Nutrition is fundamental, not only for a healthy body but a healthy mind too. Before leaving the womb, our brain started working throughout life to control essential bodily functions.
Hence, maintaining a healthy brain is essential to support our mind to stay calm and active with a healthy diet. However, some of the foods have a negative impact on our brain which points to chronic illnesses.
Below is the list of 8 worst foods for your brain which cause mental decline as we age
1. Alcoholic Beverages
A glass of beer or wine does not mess up with your mind until you exceed the limit. Excessive consumption results in disrupting the neurotransmitters and chemicals in the brain for communication.
Also, it reduces the volume of grey and white matter, or else we can say shrinks our brain.
Secondly, alcoholic people are vitamin B1 deficient which leads to a severe brain condition called Wernicke’s encephalopathy and that might also turn into Korsakoff’s syndrome.
Moreover, alcohol consumption during pregnancy has a devastating impact on the fetus.
2. Artifical Sweetner or Aspartame
An artificial sweetener is used in many sugar-free food items.
We are aware of the fact that people on a weight loss strategy or diabetics prefer to have sugar free food. However, these foods contain aspartame, which is made of phenylalanine, methanol, and aspartic acid.
Phenylalanine crosses the blood-brain barrier and disrupts the neurotransmitters’ functions.
Excess aspartame consumption imposes oxidative stress on our brain.
3. Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG is the flavor enhancer found in all packed and canned foods.
An extremely concentrated salt is used as a preservative to improve the smell and taste of food.
Excessive consumption may increase dopamine, a neurotransmitter secretion that gives you momentary well-being feeling.
Also, MSG causes chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic fatigue.
Fluoride is the mineral generally found in tap water and in terms of health perspective, it’s in toothpaste for preventing decay and dental caries.
Fluoride in a sufficient quantity harms mental health.
Let’s check the following points
- Fluoride is considered as the development neurotoxin, which means it is poisonous or destructive for the brain and spinal cord tissues.
- Researchers also found children who grew in high fluoride areas have significantly lower IQs than low fluoride regions.
Fluoride contributes to developing aluminum Alzheimer’s disease. Let’s check how.
- In our brain, there is a blood-brain barrier (BBB) that prohibits the entry of all foreign substances like fluoride or aluminum out of the brain.
- However, when aluminum combines with fluoride it creates aluminum fluoride which bypasses the BBB, hence affecting memory.
Fluoride also raises the chances of Hypothyroidism as fluoride binds with iodine receptors in the thyroid gland by replacing the iodine which leads to a lack of thyroid hormones.
Deficiency of thyroid hormones shows the signs such as brain fog, memory loss, depression, and anxiety.
It causes nervous system degeneration in the parts of the brain like the hippocampus, neocortex, and cerebellum.
5. Refined Carbs
Refined carbs mean staying away from highly processes foods like white flour, pasta, bread, and sugar-loaded items like sugary drinks, donuts, etc.
- Refined carbs have a high glycemic index, in other words, they shoot up the glucose level in the blood and badly impair the brain functions like memory and intelligence.
- Memory loss occurs due to inflammation in the hippocampus area which leads to chronic Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Additionally, Alzheimer’s patients might be resistant to insulin which turns out to be the worst situation for diabetics.
6. High Mercury load
Mercury is a heavy metal which is considered a neurological poison.
It is found in certain fishes like shark, mackerel, marlin, swordfish, etc.
Fishes are highly susceptible to mercury accumulation and they absorb it through their gills.
When we ingest fish, the mercury will easily cross the BBB and cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The mercury toxicity may disrupt the neurotransmitter’s efficiency and hence damage the central nervous system.
Mercury may also spread in the liver, kidneys, placenta, and fetus in pregnant women.
Despite this, not all fishes have high mercury loads; oyster, marcel, shrimp, and smelt are safe to eat.
7. Red meat
There should not be any guess why red meat intake should be limited.
Firstly, it is loaded with a decent amount of fat, therefore, it could raise cardiovascular health worries.
Secondly, with regard to mental health, red meat contains the heavy metal copper, which may be linked with Alzheimer’s disease as it disrupts the communication between neurons.
Red meat has a good amount of saturated fat which builds up the plaque in the brain which may lead to brain stroke.
Therefore, do not give up all the red meat but you can swap it with certain healthy food options.
8. Trans Fat – a type of unsaturated fat
Also known as hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats are a major health concern as they have a detrimental impact on our brain.
They can be found in snack items, pre-packed food items, baked goods, and many more.
Why is trans fat unhealthy?
Our brain requires natural fats for developing a healthy cell membrane but consuming excess trans fats causes cellular destruction and wreaks havoc on hormone production. This leads to memory loss and inflammation in the brain due to a shortfall of omega 3 fatty acids production.
Research shows that trans fats decline the serotonin level, hence patients might sense anxiety and depression.