As the most critical organ in your body, your brain is the center for thinking, emotions, speech, vision, and motion. Your brain is you. Lose your two legs; you’ll still be you. Lose only a tiny portion of your brain; you’re gone. The latter is, for example, dementia, a condition where the very matter that makes your brain wither away.
“You Should Take the Approach That You’re Wrong. Your Goal Is to Be Less Wrong.”
Your brain’s importance in all you do cannot be overstated. Here’s a short list of foods that weaken your mind that you might get great benefits from.
You often hear us talk about ways to make your brain better, more exercise, better supplements, increased sleep, hormetic stress factors (notably cold), and more. But sometimes, it’s not about being more right. It’s about being less wrong.
For the brain to be effective and stay as healthy as possible, it needs plenty of energy: the primary food or fuel for the brain is glucose. But some foods have adverse effects on your brain, causing memory problems lack of concentration and focus.
Here’s my count down for the five foods that are easy to avoid and that will yield disproportionate health returns once successfully removed.
Sugary drinks (soda, sports drinks, energy drinks) usually include only sugar and no other nutrients. Large doses of sugary drinks can impair memory and concentration…
In other words: they’ll narrow your mind and expand your waist.
Refined carbs, like white flour, have a high glycemic index. They cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels which is also quite bad for your brain. And I’m not even talking about the chlorine used to make white carbs “white.”
Foods High in Trans Fats
Those are a type of unsaturated fat that can have a negative effect on brain health.
While trans fats occur naturally in animal products, these are not a significant concern. It’s industrially produced trans fats, also known as hydrogenated vegetable oils, that are a problem.
They also contain a lot of refined sugar. It is better to consume more unsaturated fats in your diet.
These foods are usually high in sugar and added fats. They have a lot of calories and have fewer nutrients per calorie than whole foods. All this has adverse effects on brain health.
Nutrition per unit of calories is huge. The game of health and longevity can be boiled down to “as many nutrients in as few calories as possible.”
This one hurts me the most. I really like red wine, yet excessive alcohol consumption can lead to severe brain damage. Note that excessive is anything more than four standard units of alcohol per day or 14 per week for men and two per day and seven per week for women. Also, note that binge drinking can lead to severe brain impairment, even if occasional.
If, like me, you like red wine a lot and care more about your health than about tradition, you could give alcohol-free red wine a try (just try not to buy glorified grape juice when choosing an alcohol-free red wine).