Brain fog? It might be what you're eating...
You’re Getting Dumber With Every Bite You Take
Before you take another gulp of that beverage or another bite of whatever you’re about to chomp down on, you have to ask yourself this very important question …
Is this food making me dumb?
For millions upon millions of Americans the answer is, yes.
A great many foods in the average American’s diet don’t just make you fatter … they don’t just weaken your heart and make you diabetic. They also make you stupid.
If you’re like me, you know you need to protect every bit of brainpower you’ve been blessed with.
To do that, you need to cut back—way back—on some of the most common foods in the typical American diet.
Foods That Shut Down Your Brainpower
Look, I’ll be the first to admit I have a sweet tooth. More of an addiction, really. The thought of cutting sugar out of my diet … it’s not a welcome one. I’ve always figured if I make healthy choices otherwise and get some good exercise that I’ll be able to counteract the damage that sugar does.
For the most part, this strategy has worked okay for me.
But now there’s a recent study that shows rats that get a daily dose of fructose solution get progressively dumber. They have a hard time navigating the mazes that other rats are just zipping right through.
Quick ways to cut sugar include ditching the sodas for iced tea, swapping processed yogurts for plain yogurt and then mixing in honey and fruit, and ditching the “healthy” granola bars and cereals. A good rule of thumb—if there are more than 10 grams of sugar on the label, make a different choice.
Junk food in general is bad for your brain. The combination of low-quality fats, chemical preservatives, and processed sugars make your brain feel good by triggering it to pump out dopamine. But they also make your brain tired. They wear it out. In fact, eating junk food every day, day in and day out, can lead to memory loss. It even puts you at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The good news is that the reason you crave these foods is because you’re essentially addicted to them … if you can avoid them for just three or four days, your cravings will start to die off. Getting rid of the cravings makes it easier to make healthy food choices instead.
Think it’s just junk food and sugar—all the good stuff—that has a bad impact on your brain. It’s not.
Tofu is another offender. Foods that contain soy products in general are bad for the brain, especially if you eat these kinds of foods a lot. Scientists have found that people who eat the most soy have a higher risk for memory loss. So, check those labels and try to find foods without soy in them.
The bad news … soy products are in just about everything that comes in a box or that is otherwise processed. The surest way to cut soy out of your diet is to choose fresh ingredients and cook your own meals. And then snack on things like fruit, nuts, veggies, and cheese.
Brain-Boosters You Should Add to Your Diet Right Now
If certain foods make you dumb, it’s no surprise that other foods give your brain a boost.
In that rat study, I mentioned above, scientists found that giving rats a fructose solution and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement negated the effects of the sugar on the brain. (Maybe I don’t have to give up my sweets after all!)
Dark chocolate is another brain booster. (Things are looking better and better for my sweet tooth.) Obviously, dark chocolate is only good for your brain if you eat a bit here and there. If you make it one of your major food groups, you’ll lose the benefit.
Anything that grows from a plant and is brightly colored is also good for your brain. These types of fruits and veggies are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients that your brain needs to be at its best.
And your brain needs protein and healthy fats. So lean cuts of meat, fish, eggs, and avocados are all good choices.
Your brain, like every other part of your body, is affected by what you eat. Make good choices at least eighty percent of the time, and you’ll put yourself at lower risk of memory loss, brain fog, and Alzheimer’s disease.