Throw it out of your head: 10 foods that are bad for the brain
Ethere are foods that inhibit brain activity and even contribute to the development of depression. What scientists have sent to the “black list”? Dealing with nutritionist Juliana Popepeka (@dietologminsk).
Low fat products
Fat is the brain’s best friend, which is 70% adipose tissue. Lipids are also needed for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins that affect brain function. For example, there is research confirming that a lack of vitamin D increases the risk of depression and schizophrenia.
With a lack of lipids in the diet, first of all, the skin suffers – it becomes dry, the psycho-emotional state – the person becomes aggressive, gets tired quickly, feels a lack of strength and energy. There is nothing good about low fat foods – they contain too many thickeners, flavors and other harmful additives (you can read more about low fat foods here).
Foods containing omega-6 fatty acids
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fatty acids that enter the body through food. They are necessary for the normal functioning of the brain, maintaining the health of the skin, hair, nails. But, as they say, there is medicine in a spoon, poison in a cup. Omega-3 and Omega-6 supplements have become very popular today. They are taken uncontrollably, I do not think that an imbalance of fatty acids can lead to serious consequences. Regular consumption of vegetable oils high in Omega-6 (sunflower, corn, sesame) doubles the likelihood of developing dementia. In addition, the use of omega-6 supplements is prohibited for those taking anticonvulsants. Choose foods rich in Omega-3s: walnut oil, hemp oil, avocado (10 facts about vitamin D, you can read here).
Bran is a coarse shell containing a large amount of fiber, useful micro- and macroelements. They are often recommended for dietary nutrition – they improve digestion, promote longer satiety, have a prebiotic effect, and lower the level of bad cholesterol. There is also the other side of the coin.
First, you need to comply with the rate – up to 50 g per day. Secondly, bran can interfere with the absorption of certain drugs. Third, overuse can cause bloating.
In addition, bran contains gluten, which in large quantities negatively affects the functioning of the brain: it contributes to a decrease in attention and concentration, and can lead to the development of depression and other neurological disorders. Neurologist David Perlmutter even wrote a book on the relationship between gluten intolerance and dementia. Excellent “reading” for those who are not indifferent!
Chips and croutons
I don’t think we need to talk about their dangers, but just in case, I remind you. These foods not only disrupt metabolism and lead to eating disorders, but also negatively affect mental performance. The reason is the high content of trans fats. They can provoke problems with concentration and memory. Scientists from the University of California and San Diego School of Medicine conducted an experiment in which more than 1,000 volunteers took part. They were divided into two groups. The first in the diet was completely absent from foods containing trans fats, the second, on the contrary, had more than half of them on the menu. At the end of the experiment, they were asked to reproduce a list of 86 words. Those who had trans fats in their diets remembered 12 fewer words on average. The conclusion suggests itself: to execute, you cannot pardon.
Popcorn itself, prepared in a traditional way without adding flavors and colors, is not harmful. It contains a lot of vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium, sulfur and other micro and macro elements.
The danger is posed by popcorn in bags that are designed to be cooked in a microwave oven. It contains diacetyl, a substance responsible for the “creamy” taste. When heated, it becomes a “bad guy”, able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, disrupting brain activity.
There is speculation that diacetyl is one of the likely causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
The danger doesn’t end there. The walls of the bag are treated with perfluorooctanoic acid, which provides non-stick properties. This substance has been shown to be carcinogenic. It’s not just the brain that can be affected!
Fast food is different from fast food. Today there are a lot of absolutely “healthy” and “correct” options. Classic hamburgers with mayonnaise sauces shouldn’t have a place in your diet. Recent research at the University of Montreal has confirmed that regular fast food consumption changes the chemical composition of the brain. The result of this can be unpredictable: from a deterioration in mood and irritability to more global “catastrophes”.
Salt in the diet should be, but in very moderation. It is necessary to maintain water-salt balance, plays an important role in metabolic processes, sodium chloride is a part of almost all fluids in our body. Foods that are too salty affect the heart, and recent studies have found that salty foods also interfere with the proper functioning of cognitive functions, negatively affecting intelligence.
Artificial sweeteners are sold in retail trade in the public domain. Despite this, most of them can cause serious damage to health. Saccharin provokes an exacerbation of gallstone disease; cyclamate – causes renal failure (banned in the USA, France and Great Britain since 1969); aspartame – can cause epilepsy, chronic fatigue, diabetes, brain tumors; acesulfame contains methyl alcohol, which negatively affects the cardiovascular and nervous systems. After such a “dossier” a spoonful of sugar will seem like a harmless “kitten”.
Tuna is a good source of protein, Omega-3, and other nutrients. But its amount in the diet needs to be controlled. The reason is the likelihood of mercury poisoning. In tuna, this metal is 2-3 times more than in other types of fish. In small quantities, mercury is not dangerous for the body – he gets rid of it with the help of the excretory system. If the dose exceeds the norm, it negatively affects the functioning of the brain and central nervous system. Special care should be taken with tuna during pregnancy. According to the Washington Post, the norm for the average person is about 200 grams of canned tuna and weighs 70 kg.
Sweet drinks have one “unpleasant” feature: they do not quench thirst (from the word “absolutely”), but only provoke hunger. And we are talking not only about soda, but also packaged juices. These drinks are based on high fructose corn syrup. In large quantities, it can cause arterial dysfunction, obesity and lead to nuli resistance, negatively affecting memory and learning ability.