We forget how fragile our brains are. Think about it: your brain is made up of cells, all of which need to be fed properly. If you decide to give yourself a high dose of nicotine or tar, or a surge of sugar and empty calories, your brain doesn’t just sit there. It takes the damage, and you might feel the damage one day.
Taking care of our brains and getting our brains healthier in the long term can take a lifestyle change. It might mean sleeping for at least 8 hours a night. It might mean avoiding liquor, high doses of caffeine, cigarettes, and other vices. It can also mean changing our diet for the better.
Our modern diet is rushed: we need to finish a lot of work, and we’re always running around, taking bites off of everything. But let’s sit down for our meals, really think about what we’re eating, and put a plan into it. After all, we’ve got only one brain each, and we need to really take care of it.
Aside from eating the right foods, here’s a list of foods that you might want to avoid as you change your lifestyle and take care of your brain.
1. Full fat dairy products
There’s nothing wrong with yogurt, ice cream, and milk when they’re taken in moderation. However, when you start taking full fat dairy products, you are overloading your body in a myriad ways. You are overloading your immune system, which needs more vitamins than fat in order to function. You are overloading your digestive system, which can only take so much fat before it starts to break down.
Moreover, a high fat diet, especially when coupled with low activity, can make you feel lethargic. So opt for lower-fat dairy products, so that you can concentrate on getting the rich PROTEINS that will feed your brain.
2. Refined flour products
We’ve been told time and time again: stay away from processed foods, and keep away from carbohydrates that burn fast. Now why is this? When you burn carbohydrates fast, you lose your energy stores quickly, and you end up in an unproductive sugar crash. Instead of giving your brain the chance to think, you give it just a lightning-fast shot of energy, which quickly dies out. So instead of eating white bread, try whole wheat bread. Instead of white pasta, try whole grain pasta. Try a bowl of red or brown rice instead of white rice. There are many substitutes that are more healthful and hearty.
3. High-sugar chocolates and candies
Just like processed foods and grains, your body will burn sugars and candies so quick, you won’t even have time to think! Plus, if you’re getting jittery, you’ll start getting stressed, making your body release a wide variety of toxins. Don’t overload your brain with these toxins, and don’t tire out your brain by making it take care of a broken immune system, too!
Pick fresh fruit or even berries instead of snacking on high-sugar foods. If you really need chocolates, take dark chocolates above the 70% level, which have antioxidants. These can help your brain better than a big dose of sugar.
4. Any deep fried foods
A high fat diet weakens you, making you feel lazy and lethargic. Give yourself a boost by eating fresh vegetables and lean meat instead of indulging in a plate of deep fried anything. Your brain will thank you in the short term: by waking up your brain, you’re giving it a chance to work. Your brain will also thank you in the long term: by not adding to your health problems, your brain can take care of thinking for you. True, you might not be able to avoid hypertension, heart disease, or atherosclerosis, but you shouldn’t encourage them from happening, either!
5. Too much meat – and too much fatty meat!
Lean meat has a good store of proteins that your body can burn slowly, allowing it to make the most of its energy stores. Give your brain a chance to think by providing it with proteins that it can use as brain food. You can also give your body a chance to heal by not overloading it with too much fat! Instead of that pork chop, get some lean ground beef or some lean cuts of pork. You can also get some chicken breasts minus the skin. Go for cuts that are not just lean, but well packed with protein.
These are just a few foods to avoid as you go on your journey to better brain health. You’ll find yourself thinking better and getting more energy throughout your day when you choose which foods to eat, and which to give up.
Whether it’s about DNA, ancient history, supplements for the brain, belly dancing, brain power supplements, or science communication, Inez Ponce de Leon loves to write about it. Inez is a researcher, novelist, dance instructor, and writer of nutritional articles.
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