smarter, and remember more.
But that brain-nutrition connection goes the other way, too. While increasing your intake of brain-fueling foods is key, it’s just as important to decrease brain-depleting foods, too.
The three following food categories have been identified in studies as having the greatest negative impact on our brains. These foods can ignite inflammation in the body that can reach the brain regions linked to memory and emotions – essential areas of the brain that we need to keep sharp to perform our best.
The good news is, it isn’t difficult to avoid these foods – they’re often linked to other health issues, and should be shunned for the most part. The bad news is they’re of the feel-good variety, which some people find essential to get through their daily grind.
But if you can help it, steer clear of these three foods for the sake of your brain:
Sure, that Coke is your must-have pick-me-up at 2pm every day, but it can bring you down when it comes to your brain health.
From this study involving 4,000 people, the researchers found people that consumed sugary drinks are more likely to have poorer memory and a smaller hippocampus – the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
If you feel lethargic after downing a pizza, refined carbohydrates are the culprit.
Found in pasta, white rice, white bread and potatoes, all these popular foods have high glycemic indexes (GI) that measure how carbs affect blood sugar levels. The higher the GI, the quicker the carbs are digested, leading to sharp blood sugar level spikes which encourages more insulin production. The inevitable sugar crash leaves your body fatigued and moody, affecting brain health.
High-fat foods, especially those that contain saturated fats, hamper memory by impairing the hippocampus.
This is due to high-fat diets increasing the risks of brain inflammation, as well as interfering with the healthy mix of gut bacteria in your body that’s essential for regular brain function.
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