Everything you eat seriously affects your brain. The brain, like any other organ in the human body needs nutrients to function. Proper nutrition will cause the brain to function perfectly. A wrong diet, will damage it.
The physical damage that can produce unhealthy foods is of two types: some prevent brain cells to absorb nutrients, other damage blood vessels that carry nutrients to cells. Damage both produce the same kind of physical effect: the malfunction of neurons and ultimately death if the damage persists over time.
The psychological effects of damage vary depending on how the nutrients from reaching the cell and where the damage occurs in the blood vessels.
You can find a list of foods that damage your brain and in what sense:
Very salty foods: Salty foods increase blood pressure. The increase in blood pressure can break the brain capillaries, creating clots in it, causing therefore the death of neurons. The effect is the inability to think clearly and recall information. In damage to the blood vessels of the brain it is one of the reasons that cause dementia.
Junk Food: Junk food inhibits the production of dopamine, the hormone responsible for happiness in the brain, and is also a memory controller. Low levels of dopamine in the brain have been linked to Parkinson’s disease. Also, junk food contains high levels of trans fats…
Trans fats: Allow the formation of plaques in the arteries. The plates gradually limit the passage of blood through the arteries throughout the body, including the brain, restricting passage nerve cells. Fats also generate a lot of free radicals, since fats oxidise quickly. Free radicals also kill neurons. This may be the reason why people who eat large amounts of trans fats have such a small brain. Trans fats are also linked to Alzheimer’s. Foods containing trans fats are, for example, bakery products, red meat, fatty cheese or whole milk.
Fried foods: Fried foods contain high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. These two elements are responsible for clots in the blood vessels of the brain; preventing neuronal cells have proper irrigation and receive nutrients. In worst case, this may also lead to strokes.
Sugar products and simple carbohydrates: Intake of sugary products has two malignant effects on the brain:
Development of tolerance to insulin. Since insulin is necessary for brain cells to absorb glucose, insulin tolerance prevents the brain from getting the energy it needs. In addition, insulin is present in several brain processes the tasks related to learning and memory. Some studies show that a low level of insulin for a while can cause cognitive impairment, and if maintained for a long time can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Excess glucose: Simple carbohydrates like pasta, bread and white rice are quickly converted into sugar once they have been processed in the stomach. This implies that a lot of sugar quickly deployed in the body. This produces strong shock of energy in the brain. But at the same time, the body releases large amounts of insulin to process the large amount of sugar. This produces a low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which causes the brain cannot find your fuel for proper operation. These bursts and energy depletion in the brain cells and can damage their long-term kill.
Alcohol and nicotine: Nicotine restricts blood flow to the brain, thereby reducing the supply of healthy substances (oxygen and glucose) in the brain. Alcohol causes memory loss and even in some cases, fainting. Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with impaired prospective memory, brain damage and, in general, a reduction in the capacity of executive functions of the brain.
Artificial sweeteners: A preliminary result of some research indicates that people who consume artificial sweeteners perform worse on memory tests, memory and intelligence. Furthermore, sweeteners are linked to cancer.
Most of us, we eat all these nutrients; can be even daily, and we feel good anyway. However, the effects of all foods in the brain are not seen in the short term, but long term (from seventy years onwards). And the only opportunity to avoid these problems from the sixties is now starting the restriction on the consumption of these products.
The good news is that if your brain already has some damage, starting now a good diet for the brain might be able to recover and avoid its effects, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.