The brain serves very important functions in the body. We therefore need our brains to be kept in optimal conditions because it controls all the systems of our body. It maintains heart regulation and allows for proper functioning of the lungs.
We can achieve this optimum condition through consuming a healthy diet. There are several foods that have harmful impacts on the brain; consuming them can lead to severe mental downturn, affect memory and even increase an individual’s risk of dementia.
Here are the foods you should actively reduce in your diet if you want your brain to work at its best state.
Refined carbohydrates are a group that generally have a high glycaemic index (GI) and this signifies that the human body will quickly digest them, resulting into a drastic increase in both blood sugar and insulin levels. Excessive intake of these foods have also been linked to poor memory. Its effect on memory is said to be as a result of an inflammation of a part of the brain that controls areas of memory function, reaction to hunger and feelings of fullness called the hippocampus. This is said to be a risk factor for degenerative diseases like dementia and alzhiemer’s disease. Taking refined carbohydrates impairs memory and intelligence. The foods include highly processed grains (like flour) and sugars.
Although moderate consumption poses little or no threat, excessive intake of alcohol is shown to be associated with behavioral changes, disruption of sleep patterns and memory loss. Also, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can seriously impair the proper development of the brain of the fetus as it is still in a state of development and the toxicity of alcohol can lead to developmental complications and disorders. Teenagers and young adults are also among people with high risk.
Studies have shown that an excessive consumption of sugary drinks can increase a persons risk of having dementia. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a basic component of various sugary drinks, is said to be harmful to brain health as it causes inflammation, a decrease in memory and learning function.
Foods that are high in trans fat
The natural form of a fat molecule is known to be in ‘cis’ form but when this molecule structure is twisted and changed into a different texture, it is said to be in ‘trans’ form, thus the formation of trans fatty acid. Its natural occurrence in animal products like meat and dairy are of no major concern. Now, it has been made known through research that an increased consumption of industrially produced trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oils) significantly causes an increase in LDL cholesterol, greater risk of alzheimer’s disease, poor memory, cognitive decline and lower brain volume. Examples include margarine, snacks, shortening agents, already made cakes and previously packaged cookies.