A study, among many, has been conducted which suggests your diet quality may influence your risk of cognitive decline, including memory and thinking skills. In this specific study the results showed that those with the healthiest diets were 24% less likely to have cognitive decline than people with the least healthy diets when followed closely for 5 years. Poor diet is also a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It has actually been noted that by 2030 65 million people will be affected by dementia, this isn’t exactly a surprising number when you look at today’s society with fast food easily accessible, cheap and desired by most and physical exercise not exactly on the list of priorities.
There are numerous reasons why certain food can negatively impact memory therefore we are going to give you the 7 worst foods for your brain so you know exactly what to avoid!
Foods High in Trans Fats
Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat that can have negative effects on your brain health. These artificial trans fats can be found in margarine, frosting, various snack foods, read-made cakes and prepackaged cookies and other sweets.
Studies have shown that when individuals consume higher amounts of trans fats, they increase their risk to Alzheimer’s disease, poorer memory, lower brain volume and general cognitive decline. It is however important to note that the relative ratios of fat in the diet are an important factor, not just the type of fat itself. For example, individuals that have a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be protected against cognitive decline. You can increase your omega-3 fats by eating foods such as fish, chia seeds, walnuts and flax seeds.
Sugary drinks include fruit juice, soda, energy drinks and sports drinks. An excessive intake of sugary drinks increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes, which has been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A primary component in these drinks is high-fructose corn syrup, which consists of 55% fructose and 45% glucose. When consuming a high level of fructose, you are putting yourself at risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, arterial dysfunction and high blood fats, which are the aspects of metabolic syndrome that may lead to an increase in long-term risk of developing dementia.
Fish High in Mercury
Mercury is a heavy metal contaminant and neurological poison that can be stored for a long time in animal tissues. Once an individual ingests mercury, it spreads all around the body concentrating in the brain, liver and kidneys. The effects of mercury toxicity include disruption of the central nervous system and neurotransmitters and stimulation of neurotoxins, resulting in damage to the brain. The fish to avoid are shark, swordfish, barramundi and southern Bluefin tuna.
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in many sugar-free products such as Coke Zero. Individuals often choose these products when trying to lose weight however this widely used sweetener has been linked to behavioral and cognitive problems, through thorough research. Aspartame is made of phenylalanine, methanol and aspartic acids. Phenylalanine can cross the blood-brain barrier and might disrupt the production of neurotransmitters. Additionally, Aspartame is a chemical stressor and may increase the brain’s vulnerability to oxidative stress. Ditch the sugar free products and source products with organic, natural sweeteners. Your brain will thank you for it.