10 Ingredients That Are Hurting Your Brain
Written by: Kirsten Cowart
If your brain is not operating at optimum capacity, everything in your life is affected.
Think about it, if you can’t think, use logic, learn new things, remember the past clearly, balance your emotions, perceive the world around you, connect with other people, or have the proper signals going through your body, then your whole reality has changed.
When your brain is unhealthy, it quickly starts hurting the rest of your being, making it progressively more difficult to heal and become the best you can be.
If your brain is currently unhealthy, that doesn’t mean there is no hope. What it means is that you need to educate yourself on what is causing the problem and change the ingredients that you are feeding your body and mind.
Let’s start with food or things you have been taught to believe are food. If you are eating or have recently eaten any of these items, then your brain is currently being affected in a negative way.
Avoid these foods for yourself and your family as much as possible.
Research from the University of Florida found that people who eat tuna have the highest amount of mercury in their blood. Heavy metals have been linked to all kinds of problems in the brain, enough so that you definitely need to keep it out of your diet. The research also showed a 5% decrease in mental faculties in people who ate tuna.
2. Partially Hydrogenated Oils
If this is listed as an ingredient, it is something that should be avoided. It is basically just a fancy way of saying trans fats. This ingredient will hurt your heart and drain your brain.
“Diets high in trans fats increase beta-amyloid – a peptide ‘plaque’ – deposits in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease,” said dietician nutritionist, Tori Holthaus, M.D., R.D. Fried foods, baked foods and processed foods will often have partially hydrogenated oils and will lead to a smaller brain and lower cognitive abilities later in life.
Here is a scary statistic for you – the average American eats around 79 pounds of sweetener per year! Sugar has not only been linked with depression, but one study showed that large amounts of sugar can cause your brain’s memory control center – the hippocampus – to swell up. This would really make it hard to think and remember anything.
Now I know that this is another type of sugar, but since not all sugars are created equal, we wanted to make a point about fructose specifically. We are not talking about the natural fructose that is found in healthy fruits either.
What we are concerned about is the findings from the Journal of Physiology. In that study, they had rats – who had long since mastered their way around a maze – eat fructose and try the maze again. Those poor rats had big problems navigating the maze.
That lead researchers to believe that eating too much fructose will affect your brain cells ability to use and store sugar for energy, which your brain needs to think and learn.
5. Saturated Fat
According to JAMA Neurology 2013, eating too much saturated fat will form plaque in the brain. This plaque is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Those may be the long-term effects, but the short term effects are bad too. About 10 minutes after eating saturated fats, your brain will start to struggle with learning and forming new memories (Ewan McNay, Ph.D).
6. Processed Foods
Many processed foods such as hot dogs, bologna and sausage don’t have sugar or fat, but are high in salt. Research published in Neurobiology of Aging says that salt leads to brain fog. Salt also affects your blood pressure and heart, which will ultimately lead to cognitive decline.
7. Fast Foods
Women’s Health Mag reports that not only do fast foods contain high amounts of salt, sugar, trans fat, saturated fat and other harmful ingredients, but eating fast food increases your chances of depression by 40%!
8. Microwave Popcorn
The University of Minnesota found that the butter-like flavoring that they use on microwave popcorn leads to Alzheimer’s. It’s possible that organic or natural popcorn doesn’t have the harmful ingredient diacetyl, but be aware of the risk to your brain. Making a homemade GMO-free stove-popped corn with your own natural ingredients will keep you safe.
9. Cookies And Chips
There was a study conducted that analyzed cognitive errors in nurses based on healthy eating practices. They found that if the nurses ate snack foods such as cookies or chips more than three times a week, they made many more mistakes than those who avoided these harmful foods.
10. Corn Syrup
Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup has been linked with being unable to process new information, learn or remember properly. If you need to think for any reason today (or any day), then avoid this ingredient.
Protect your brain by minimizing the ingredients that will slow it down, cause you to feel depressed, have mental fog and ultimately leave you with big memory gaps later in life. It is important to take good care of your body, because your body is the tool that will carry you forward in life.
What do you do to keep your brain healthy and strong? Let us know in the comments below.
Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
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