Which are the 3 Worst Foods for Your Brain?
What we eat naturally affects how we function, both physically and mentally. We tend to focus more on the effects of our diet on our body rather than our brains but there are clear connections between diet and brain health so it’s worth keeping your brain in mind too when you’re making food choices.
Some foods are quite obvious bad guys, like highly-processed food full of sugar for example. These kinds of foods can wreak havoc on our brains — if you have kids I’m sure you have seen many examples of this! These types of foods have also been linked to lots of health complications and conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia.
Most of us know by now that a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins is the best for us but which foods should we try to avoid completely? A few treats are part of a healthy and balanced diet but there are some foods that just do more harm than they’re worth…
Here are the 3 worst foods for your brain:
Fizzy drinks are either full of sugar – sometimes as much as twice the recommended daily limit in just one can — or artificial flavours and sweeteners. Other drinks often contain hidden sugars too so always read the label to ensure juices don’t contain any added stuff like high fructose corn syrup which has been linked to lots of things like diabetes and inflammation. A diet high in sugar in general has also been linked to impaired memory, reduced bran function, and lack of neuron production so sugar it’s best to limit sugar.
- Margarine & Other Trans Fats
Margarine is a very fake and processed product containing trans fats which are not good for us at all. These are also in lots of convenience foods and snacks so try to cook from fresh whenever possible and a little bit of real butter is much better for you on your sandwich. Trans fats have been linked to impaired memory, brain shrinkage, and cognitive decline.
- White Bread, Pasta and Rice
Refined carbs found in white pasta, white rice and white bread might be delicious, but they’re stripped of nutrients and raise our blood sugar quickly. It’s also thought that refined carbs can trigger inflammation of the hippocampus which can have a negative impact on memory and has also been linked to depression and other mental health problems.
There are many modern foods that are bad for both our bodies and brains but if you’re looking to just make a few changes to improve your health, try cutting out the foods above and replacing them with healthy alternatives. Water is the best choice for a drink and if you want something with more flavour, try herbal teas or add fruits and vegetables to your water. To avoid trans fats, read labels in store and cook as much as possible from scratch at home. The white bread, pasta and rice is probably the easiest to replace as there are so many whole grain options available. Choose (or bake your own) healthy bread, brown pasta and brown rice and you can still enjoy your favourite meals.
Thank you to Neurocore for providing me with this information. You can find the sources of the research here.