When it comes to healthy foods, the first thing that comes to your mind is fitness diets and such. But try and leave that behind for a second and focus on a different category of aliments that will have a severe impact not on your weight, but on your brain’s functionality.
Here are 15 foods that your brain hates:
I bet this is a total surprise to you. Tuna has been known as a very healthy meat, full with protein, but now it seems it may have an impact on your brain’s health. And we are not talking about a positive one. Integrative Medicine conducted a study which observed tuna meat’s effect on 384 men and women and recorded their performances during before and after cognitive tests. Those who ate the most tuna meat were found to have poorer test results than those who were on a regular diet. The reason? The common tuna.
MSG stands for Monosodium Glutamate and here is the bad news for those who are fun of Asian cuisine: MSG contains 78% glutamic acid, 21% sodium and around 1% toxins. MSG is known for causing brain damage through overexciting your brain cells and it can be found in a lot of aliments, such as: spices, hydrolyzed protein, bouillon, soy protein and so on. Furthermore, FDA stated that MSG is linked to various neurological affections such as Alzheimer and that injecting the substance in rats will cause them to experience nerve cells damage, obesity, headaches and depression.
3. Excessive Sugar
Energy drinks, sodas, ice cream, candies and sweetened cereals. Sound familiar? Well, these are some of the aliments that will increase your blood sugar by a ton with each meal and high sugar intakes are related to various health problems. Our body will extract the daily sugar dose out of what you eat and will stack up the rest that it doesn’t need. A study conducted by Internal Medicine and published in JAMA, stated that the subjects who had between 17% and 21% calories coming from sugar had a 38% higher risk of suffering from fatal cardiovascular diseases, when compared to just 8% consumed by the other group.
The soy controversy is well known by now, but only recently the things begun to slide in a different direction, with one study published in the journal Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders claiming that consuming high quantities of tofu will severely impact your cognitive capacity, as well your memory. During the study, 719 Indonesian subjects went through several memory tests after being subjected to 2 different diets. One group got tofu 9 times a week, while the other group was offered a regular eating diet. The results showed that the tofu group’s memory was seriously affected, while the other group faced no such issues. But let’s not rush to any conclusions. During the same study, it has been found that fermented-soy food actually improves memory, so the things are far from clarified.
5. Junk Food
We all know that junk food is bad for your health, but we all relate junk food to obesity and everything coming along with it. What you did not know is that the same food can alter the chemicals in your brain, causing you to experience depression and anxiety, among other issues, as observed during a study performed at the University of Montreal. It seems that junk food can affect dopamine production, which is a chemical responsible for one’s feeling of happiness. Furthermore, dopamine is also responsible for cognitive functions, as well as improving learning capacities and memory, all of these being severely damaged by junk food diets.
It’s already known that sodium affects blood pressure and can cause some cardiovascular affections, but what was recently revealed is that, when combined with sloth, will have an unwanted impact on your cognitive capacities. 1262 subjects took part of the study, with ages ranging from 67 to 84 and they were separated into three distinct groups, based on the sodium intake: low, medium and high. Those who lacked physical activity were found to be the most affected ones and their cognitive abilities suffered the most. However, it has been found that this is a reversible process and putting together a regular exercise program can negate sodium’s unwanted effect.
7. Fried Foods
When talking about processed foods, we need to consider the fact that almost all of them are known to contain chemicals, additives, artificial flavors and dyes and a whole range of ingredients that are more harmful than beneficial. Some of these ingredients, especially certain chemicals, are causing hyperactivity and stress and will have an impact on behavior and cognitive functions. This kind of aliments is destroying your nerve cells and you may need to reconsider your diet, if your eating habits consist mainly in such foods.
8. Artificial Sweeteners
You want to lose weight? Replace sugar with artificial sweeteners and you are on the right track. How many times haven’t you heard this piece of advice? Probably countless times, but here is what you never hear: when coming in high doses, artificial sweeteners can, in fact, cause brain damage and cognitive issues. You want to get slimmer? Artificial sweeteners are probably not the right path to follow.
Again, not really a food product, but alcohol’s negative impact on your general health is being known for decades now. In popular terms, alcohol can cause brain fog and, just as the name suggests, you will be experiencing episodes of mental confusion and blurred thinking, as well as a foggy memory. The good news is that the entire process is reversible and you can get back to normal by just stop the alcohol consumption. That is until is too late, of course.
This is a total surprise, I can bet. You wouldn’t have thought that fructose, this natural fruit sweetener, can cause you any problems, but it seems it can. However, the said problems are only related to high fructose intakes and among its most known symptoms we include: inability to remember, lower learning capacities and overall poorer brain functioning. Medical Daily’s reporter, Lizette Borreli said that excessive fructose has been observed to slow the insulin production in your brain and that the rats subjected to higher fructose intakes have suffered memory loss.
11. Artificial Ingredients
There is probably no surprise here. You can found the largest quantities of artificial ingredients in any processed food you can get your hands on. In this category we include preservatives, colorants and artificial flavors and these are mainly used to prevent food rooting. These additives are basically toxic to your organism and will cause a decrease in your brain’s overall performance.
Now don’t get scared, we are not aiming to rob you from your favorite addiction. For a while now caffeine has been known to increase your brain’s alertness, in the same time making you hyperactive and more energetic. Caffeine also increases your system’s capacity to produce more adrenaline, pumping your heart rate, your blood flow and your air canals. Also, caffeine prevents dopamine to leave your brain and be absorbed in your organism, which will lead to a slight addiction. What is the bad part, you may wonder? Well, FDA stated that caffeine excess can, in fact, have opposite effects, causing headaches, sleep disorders and aggravate anxieties. You can even go as far as having caffeine overdose and symptoms such as hallucinations and confusions and even convulsions and death.
13. Processed Protein
Proteins have a major impact in bulding muscle mass and they will also ensure the proper functioning of your body, but that is only when we are talking about natural protein. Because, you may not know this, there is a processed type of protein that has an unwanted impact on your health and especially on your brain. We are talking about the protein contained in sausages, hot dogs and salami, for example, which will attack your nervous system, causing you a permanent state of irritation. Try consuming only protein coming from high-quality sources as salmon, walnuts and seeds.
14. Trans Fats
As you know, FDA banned Trans Fats and here’s another good reason: Trans Fats can affect your memory. A study involving 1018 subjects looked to analyze the effect of Trans Fats consumption for a limited period of time, involving 3.8 to 27.7 grams per day for each subject. What was discovered was that those subjects, consuming the highest quantity, were able to remember with 25% less information than those that received lower quantities.
15. Saturated Fat
One more study, one more reason for us to be concerned about our eating habits. This time, several researchers from the University of Montreal went on observing the impact that high concentrated saturated fats foods had on laboratory rats. Considering that their diets contained 50% calories coming from unhealthy fats, aka butter, for instance, the results showed that the rats’ mesolimbic dopamine system was altered by the diet that they were subjected to. The system mentioned is responsible for an animal’s wellbeing and optimism and any alteration of that area can lead to drug addictions, excessive eating and various mood disorders. Furthermore, it seemed that the same study identified damages occurring in the animals’ reward mental system, which led them to overeat in order to compensate for lacking the feeling of satisfaction.