Foods That Do Damage to Your Brain Power and What to Eat Instead
Want to know what are the worst foods for your brain? Here are a few you should avoid and what you should eat instead.
Brain function is one of the most important things that you should take care of. It is the “mastermind” of every other function your body has. It not only keeps memory and language, it also tells every organ and every part of your body what to do. Without your brain, everything will cease to function properly. It’s essential that you keep your brain healthy and happy to keep everything else functioning normally. The best way to do that is to stay away from any foods that may cause damage or cause any deterioration in your brain and opt for foods that nourish it. Here is a guide on some of the most common things you may be eating that are causing damage to your brain, and what you can eat instead:
What to Avoid
The brain needs healthy fats for it to function properly. Sadly, your favorite movie snack does not have this. Instead, microwave popcorn is filled with trans fat, which is industrially created and can cause some major complications like inflammation, high cholesterol, and damage the inner lining of your blood vessels, which is definitely a no-no for the brain. A lot of brands also produce microwave popcorn with a chemical called diecetyl, which can dissolve the layer of cells that protect your vital organs - and that includes your brain. Definitely avoid microwave popcorn as much as possible.
Tuna on its own is actually a really good food for the brain. It’s rich in healthy fats like Omega-3 that can improve your heart and brain health. However, due to the years and years of industrial pollution that it’s suffered, tuna has actually been contaminated high amounts of a heavy metal called mercury. This heavy metal has been proven to cause cognitive issues and heart failure. Unfortunately, even though tuna is actually a healthy fish, it’s best to limit your exposure. Look for canned light tuna, which has less mercury contamination than canned white (albacore) tuna, and limit your intake to 1-3 times per month if you can’t eliminate it completely.
You could say that margarine is the cheaper, evil twin of real butter. It looks like butter, it tastes like butter, it feels like butter, but it definitely doesn’t have the same effects on your body as butter. It is made using a synthetic chemical reaction as opposed to real butter that is made organically. This is also like a concentrated version of the hydrogenated oils, like those that are used in microwave popcorn. Margarine also raises bad cholesterol levels and lowers good cholesterol, which makes it bad for brain function and overall health. You’re better off sticking to moderate portions of the real stuff.
Sadly, ice cream can be bad for your brain. A small serving of regular vanilla ice cream has an exorbitant amount of sugar and saturated fat and of course, if you consume too much of both, it will be bad news for your arteries, your brain, and general health. Ice cream can still be a treat, but you should definitely cut back and stick to having it only once in awhile or even very rarely.
What You Should Eat Instead
If you buy and consume margarine on a regular basis, stop right there and just switch on over to real butter. Butter has actually gained a bad rep and is often considered as an “unhealthy” food. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Unlike margarine and other hydrogenated or artificially made oils, butter is organically made. It’s still a good idea to limit your intake, as too much saturated fat can be bad for your arteries, but generally speaking, it’s better to stick to butter!
Instead of having microwave popcorn, choose a pack of some organic air-popped popcorn, or just make your own popcorn in a pan at home. Microwave popcorn may be just a tad quicker, but making your own takes just a few minutes and is just as easy. The good thing about it is that you will know everything that you put in your food. Lightly salt it and add a tablespoon of melted butter for taste - it will be way better than consuming any of the hydrogenated oils in microwave popcorn, and it will even taste better.
It’s already been established that some oils are just not good for your brain and even cause some damage. As an alternative to any synthetically made oils, use coconut oil for cooking and baking instead. It has a higher smoking point in cooking, so it is better to use than other oils, but coconut oil contains a fairly high amount of saturated fats, like those found in meats. It can be an energy source for the brain, but keep it in moderation. It’s also antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral. If you’re looking for a versatile but healthy cooking oil, go for some coconut oil.
Greek Yogurt with Berries
A healthy and delicious alternative to good, old-fashioned ice cream is to switch it out for some Greek yogurt with berries. Greek yogurt is significantly healthier for your brain and body because of its healthy fats and probiotics. Make sure to get unsweetened Greek yogurt, without all of the sugar and additives. While it can be bit tart, you can throw in some strawberries or blueberries to sweeten it up and add more brain-friendly nutrients to your meal. Berries, particularly blueberries, have antioxidants and flavonoids in them that benefit your brain and overall health.
There is a misconception that removing the yolk and only consuming egg whites is healthier than actually eating a whole egg. This is actually a bad thing to do for your brain. Egg whites themselves don’t do any harm to your brain, but removing the yolk will remove nutrients that are actually good for your brain. For example, only the yolk contains Vitamin D, which can prevent Alzheimer’s and brain deterioration, while the whites do not. Another reason why people tend to stay away from eggs is because of its high cholesterol. But when consumed in moderation, the whole egg can be great for your brain.
The best way to live a good and long life is to keep your brain functioning at its best. As you grow older, your brain will be more prone to deterioration. To keep your brain as healthy as possible, be smart about the foods that you are eating. Stay away from those that will cause damage to your brain or promote decline, and eat foods that will promote healthy brain function.