Are You Hurting Your Brain with These Foods?
By Joanne Beccarelli
One of the BIGGEST mistakes you can make is not protecting your brain. Everything we do, think and say depends on our brain, therefore, having a healthy brain is important at every age.
And you can make a big difference simply with the food you eat!
Learn the three worst foods that are poison to your brain! Then, replace these with brain building foods and you will be on your way to a highly functioning brain for a lifetime.
The Brain is Your Human Headquarters
The human brain only weighs about 3-4 pounds, but it controls thinking, thoughts, bodily functions, automatic functions and habits. It does this through 86 billion neurons and trillions of connections, synapses and nerve fibers. Our brains grow and develop up until 25 years of age, but then start to decline.
Big Brain Diseases Start Early
If you think that you are too young to worry about the most prevalent brain diseases that afflict the older generations, maybe it’s time to rethink that. The beginning, undetectable stages of alzheimers and dementia begin as early as 30 years before the onset of any symptoms. That’s exactly why we need to care about our brains like every other part of the body.
Consider these little known facts:
- Nearly 35 million people worldwide have dementia or alzheimer’s and it is increasing.
- Deaths from alzheimer’s increased by 71% from 2000-2013.
- Alzheimers kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Altogether, this means that big brain diseases are no longer only about aging relatives. We need to care for our brains now.
Brain Health Starts By Avoiding These 3 Foods:
1. Sugar or Fructose
In a 2012 UCLA study, researchers found that sugar in your diet (high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in particular) will impair your ability to remember and will change your brain’s ability to learn. Previously, the link of brain health and sugar was thought to be limited to diabetics, but these new studies show that non-diabetics with high sugar diets are affected too. If you read 8 Easy Ways To Make You Old Now!, then you know that The American Heart Association RDA for total daily sugar consumption is 24g for women and 36g for men, but for optimum brain health even lower levels of total sugar consumption (15-25g) are recommended.
According to many doctors, including Dr. Perlmutter, Neurologist and Author of the book Grain Brain, wheat is a food group to avoid as a preventive measure for optimum brain health. The primary issue with wheat and brain health is not it’s digestibility, which is the core of a lot of controversial discussion, but that it quickly becomes sugar when digested and it is as addictive as some drugs. In addition, it is the inflammation that wheat and sugar create that is debilitating to the brain. Similarly, gluten-free junk carbohydrates will do the same, so think carefully about what you replace wheat with when you switch out your diet.
3. Trans Fats
A study presented at the 2014 American Heart Association Conference showed that the more trans fat consumed, the worse study participants did on memory tests, with the worst missing as much as 10% of the words being tested. It was a clear and direct conclusion that trans fats are not good for the brain. If you are wondering where trans fats are lurking, be sure to check ingredients lists for “partially hydrogenated oils” in all packaged foods, including crackers, cookies, chips and pancake or cake mixes and stay clear of margarines and fried foods.
Boost Brain Health With THESE Foods
The good news is that there are many whole foods that will take care of your brain. Recommendations are consistent by saying a healthy brain needs a lot of low-glycemic plant food, healthy proteins and healthy fats. More specifically, Dr. Amen, a Psychiatrist and a brain disorder specialist, recommends a diet for brain health that contains at least 70% plants, 30% proteins and healthy fats.
Protein is important in each meal and include non-GMO plant proteins, small amounts of wild-caught fish, or organically raised grass-fed meats. Fats that are considered healthy come from avocados, nuts and oily fish, but can also be non-processed oils like coconut oil or olive oil.
Eating right for your brain now doesn’t take much. It starts with a level of awareness, some reflection on the quality of life you want to have now and later in life and then a few nutritional tweaks, which will be good for your entire body too!
Joanne Beccarelli is a holistic health coach, juicing junkie, writer, soon to be cookbook author and recovered emotional eater. Inspired by many great voices in the health-thru-food revolution, Joanne found her way out of hiding in shame (losing almost 100 lbs in the process) and stepped away from the corporate world. She now dedicates every day to helping others who are overwhelmed, overworked, and overstressed, find awareness, fulfilment and better health.
Joanne has a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell/T. Colin Campbell Foundation, and became a Certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She is also a member of American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), and the International Association of Health Coaches (IAHC).
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