Some foods you might be eating daily can actually DAMAGE your brain over time. In this article, we'll explore foods that HARM your brain vs foods that PROTECT your brain.
First, I’ll start with the BAD NEWS...
There are some foods that can severely harm your brain. I’m talking about foods that can impair your ability to learn and affect your memory.
What’s more, if you eat the wrong foods or choose the wrong drinks you can even set yourself up for Alzheimer’s.
If you’ve ever known anyone who has suffered from Alzheimer’s or have had to care of a family member who had it, you know just how terrible this disease can be.
Near the end, they often don’t even recognize those closest to them.
It really is time for our society to sit up and take notice. Degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and diabetes are destroying lives. And it’s time to do something about it now, before it’s too late.
Even if you’re only in your 30’s, 40’s or 50’s things you do now can have deadly consequences…
Also, things you do now can help PREVENT these terrible diseases.
So, with that being said, let's dive in with today’s topic of foods that harm your brain, and what you can do about it...
The #1 Food That HARMS
Your Brain Is Fructose
In a study done by researchers at UCLA and Published in the Journal of Physiology, it was discovered that eating fructose can damage your memory and alter your ability to learn.
Besides the brain damaging effects, it’s also well known in the medical world that a diet high in fructose can also cause insulin resistance and ultimately type-2 diabetes. Not to mention, it can lead to excess body fat.
In addition, a high-fructose diet can also increase your triglycerides which can cause arterial plaques.
This puts you at risk for a heart attack or a stroke.
So. what this means is that a diet high in fructose, causes an impaired memory, alters your ability to learn new things, puts you at risk for type-2 diabetes and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
And if that wasn’t enough…It can lead to extra belly fat too.
How refreshing does that soda sound now?
Or that huge bowl of high-fructose-corn syrup-soaked ice cream!
The problem is that your average American, eating an average American diet consumes A LOT of fructose and doesn’t even know it. This is usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup.
Things like sweetened juices, orange juice, processed junk foods such as cakes and candies, as well as the HFCS that's hiding in things like commercial salad dressings, breads and cereals.
Even Ketchup has HFCS.
Plus, many so-called healthy sports drinks will often contain high levels of corn syrup or even crystalline fructose as their main sweetener.
And while you think your drinking something healthy, these drinks can often be even worse for your brain.
So, don’t fall for the marketing…or the well-paid celebrity athletes guzzling that stuff down.
In addition, things like agave syrup (aka, agave nectar) which most people consider a healthy alternative is one of the most concentrated forms of processed fructose in sweeteners as well.
My suggestion is that you stay away from agave sweeteners completely.
And while it seems like fructose-laden foods and drinks are hard to avoid, they really aren’t.
You just must choose wisely.
For example, make your own salad dressings with olive oil, vinegar and spices. Learn to drink your tea unsweetened with lemon and stay away from sweetened juices and beverages.
If you like condiments like ketchup, try to find an organic unsweetened brand or mix it with mustard or hot sauce to dilute it.
Final word on Fructose…While natural whole fruits DO contain fructose, it’s in much lower quantities.
And it’s much less than what’s in sweetened juice, soft drinks and junk food.
In addition, the nutrients found in whole fruits and the fiber content counteracts the negative effects.
A good rule of thumb is to keep fruit intake down to just 1-2 pieces per day.
Here’s a simple trick: Choose low fructose fruits. Fruits like lemons and limes have almost zero fructose and only about 3-4 grams of total carbohydrates.
Compare that to an orange that has 6 grams of fructose and almost 25 grams of carbohydrates.
I recommend you squeeze lemons and limes daily into either water or teas for a healthy and tasty drink.
Plus, consuming fresh lemon juice has also been shown to help lower blood sugar levels after a meal.
Other Brain Harming Foods
You probably already know just how bad these next couple of foods are for your health, but long term they can also really damage your brain.
Trans fats – most everybody knows that trans fats are bad for you. They cause inflammation throughout your body and damage your body’s cells, especially your brain cells. Your best bet to avoid these brain killers is to stay away from hydrogenated oils and deep-fried foods.
Mercury – several medical studies have shown high levels of mercury from pollution (water, air) and from fish higher up on the food chain. I’m talking fish like tuna, shark, swordfish, tilefish, etc. The mercury in them can be very bad for your brain. If you like any of these types of fish, limit your intake and switch to heathier fish like wild caught salmon, trout and other smaller fish. This should reduce your mercury load.
Foods made from wheat -- In his shocking book, Wheat Belly, Dr William Davis lays out a very convincing argument that wheat can become addictive to the brain. There are compound in wheat called "exorphins" that can effect your brain much like opioids. That’s one of the reasons why people have such a hard time giving up bread, pasta, cereal and other pastries. They’ve become addicted.
How many times have you eaten pasta or some other carb heavy wheat-based meal to the point where you are stuffed? I know I have. It’s like your brain just doesn’t want to stop, it can’t get enough.
Then just a few hours later, you’re hungry again, right?
And usually you’re craving some sort of sweet or carb-based food. When you focus more on meat, fish and vegetables, you’ll find that you often stay satisfied for hours without the later cravings or the energy crash.
This all sounds pretty-bad, right?
Now for the good news…
There are plenty of brain healthy foods herbs, nutrients and spices that can protect your brain and make you healthier.
In fact, did you know that compounds in the herb Bacopa Monnieri help activate memory, balance neurotransmitters, promote brain recovery and provide neuro-protective benefits?
In a 2013 scientific review of the neuropharmacological findings on Bacopa Monnieri, it was concluded that bacopa “demonstrates immense potential in the amelioration of cognitive disorders, as well as prophylactic reduction of oxidative damage, NT modulation, and cognitive enhancement in healthy people.”1
Then there’s Phosphatidylserine otherwise known as PS.
PS belongs to a class of molecules called phospholipids and your brain is full of them. And researchers speculate that it’s the decline of PS in the ageing brain that causes symptoms like memory loss, depression, and foggy thinking.2
In one randomized controlled trial, the “gold standard” of scientific research, 96 subjects with Alzheimer’s disease were given either a placebo or a supplement containing PS three times per day. At the beginning of the study and after two months, subjects were tested on their ability to perform seven activities of daily living. Those taking PS performed similarly before and after supplementation, while those taking the placebo significantly declined during that time.3
Then there’s Ginkgo Biloba. Most people have heard of the memory enhancing benefits of Ginkgo Biloba and for good reason. It works. It’s one of the most popular herbal supplements due to its high antioxidant levels.
In one study done at Oregon State University, researchers found that those taking Ginkgo Biloba regularly had a 70% lower risk of developing dementia.4
And in a German study, researchers performed a meta-analysis combining nine studies that tested Ginkgo Biloba. They concluded that Ginkgo Biloba was more effective in reducing memory loss or Alzheimer’s than placebo.5
Finally, there’s Huperzine A. This plant extract is derived from several species of firmoss plants. It’s thought to increase the levels of acetylcholine (an important neurotransmitter in the brain).
Double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials have shown that Huperzine A, provides a significant benefit to both memory and quality of life in those suffering from Alzheimer’s.6
Bottom line, these nutrients work, and they work amazingly well.
Which is why I’ve included all of them in my groundbreaking brain health supplement Youthful Brain.
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