Can you help your brain stay healthy? The simple answer is yes!
Research has suggested that combining good nutrition with mental, social and physical activities benefits in maintaining and even improving brain health.
With major health issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s on the rise in the Western World as well as issues such as migraines, brain fog and various cognitive disorders, we need to do everything we can to take care of not only our bodies but our brain.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
The good news is that a heart-healthy diet benefits both your body and your brain
So in simple terms diets that help reduce the risk of heart disease may also be able to reduce the risk of dementia.
Eating processed and packaged foods such as pizza, microwave meals, crisps, chips, cakes and biscuits creates inflammation in the body. It taxes the body’s organs, weakens the immune system, leads to illness and disease, it impacts our state of mind, our brain health and our overall health.
According to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology when you eat a meal high in unhealthy fats and sugar, the sugar causes a major spike in your blood sugar levels.
This is called post prandial hyperglycemia and in the long term this can lead to increased risk of heart attack, in the short term this leads to:
• Damaging free radicals are formed
• Blood pressure may rise
• Surges and drops in insulin can leave you feel hungry and fatigued
• Cognitive issues, loss of memory
Your brain can also get insulin resistance and this is associated with neurodegenerative brain issues such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Insulin can pass fairly easily between the bloodstream and the brain so if blood insulin spikes it suggests that it will spike in your brain and elevated insulin levels affect memory formation and cognitive function.
People with Diabetes are much more likely to have memory and cognitive issues and this is one of the reasons; why Alzheimer’s disease has been referred to as Type 3 Diabetes
3 Foods To Avoid!
So hopefully by now you have realised the bad brain health foods to avoid are:
1. Sugar: high amounts of sugar can cause neurological problems as discussed ranging from memory to the ability to learn. Sugar causes inflammation in the body and this will encroach on the brain
2. Trans fat: synthetic trans fats increase inflammation in the body and create arterial stiffness and this affect the plasticity of the brain, it affects oxygen and nutrient delivery to the brain as well as affecting nerve transmission.
3. Packaged and processed Foods: these contain preservatives, additives, artificial flavours and chemicals that affect our behaviour and cognitive functioning. They take a toll on brain health. Junk food and fast food negatively affect the brain synapses (the signals that form memories and thoughts)
Your brain health, energy and mood at a very basic level are as good as your last meal
Changes in diet are an important strategy for enhancing our cognitive function and protecting the brain from damage. We need to replace junk food with real whole foods, cut out what I call the “faux” foods and junk, avoiding chemicals, additives, preservatives, refined sugars and artificial sweeteners that all affect our brain health, as discussed above.
Need help to boost your brain function?
You can impact your brain function and cognitive abilities by making simple tweaks here and there to your daily routine. Connect with me by clicking here, and get my 9 Tips for a Smarter You and learn more about how we can help you improve your brain function and achieve health, harmony and happiness.
Connect here with Watchfit Expert Kerry Madgwick