We forget everyone’s name, lose our keys, and misplace our cellphones. Sometimes brain fog is so common and has so many possible triggers (lack of sleep, stress, medication, or depression, etc.) that it’s very hard to tell if your brain is aging faster than you expect or if you have forgetfulness. Just a temporary symptom of living a crazy modern life.
One thing you’ll definitely want to remember to help you stay mentally sharp is that your eating habits over time can lead to memory loss and other markers of cognitive function decline associated with an aging brain.
We’re still learning about the different forms and causes of dementia and the mechanics of the abnormalities that characterize Alzheimer’s disease, but more research suggests that our diet plays an important role.
“What we eat affects more than just our bodies; it also affects our brains,” he says Uma Naidu, MDA nutritional psychiatrist, trained chef, and director of nutrition and lifestyle psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Eating an order of french fries won’t fry your brain. It’s the regular consumption of these unhealthy foods overtime that can compromise your brain power just as it can increase your chances of experiencing other aging-related disorders such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Let’s review the types of foods that negatively affect our health and the research behind their dangers.
One way food affects cognitive function is through the brain-gut connection. Science suggests that an unbalanced mix of healthy and unhealthy bacteria in our microbiome can affect our brain chemistry, particularly neurochemicals like noradrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine, which affect learning and memory.
A study published in European Heart Journal Consuming too much red meat can increase levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which is a byproduct of gut bacterial metabolism. High TMAO levels may be linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
An unhealthy microbiome is also linked to chronic inflammation, including brain inflammation, which can affect blood flow to the brain. “Furthermore, changes in gut bacteria can increase amyloid deposition, which contributes to Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Naidu writes in his book. It’s your mind on food.
Fructose is the sugar in healthy fruits, but it’s also in cane sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the cheap liquid sweetener that food manufacturers add to processed foods to improve flavor and keep us eating. Cane sugar and HFCS are so prevalent in our food supply (soft drinks, candy, condiments, salad dressings, canned soups, baked goods, bread, and other processed foods) that it may pose a significant threat to the brain over the years. .
According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average American ingests 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds of HFCS in a year. That is very sweet. Rodent studies suggest that receiving large doses of fructose can alter the ability of brain cells to signal to each other and cause memory loss and impair learning. The results suggest that “long-term consumption of a high-fructose diet changes your brain’s ability to learn and remember information,” UCLA researchers Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, Ph.Dtold Science Daily.
Keep track of how many times you box or open throughout the day. It can be an eye opener. A recent study linked getting more than 20% of your daily calories from ultra-processed foods to faster cognitive decline, memory, and executive functions like juggling multiple tasks at once.
Research determined that men and women who ate the most ultra-processed foods experienced a 28% faster decline in memory, attention, verbal fluency, and visual/spatial ability and a 25% faster decline in executive function than people who ate the most highly processed foods. foods. Highly processed foods include pre-prepared frozen foods, potato chips and pretzels, ice cream, store-bought bread, cookies, cake mixes, cereals, packaged snacks, and more.
Fried foods—french fries, fried chicken, fried jalapeño poppers, batter-dipped deep-fried Oreo cookies, fried okra and their ilk—are some of the most ultra-processed foods on the planet. They’re also one of the most inflammatory foods you can eat, which suggests a possible reason for the results of a large study of more than 18,000 people in an area of the Southeast known as the “stroke belt,” where “Southern-fried.” There is a tradition of cooking.
The link between fried foods and blood vessel inflammation is well established from other studies. This one, published in Journal of Nutritional Sciencesdemonstrated that participants whose diets included the most fried foods scored lowest on tests of memory and cognition.
Eat This, Not That! Jeff Costari, a contributing writer for , is responsible for editing Galvanized Media books and magazines and mentoring journalism students through Moravian University’s Zinczenko New Media Center in Bethlehem, PA. Read more