6 Foods That Are Not Good For Your Brain Health
Lots of people talk about superfoods to boost your overall health and cognitive functioning, but what about the ones that aren’t so good? If you aren’t avoiding these foods, you might be undoing all the other work you’re putting into your brain health.
- White bread
Refined grains like white bread, crackers, potatoes, etc. are high up on the glycemic index, and that’s what makes them damaging to the brain. A study found post-menopausal women who ate more foods higher on the glycemic index were more likely to have depression.
- Ice Cream
If you want to achieve lifelong mental health, move away from the ice cream. It might be the perfect summer treat and act as your solace in times of woe, but WHO only recommends 50 grams of sugar a day and one measly ½ cup serving of plain old vanilla already has 14 grams says the USDA. What’s so bad about sugar? According to Daily Mail, animal studies found that sugar alters the hippocampus and hormone receptors in the brain – it was as if the rats had experienced trauma in their early life. This may mean eating too much sugar can lead to increased psychological issues, stress, and memory problems over time.
- Baked goods
Here’s yet another reason not to reach for a slice of cake – Psychology Today explains that trans fats are bad for your brain. Your brain needs some fat to function, but trans fats usually come from oils extracted from vegetables in a lab, hydrogenated oils, and instead of helping our brain process nutrients and get the gears going, it destroys cells. Studies show some of the pitfalls of trans fats include depression, poor memory, inflammation in the brain, and issues with hormone production. The American Heart Association warns you can find these harmful fats in baked goods, fried foods, margarine and other places.
- Fried Fish
You already know fried food isn’t good for your physical fitness, but studies show it’s also bad for your brain. CBS News reports that a 2014 study found frying food increased the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. Can fried food be that evil? Apparently. The researchers explain frying food causes the release of a chemical called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Some AGEs are natural, but frying enhances them. The researchers found consuming more AGEs in an animal study resulted in a buildup in the brain of beta-amyloid protein plaques, which is usually associated with Alzheimer’s, and, as expected, the mice had obvious memory problems. Later the researchers tested AGEs levels in humans and found the same association between poor memory and higher levels. Moral of the story – don’t fry your food.
There’s another type of fat that might not be so great for our brains – saturated fat. Pork and some other meats have quite a lot of it. According to the USDA, 4 ounces of 72 percent lean ground pork has 13 grams of saturated fat or 65 percent of your daily value. Remember those beta-amyloid protein plaques related to consuming fried foods? Well, they also increase in your brain when you eat too many saturated fats, according to one study. The researchers asked participants to get 45 percent of their calories from fat, 25 percent of which should come from saturated fat then compared it to people on a low-fat diet where saturated fats only made up 7 percent of the total fat. Even after one month, the changes in the brain were showing.
Usually, fish are good for you, but the FDA warns most contain mercury. Although usually the levels are so low they aren’t harmful; they advise pregnant women to stay away from the shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, which contain the highest levels. Mercury can seriously mess with a developing mind, and your own, so it might be best to avoid eating those types of fish too frequently.
Avoiding these foods should improve your cognitive functioning, but if you’re worried it’s too late for your noggin, and the damage is done, you can try training your brain for better performance, supplements like Cogniflex, or speaking to your doctor about other strategies to keep your mental capacities sharp and healthy.
Sophie Addison is a popular blogger and skincare expert. She is very passionate about writing on skincare and beauty. She has posted articles on tips for fine lines under eyes, weight loss and fitness news. Apart from work she likes gardening and listening music. You can also contact her on Facebook, and Pinterest.