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7 Brain Breaking Foods You Should Be Avoiding ...

By Kati

Did you know that certain "brain breaking foods" can damage your intelligence? When it comes to nutrition, food is divided up into hundreds of categories. Everyone knows which foods are good for their body – and which are more likely to lead to weight gain or health issues – but the foods that can have a devastating impact on your cognitive skills are much less known. Here’s some of the brain breaking foods you should eliminate.

1 Sugar…

Yep, sugar isn’t just bad for your stomach – it’s one of the main brain breaking foods, too. Long term consumption of sugar has been shown to interfere with your memory, and a sugar addiction can cause a wealth of neurological conditions. Studies on school and university children found that sugar reduced the ability to learn, too. While sugar might be hard to cut down completely, it's well worth trying to reduce your intake at least.

2 Alcohol…

Have you ever noticed that when you are drunk, you forget things a lot easier? Where you were, whom you were with, what you did – some people even forget the names of common items, or can’t tell the difference between being drunk and being in a dream. Usually, this feeling is limited only to when you are drunk, and fades as you sober up. If you drink more than two drinks per week, though, you could see a permanent change to your mental abilities. It’s definitely worth having a few sober nights each week!

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3 Fried Food…

Processed and fried foods are packed with preservatives, artificial flavors, dyes, additives and chemicals – they ensure food lasts a while, and tastes good. They aren’t so good for your brain, though. Studies have shown that common preservatives and additives can cause hyperactivity in both adults and children, and regular consumption can lead to nerve cells in the brain being destroyed. Try to avoid frying food whenever you can, and especially avoid anything fried in sunflower oil.

4 Junk Food…

Junk food tends to be packed with fat, which isn’t too good for the brain or body. The University of Montreal recently found that junk food can drastically change the chemicals in your brain, causing depression and anxiety. Fat can also be addictive, causing withdrawal symptoms when you stop consuming the food. That’s not all, either – junk food inhibits the production of dopamine, a chemical that promotes happiness, supports cognitive function and controls motivation and memory.

5 Salt…

It’s common knowledge that we should all cut down on salt – it puts added pressure on your heart, and can seriously affect your blood pressure. It’s also thought that salty foods can impair your ability to think and recall information. Cutting out salt may not be as easy as you think, though – it’s hidden in a wide variety of foods, and cutting it out can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including a strong craving for salted goods.

6 Artificial Sweeteners…

It can be easy to think that swapping sugar for artificial sweeteners is the way to go – and typically artificial sweeteners do contain far fewer calories – but they may not be much better. A recent study suggested that participants who had consumed artificial sweeteners performed worse than their counterparts in simple memory, recall and intelligence tests. The study hasn’t been published yet, so the results may change, but it’s worth cutting down on sweeteners of all kinds if you can.

7 Nicotine…

One of the most used brain beating foods is nicotine. Whether it’s smoked or chewed, this addictive substance wreaks havoc on the brain and body. As well as causing premature ageing, bad breath and increasing your risk of lung cancer, it also restricts blood flow to the brain. Even the production of neurotransmitters is affected, as nicotine tightens the capillaries in the brain. Lovely.

Who knew there was so many brain breaking foods?! While the effects of these foods might be minimal if you only consume them once in a while, it’s worth checking your diet to see how often you enjoy them, and avoiding them completely before big tests or exams. Have you heard of a food that affects intelligence? I’d love to hear about it!

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