15 foods that damage the health of our brain
Have you ever heard the phrase: "we are what we eat"? Well, this saying may be true. If in our article "The 5 foods that help improve intelligence" we talk about the benefits that some foods in our cognitive functioning, in today's article we will talk about the opposite: foods that negatively affect our brain.
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Foods that are harmful to our brain
Everything we eat influences the way in which our body tries to maintain a balance so that all vital functions, tissues and organs are in the optimal state of health, so do not miss this list of 15 harmful foods for your brain functioning . Let us begin!
Fructose is the main sugar found naturally in honey and fruit (and in some vegetables, such as carrots), but other sources, not so healthy, are ordinary or table sugar, sucrose, which contains one half of fructose and another half of glucose; and the glucose-fructose syrups, which are made from corn and wheat and are used as sweeteners in various foods.
Fructose has a Glycemic Index (GI) higher than glucose, which causes hyperglycemia. A study published in The Journal of Physiology found that fructose has a negative effect on our brain, affects the functioning of brain cells and how they store the energy needed to process both learning and thoughts.
2. Salty foods
Salty foods such as chips in a bag cause serious health risks (for example, high blood pressure). It is also unwise to consume it for weight loss, because excess salt is responsible for fluid retention.
Recent studies also claim that salt affects our intelligence and impair our ability to think . This is what explains an investigation published in the magazine Neurobiology, because diets that contain a high sodium content are associated with heart problems and cause cognitive deterioration to be more accelerated.
3. Artificial sweeteners
Many people substitute table sugar for other sweeteners to drink coffee, thinking that they are healthy products. The truth is their prolonged consumption can be just as negative as the product they intend to replace , because sweeteners can cause brain damage and problems with cognitive ability.
And even though these people think they do their bodies a favor because they consume fewer calories than sugar, in the long term the consequences are just as harmful to their bodies, since these substitutes contain preservatives, dyes and other ingredients that contribute flavor or texture, and, at the same time, harmful consequences for our health.
4. Monosodium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is an additive widely used by the food industry, especially in Asian cuisine, and is considered a flavor enhancer, it highlights the nuance of other flavors. However, its components negatively affect our brain through the overexcitation of neurons to the point of brain damage.
Although the Food and Drug Administration US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) listed it as a safe food in 1958, and some laboratory studies with animals have shown that consumption of this substance causes damage to nerve cells in the brain. In addition, excessive consumption of MSG can cause headaches, fatigue or disorientation.
Fried foods may have a great flavor, but for the sake of our brain health, their consumption should not be part of our daily diet. These, in addition to being products with a high fat content, also cause cholesterol to affect the arteries . In the long term, fried foods destroy our neurons and impair our ability to learn and memorize.
6. Added sugar
Excess sugar is associated with serious health problems , for example, it inhibits the immune system, weakens eyesight or contributes to obesity. Not only that, but its prolonged consumption affects our brain: it causes neurological problems and learning and memory difficulties. This is what a study concludes in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
In addition, the researchers concluded that participants in their experiment who consumed between 17-21% of calories in sugar had an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
7. Soft drinks
Soft drinks have a very high sugar content.For example, Coca-Cola contains for each can of 330 milliliters, approximately 39 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to almost 10 cubes of sugar. Although the sporadic consumption of these drinks does not produce any harm to our health, prolonged and excessive consumption can be lethal .
In addition to the negative effects on our brain that cause sugar and that have been discussed in the previous point, soft drinks are prepared compounds containing Aspartic acid and Femilamina, substances that cause damage to brain cells, brain tumors and increase the acidity of Urine creating susceptibility to urinary tract infections. On the other hand, different studies have shown that light soft drinks, with high contents of sugar substitutes, increase the chances of suffering brain damage, memory loss and mental confusion over the years.
8. Junk food
The different media warn us of the danger of incorporating these foods into our diet, but the truth is that there is more and more access to these types of products. Research has shown that its prolonged use affects our brain and causes chemical changes in this one , with similar symptoms to the abstinence, and arriving to cause anxiety and depression.
Junk food becomes a drug, and the abuse of these foods has an effect in the area of reinforcement and, therefore, in the production of dopamine. This neurotransmitter actively participates in the ability to learn, motivation or memory.
9. Saturated fats
The consumption of foods high in saturated fats has increased in recent decades, causing obesity and problems associated with this condition to increase. However, an investigation carried out by Nuria del Olmo and Mariano Ruiz-Gayo at the CEU San Pablo University and presented at the Annual Congress of the Endocrine Society (San Francisco), has concluded that diets rich in saturated fats are not only a problem for physical health, but causes eating disorders , metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and a risk for cognitive development, especially related to memory.
10. Hydrogenated oils
If saturated fats are harmful, even worse are the trans fats found in hydrogenated oils. Experts warn that diets high in trans fat increase beta-amyloid in the brain, which is associated with Alzheimer's disease .
In addition, the magazine Neurology He published research that showed that a high intake of trans fat is associated with brain shrinkage and an increased risk of stroke.
11. Processed and precooked foods
Processed foods fulfill most of the negative characteristics that we have mentioned in the previous points. They contain high contents of sugar, fructose, sodium, hydrogenated oils, and therefore these foods can damage the health of the brain. In fact, processed or precooked food affects the central nervous system and increases the risk of developing a neurodegenerative disorder like Alzheimer's disease.
Alcohol is known as a food that does not provide nutrients but extra calories to our diet. Along with tobacco is, without a doubt, one of the substances most consumed and harmful to our body at the same time. The damages of excessive alcohol consumption are well known, but recently a group of researchers from the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU) and the University of Nottingham (United Kingdom) have identified the damage caused to the brain.
Alcohol causes alterations in the prefrontal area of the brain , a region that controls executive functions such as planning and designing strategies, working memory, selective attention or behavior control, as well as other areas related to different behavior alterations or motor functioning.
Having a coffee in the morning in the office is not bad, because it can help us to be a little more alert and carry out the tasks with greater concentration. However, if you abuse this substance has a negative side .
The Food and Drug Administration The United States claims that 600 milligrams of caffeine a day can cause headaches, raise anxiety and cause various sleep disorders. Excess caffeine can cause different consequences such as confusion, and more long-term cardiovascular problems and even stroke.
It is true that tuna is a great food because it provides a large amount of proteins, in addition to fatty acids such as Omega-3, and that is why the American Heart Society recommends its consumption twice a week at least. However, the big eye tuna or the white tuna are rich in mercury , so that excessive consumption can cause an acceleration in cognitive deterioration.
15. Cured products
Cured products such as serrano ham, bacon or loin embuchado, despite its great flavor, are rich in fat and salt. When consuming salty products, the body retains more fluid and needs more water . According to a study Military Medicine, this can cause dehydration and, therefore, a decrease in cognitive function.