Brain boosters and super foods have been taking a fair share of publicity when it comes to foods that enhance brain functionality – but most people forget that different foods contain nutrients that affect the brain both positively and negatively.
Different foods have different purposes in the body and whilst some foods aid other parts of your body, they also tend to zap out some of your smart sap. Here on GDD, we have selected a list of healthy foods below that you might be eating, but may actually be harmful for your cognitive functions in the long run.
This fish is delicious, easy to prepare and is a good source of protein which has benefits that span all through the body but then slap a bit of sluggishness to your brain.
Researchers have found out that foods high in mercury have the ability to slow down the rate at which your brain processes information. Integrative Medicine conducted a study wherein they found out that people who consumed fishes high up the food chain (like tuna, sharks and swordfish) more than four times in a month were more likely to suffer from cognitive dysfunction due to the high levels of mercury these fishes contain.
This fish is a great aid to anyone who wants to join the workout train but only if you want to end up with a bigger body at the expense of your brain. We think not.
A vital addition to all meals has made an appearance on this list. This food helps the water and nerve impulse movements in and out of a cell by making the cells hypotonic, which is great.
However, salts are high in sodium and have been proven to be the culprits in various cases of mental instability and an increased rate of cognitive decline as time goes on.
Aiding this point is a study carried out in 2011 by Neurobiology of Ageing – which deduced that poor vascular health as a result of meals that are high in sodium coupled with lack of exercise led to a faster cognitive decline as the participants aged on.
Over a three-year period, different tests on cognitive function were carried out and those who had high sodium diets had constantly declining scores compared to others who didn’t.
A plus point though is that regular exercises can help decrease the level of sodium in the body hence preventing such harmful effects.
Salt does make your food taste good and also aids positive cellular activations, but its play a major role in dulling your brain cells with time if your sodium intake is not regulated.
#3. MSG –Monosodium Glutamate
Glutamate is an amino acid that helps transmit nerve impulses to the brain, thumbs up!! Now lets look at the composition of MSG –78% free glutamic acid, 21% sodium and 1% contaminants – so why not take more of MSGs for faster transmission of impulses? Well here is why not.
MSG is an excitotoxin and as it aids neuron receptors to work harder for quicker impulse transmission, it also over works them, causing them to die in just some few hours, making it more harmful than good. These excitotoxins have also been linked to various other critical neurological illnesses and life threatening issues like obesity, depression and damaging of brain cells.
Granted foods with MSG taste amazing, the short-term benefits are clearly outweighed by the longterm harmful effects.
#4. Saturated Fats
Eating foods that contain saturated fats helps protect against threats posed by trans-fats and polyunsaturated vegetables, cool right?
Well this hero also has its flaws, since whilst it’s busy countering the effects of the aforementioned harmful oils, its also taking out some of your intelligence.
We all know that overeating saturated fats adds some excess pounds, but beyond that, uncontrolled intake of these (I am looking at you doughnuts) – can lead to declining cognitive abilities.
These foods also damage blood brain barriers (these are complex transport systems for nutrients into the brain) causing less important nutrients reaching the brain and making an easy passage for harmful substances to the brain leading to brain-related injuries.
Saturated fats are also known to increase cholesterol levels and this creates a conducive surrounding for Alzheimer’s disease.
Sugar, apart from being the best thing to happen to us all as kids with the chocolates, candies and sugar rushes here and there, also packs a blessing as it gives instant energy in the form of glucose when it’s broken down.
Now from the fairytale to reality, sugar has been proven to have negative impacts on the brain, cutting down on both short and long term memories as well as cognitive flexibilities.
The major culprit in sugars responsible for the damaging effects to the brain is fructose. Researchers have found out that high fructose levels prevent many different people from remembering information and also hinder learning progress in others. Good for energy bad for brain, what an irony.
As we mentioned before, all foods have different effects on different parts of the body. However, what you eat to aid your weight loss plan might be damaging another part of your body.
While researching before going on a diet is recommended, the best course of action is to practice moderation in your intake of any food, even when it’s reportedly good for you.