Brain Foods: The Good and The Bad
Diet is an incredibly important part of human health. A good diet can prevent illness, reduce pain and inflammation, and aid cognitive function. Every morsel of food that you put in your mouth will either help or hurt your health, so it’s important to fill your diet with foods that will promote a healthier body and mind. Many people don’t realize that junk food does more to your body than deposit fat, it can actually cause diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s and even cancer. Understanding what foods do to your body is the key to life-long health.
High levels of luteolin found in walnuts, carrots, olive oil, peppers, and celery compound which reduces age-related memory deficits and inflammation in the brain. Studies showed that luteolin inhibited the excess production of TNF-alpha, which directly causes inflammation and apoptosis, or cell death. This is vital to a healthy brain and body.
Sugar, artificial food colorings and sweeteners, soda, and white bread all inhibit cognitive function and brain development. Sugar not only causes unhealthy fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which can lead to weight gain, but also promotes premature aging, inflammation, increased cholesterol, and cancer cell growth. Nonetheless, our bodies need sugar, so cutting it out completely would do more harm than good. Try eating sugar with protein or fat to slow down the metabolism process and help the body process the sugar in a healthier way.
Good: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to human health; unfortunately, your body can not produce them on its own. They can be found in foods like fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, some plants, and nut oils. Omega-3 fatty acids improve brain health and memory, reduce inflammation, and help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Symptoms of Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, dry skin, poor memory, heart problems mood swings or depression, and poor circulation. That’s why we talked before on mega red krill oil benefits.
Bad: Alcohol, Nicotine, and Drugs
Alcohol kills brain cells and depresses your nervous system. If you’re trying to improve your brain health but are having trouble cutting alcohol out of your diet, look to treatments for alcoholism. Nicotine and other drugs are also harmful to the brain. Nicotine causes constriction of the capillaries which restricts blood flow to the brain and reduces the delivery of glucose and oxygen.
Good: Naturally Caffeinated Drinks
Both coffee and tea may prevent alzheimer’s disease and improve cognitive function. The natural forms of these drinks are the healthiest for brain function. Having a cup of tea first thing in the morning can also help detoxify your system, which leads to protection against diseases and the elimination of harmful toxins.
Bad: Hydrogenated fats
Hydrogenated fats are made by taking oil (soybean, vegetable, palm, etc.) and heating them to five hundred to one thousand degrees. They then are injected with a catalyst for several hours. The catalyst is typically a metal such a nickel, platinum or even aluminum. As this bubbles up into the oil the molecular structure changes and increases in density, so that instead of a liquid at room temperature we now have either semi-solid or solid oil. This does not sound very appetizing, does it? And if you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, hydrogenated oils are one molecule away from being plastic.
When you consume hydrogenated oils, your heart has to work much harder to move this dense substance through your blood vessels, which is one of the main reasons hydrogenated oils contribute to high blood pressure. It can also leads to increased cholesterol, Alzhiemer’s, Parkinson’s and ADHD just to name a few. The best thing to do is to steer completely clear of hydrogenated oils. Your body will thank you. Also we recommend our article about avoidant personality disorder test.
Good: Antioxidants and Vitamins C and E
Spinach, loaded with vitamins C and E, helps improve cognitive abilities. Berries are high in vitamins and antioxidants which help improve memory, increase dopamine (pleasure chemical) levels and destroy free radicals in the body.
For long and short-term memory, brain development, and brain disease prevention, fill your diet with as many healthy foods as you can. If you aren’t good at quitting bad habits cold turkey, try doing it at a slower pace. Replace one bad food item with a healthier version every week or two. Before you know it, your diet will have significantly improved and you will be feeling better than ever! Also, you should check treatments for alcoholism..