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We’re often reading about the foods we should eat to enhance our brain’s functions, but we also need to take note of the foods we should avoid, foods that are detracting from our brain’s ability to perform its vital functions. Some foods make the mind sluggish or affect our moods to compromise our mental health. An optimum diet enhances brain function. So if you’re not eating the right foods to support your brain, you could actually be eating foods that harm your brain. If you want to protect your mind and enhance its performance, be sure to avoid the following foods that could be negatively affecting your brain’s health.

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French Fries

People love their french fries. Therefore it is a definite downer to find this food on our list. In just ten seconds, McDonald’s will sell more than ten pounds of its french fries. While many people are aware that eating fried foods like french fries can negatively impact health, they might not know that eating food like fries twice or more each week can increase their risk of mortality twofold. Concerning brain health, french fries with their unhealthy trans fats can disrupt the brain’s cognitive functions. After eating fries, people may experience a decrease in their ability to focus and comprehend information. Studies have shown that diets high in trans fats can lead to poor memory, reduced processing skills, and poor comprehension.

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Hot Dogs

What would a baseball game in the stands without a hot dog to enjoy between innings? According to the medical community, hot dogs, while they taste great, are not great for your overall health. And certainly not for your brain in particular. Hot dogs are the kings of processed meats. Processed meats are loaded with horrible additives like preservatives, an abundance of salt and sugar, and even dyes. Your taste buds might fancy a hot dog with relish, but your brain does not. Eating hot dogs and other processed meats are associated with an increased risk for brain tumors. The nitrites contained in hot dogs are also linked to various types of cancers like leukemia. It’s a good idea to eliminate this food from your diet.

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White Rice

Studies have demonstrated that some types of carbs can negatively impact our mental health. High glycemic foods like white rice are linked to an increased risk for depression. These studies have demonstrated that diets high in refined carbs can lead to feelings of fatigue, moods swings, and symptoms of depression. Eating brown rice, instead, is a healthier option. If you can’t live without white rice, you should do your best to reduce your intake. When you do eat this food, be sure to pair it with leafy green vegetables and legumes to help combat the rice’s adverse mental effects.

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Tuna

People who love sushi don’t want to hear about tuna’s negative effects on the body. But the news is evident. Tuna, particularly canned tuna, is associated with mercury. Tuna like bigeye and albacore may have healthy fats to offer our diet, but their high mercury content can spell trouble for cognitive function. Mercury and other heavy metals can significantly impact brain health, so we must strive to eliminate and certainly reduce them from our diets. While tuna has lots of mercury, other types of fish do not. As you lower your tuna intake, try to eat more fish like wild salmon and trout.

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Diet Soda

According to a recent article in Forbes, diet soda has been linked to increased risk of stroke and dementia. Specifically, the medical researchers have suggested that it’s the artificial sweeteners in diet soda that can lead to the development of these serious conditions. Researchers have also noted that since diet sodas can affect healthy bacteria levels in our digestive tract, it can also impact the work of neurotransmitters, which is essential to healthy brain function. Of course, sugary drinks aren’t good for your mental and physical health either, but as more research is conducted, diet soda is looking more and more like a villain to be avoided.

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Fast Food Burgers

We all know that fast food isn’t ideal for our health, but millions continue to enjoy it. Laden with salt and preservatives, deep fried, and loaded with unhealthy fats, your favorite fast food burger isn’t doing your overall health any good, but it’s likely detracting from your brain health too. Eating a diet that includes a high intake of fast food can lead to the development of symptoms of anxiety and depression. Moreover, many people have experienced periods of hyperactivity after eating fast food, owing to the types of preservatives that could be included in their meal. Although that fast food burger might contain some protein, the fat in the burger and the processed nature of the buns do more harm to your brain and body than good.

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Cheese

Cheese plays a significant role in diets all over the world, but this food could be compromising brain health. Unsurprisingly, cheese is loaded with saturated fats. Diets that are high in unhealthy fats correlate with increased risk for reduced memory and increased inflammation. These fats can also injure the hypothalamus, which helps regulate body weight. A damaged hypothalamus can increase a person’s risk for obesity. Reducing your cheese intake, therefore, is a significant way to protect your brain’s functionality.

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Caffeine

Offer your coworkers decaf coffee on a Monday morning, and you’re likely to be shown the door. To many, caffeine is like mother’s milk, but it can be hurting your brain. Caffeine is a stimulant so that it can give your mind a jolt. Too often, however, people rely on this jolt to feel energized. With most stimulants, however, there is a crash. Once your caffeine buzz wanes, your energy levels can tank, which often prompts people to take in more caffeine, which leads to a vicious cycle of jolt-and-crash. When too much caffeine is consumed, it can make you feel shaky and nervous. It can also exacerbate anxiety. If you’re suffering from mood disruptions, you might want to assess your caffeine intake and consider cutting back substantially.

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Microwave Popcorn

Buttery trans-fat-laden microwave popcorn can have negative effects on brain health. Studies have shown that diets that are loaded with unhealthy facts have a negative impact on memory. Although many worry about the chemicals in the steam we breathe upon opening a popped bag of microwave popcorn in terms of lung health, it appears that this convenient snack could negatively impact our brain’s ability to comprehend and process information. Instead of using these microwavable bags, consider popping your own corn to enjoy so you can have full control over the ingredients you add to it.

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Doughnuts

Doughnuts are among the worst foods you can eat for your body and your brain. So pretty with their frosting and sprinkles, these lovelies have a dark side with their saturated fats and sugar. The saturated fats in doughnuts can actually damage the blood-brain barrier. Because doughnuts are loaded with cholesterol, they can help pave a path to cardiovascular disease. High blood cholesterol levels have been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and can prevent the brain from getting the important nutrients it needs for optimum health. Finally, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the high sugar content of doughnuts and other sweets can lead to memory problems and cognitive deficiencies.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.