Foods that are bad for your brain

You already know that certain foods can trigger obesity, mood swings, and put you on the path to diabetes and heart disease, but these five foods may also damage your brain.

Large sea fish
According to research from the University of South Florida, people with high levels of mercury in their bloodstream experience reduced cognitive function. Mercury is often found in larger fish species, so steer clear of marlin, tuna, shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.

Partially hydrogenated oils
Remember all those ‘trans fat’ health warnings? You may be checking the ingredient list on certain foods and not seeing trans fats included, but they’re still there, disguised as ‘partially hydrogenated oils’. While some fats are good, these have absolutely no health benefits whatsoever. Not only do partially hydrogenated oils cause obesity, they increase beta-amyloids in your brain, putting you at risk of Alzheimer’s and lowering your cognitive abilities.

Added sugar and fructose
A study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity revealed that eating too much sugar can cause brain inflammation that can lead to vascular and neurological damage and a sluggish brain. While it’s okay to consume moderate amounts of sugar, if you check your food packaging and sugar appears in the top two ingredients, it’s probably best to leave it on the shelf.

Same goes with fructose. Scientists say that eating too much fructose can hamper how brain cells process the energy required to think and learn. A study published in The Journal of Psychology showed that when rats ate too much fructose they were unable to navigate a maze they had already learned to master. So, stay away from high fructose corn syrup and stick to fructose found in fruits.

Processed food
Some are high in fats, sugar or both, but many processed foods are high in sodium, and that is bad for your brain. According to research published in Neurobiology of Aging, a diet high in sodium is basically brain fog, and can lead to further cognitive decline.

Fast food
We’ve all been guilty of the odd Macca’s pit stop and a rare visit to these fast food joints won’t harm you too much. But fast food is packed with all things bad for your brain, such as trans fat, saturated fats, sodium, sugar, fillers, preservatives and additives. Saturated fats alone reduce your brain’s ability to fight brain plaque and form new memories. And if that’s not enough reason to strike it off the menu, eating fast food is also linked to depression. For a snapshot of what fast food can do to you physically and mentally, check out a film called Supersize Me.

Do you steer clear of these foods? What ‘brain foods’ do you eat?

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