The Worst Foods for Your Brain That You Shouldn't Eat While Dieting. Diet soft drinks and drinks with artificial sweeteners. French fries and other fried foods. A study of more than 18,000 people found that a diet rich in fried foods was linked to lower memory and cognition scores.
Many additives and ingredients in processed foods can have neurotoxic effects. I recently wrote an article about the devastating effects of MSG (monosodium glutamate) and aspartame. Monosodium glutamate is a source of glutamic acid, which excites brain cells to death. When it comes to what to eat to keep your thinker in tip-top shape, it's actually a little obvious (without any pun intended).
What's good for the rest of the body is also good for the brain. Filling your plate with whole foods, more plants than animal foods, and lots of colorful products helps a lot. In fact, general dietary patterns that prioritize plant-based foods and contain less meat and processed foods are linked to better brain function and a lower risk of brain-related diseases. Plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and (in some cases) healthy fats that help the brain throughout life.
While other nuts and seeds tend to get all the love, humble pumpkin seeds are like powerful little plants for our brain. They're full of zinc (the best vegetable source of this mineral, with 20 percent of the daily value per ounce), which plays an important role in brain health. Low levels of zinc have been linked both to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and to mental health conditions such as schizophrenia. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of B vitamins and magnesium, which may play a role in cognition and mood.
Another star of the Mediterranean and MIND diets, fish, which is regularly found in research, is linked to reducing the risk of cognitive decline. While many experts attribute these benefits to the omega-3 fatty acid content of fatty fish such as salmon, one analysis suggests that eating fish has benefits for reasons other than fat content. Like eggs, these benefits are seen throughout our lives. Pregnant women who ate up to 12 ounces of seafood a week had children with better cognition, including higher IQ scores, Ali says.
Research has also shown that healthy older people who eat just one meal of any type of fish a week, whenever it's baked or roasted, increased the volume of the area of the brain responsible for memory and cognition, which is important for reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease, he adds. When it comes to eating seafood, choose the varieties you like best and aim to eat 12 ounces a week. That doesn't mean you have to give up all red meat completely, but keep your intake under 12 ounces per week and consider swapping red meat for fish, beans, or tofu at some meals. It is recommended that women limit their intake of added sugar to less than 24 g per day and men to less than 36 g per day.
For context, a 12-ounce can of soda contains about 39 g of sugar, more than the recommended limit for men and women. Lemonades, sweetened iced teas, energy drinks, fruit juices and any other sweetened beverage can also add up quickly. While you may feel that an alcoholic drink can improve your mood and help you relax, it's likely that regular alcohol consumption is doing you more harm than good. Research shows that alcohol consumption can have a detrimental effect on brain health and memory function.
This is especially true with chronic and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. In addition, alcoholic beverages high in sugar and sweetened additives tend to be more damaging to memory and brain health in the long term, says Caroline Thomason, RD, CDCES, a dietitian and diabetes educator. A study showed that even moderate alcohol consumption led to a decrease in gray matter, which can lead to cognitive decline. Diets high in processed foods are linked to a number of negative health outcomes, and your brain health is no exception.
Several studies have linked Western diets, which tend to contain large amounts of processed, fried, and fast food, with cognitive decline and worse memory and learning scores. On the other hand, both the MIND diet and the Mediterranean diet, which contain few (if any) processed and fried foods, are known to be protective. In addition, higher consumption of processed foods has been linked to a higher risk of stroke. What you eat plays an important role in your brain health, from memory and learning to the risk of cognition-related diseases.
Fill your plate with brain-boosting foods and limit or avoid those that can cause havoc. But the most important thing is to focus on an overall diet with more plants and less meat, added sugars and processed foods. Changing eating habits is never easy. However, avoiding foods that induce memory loss and eating more memory-boosting foods improves your chances of enjoying comprehensive health.
You can avoid processed foods by eating mostly fresh, whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, meat and fish. Eating too little of these foods and too many complex carbohydrates, processed foods, and sugar stimulates the production of toxins in the body. .