Did you know these foods are hurting your brain?

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Watching your diet used to be merely a way of ensuring you kept the pounds off, but nowadays, with the introduction of complex scientific research into the importance of what we eat, dieting has become much more focused on the overall health of our body. This includes how our heart and other vital organs function. One of these vital organs is, of course, the brain! Scientists are only just beginning to realize the extent to which this highly complex wonder of the natural world is affected by what we eat. But, while we know that there is a multitude of great foods for accentuating brain function – including oily fish, berries, nuts, and dark chocolate – it’s also important to know which foods can have a negative impact on your brain’s ability to function at its maximum capacity. Here at Main Line Adult Day Care – the top adult day care provider in Philadelphia – we’ve got a rundown of those foods that should be avoided if you want to keep your brain in tip-top shape!

Mercury in fish

Mercury is a chemical element that is used in industrial chemical processes across the world. Unfortunately, this has led to a huge amount of this liquid metal making it into our oceans where it’s made its way into the food chain of fish which we then like to have for our dinner! Mercury, even in small doses, can damage the nervous system and severely impede brain development in children, but even for adults, levels higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended daily intake can induce a 5% decrease in cognitive function. Fish at the higher end of the food chain contains a higher amount of this poisonous metal, so it’s a good idea to avoid regularly eating tuna, king mackerel, marlin, swordfish and shark, and other species of fish that are apex or close to apex predators.

Trans fats

Trans fats which are sometimes called “partially hydrogenated” oils, should be avoided at all costs! Apart from the well-known health impacts they can have on your heart and waistline, they’re also linked with causing Alzheimer’s disease due to the high amount of beta-amyloid-a peptide “plaque” that builds up in your brain. Those who consume high levels of trans fats tend to have lower cognitive abilities and can even develop smaller brains later in life!

High amounts of added sugar

Here in the US, we have one of the highest intakes of added sugar in the world! And all of that sweetness is having a potentially catastrophic effect on our mental ability. This is because a high intake of sugar causes insulin spikes which can lead to both vascular and neuronal damage, causing memory loss and even inducing dementia in old age.

Foods high in sodium

High sodium levels are usually caused by high levels of salt, but there are some exceptions where the level of sodium is high without being linked to added salt. Salt increases blood pressure causing high systolic blood pressure. This causes cognitive decline, and more significantly, what is known as “brain fog”. Try avoiding fast food and store-bought convenience foods to keep your blood pressure down and your mind clear!

At Main Line Adult Day Care, we understand the importance of keeping your brain in good health in order to ensure you’re at lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and lower mental cognitive function in your older age. Try avoiding the foods that fall into the categories we have mentioned above in conjunction with consuming high levels of brain-boosting foods to ensure you lower your risk of cognitive decline and keep your mind sharp well into your senior years!

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