A list of Brain damaging foods to avoid
There are many foods that are toxic to the body and can harm the health of your brain. Eating the wrong foods too often causes inflammation in the structure of the brain, which can lead to poor memory function, slow learning, amyloid plaquing, sleep apnea, Alzheimer’s Disease, hypoxia and many other problems.
In this article, we will share with you a list of the worst brain-damaging foods which you can avoid. We explain how these foods affect the brain and what you can do to reverse any damage.
1. Fish: High In Mercury Some fish contain high amounts of mercury which has a toxic effect on the brain. Mercury damages the cerebellum and cerebral cortex, causing neurological problems and long-term nerve damage. The fish containing the most mercury are Bluefish, Grouper, Mackerel, Orange Roughy, Shark, Swordfish and Tuna. Cut back on these fish and eat cilantro (coripander), chlorella or walnuts to help remove mercury from the body. Wild-caught cod, anchovies, salmon, sardines, oysters and herrings are all excellent alternatives.
2. Sugary Foods: Foods that are high in sugar are some of the worst foods which harm the brain. These cause insulin resistance, which blocks nutrients and energy from getting to the brain cells. Eating sugar regularly lowers brain activity, leading to brain fog, memory loss and lack of concentration. Always check the labels for hidden sugars labelled as maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup and fruit concentrates. The worst foods high in sugar are fruit juices, flavoured yoghurts, doughnuts, cereal bars, sauce coated buffet meats, candy and soda drinks.
3. Trans Fats: Some of the worst brain-damaging foods are hydrogenated oils like vegetable oil, margarine and easy spreads, soy oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil. These cause massive amounts of inflammation in the brain which leads to cellular destruction. Trans fats increase the risk of dementia, along with heart disease, stroke and diabetes. We recommend cooking your own healthy meals using extra virgin coconut oil. This is a superfood rich in MCT’s (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) which can improve the connections between neurons in the brain. Extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil are also excellent alternatives to vegetable oils.
4. Fast Foods: Many fast-food restaurants and pre-packaged foods are fried in trans fats and hydrogenated oils. Avoid foods like fries, pizza, doughnuts, and deep-fried burgers, fried chicken, and BBQ coated meats. Many of these foods form sticky proteins and fats in the blood called A.G.E’s (Advanced Glycation End Products). These are harmful compounds which cause oxidative stress to the brain when eating in large amounts. Try to cut back on fast foods and limit them to special occasions, so that you don’t overwhelm your body. Eating leafy green cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, arugula, bok choy and kale can help reduce inflammation in the brain tissue, and reverse the damage.
5. Iron Fortified Foods In the USA many foods containing wheat have been enriched with elemental iron. This is toxic for the body and is not easily absorbed. Too much free iron in the body causes oxidation of the brain and plaque to build up. This is linked to conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, mental disorders and poor brain development in children. Avoid iron-fortified bread, cereals and pasta and switch to whole grain organic foods.
6. High Glycaemic Foods are bad for brain health: Foods which are high in carbohydrates are converted into sugar in the body. This has the same negative effects as eating pure sugar. Foods like bread, rice, honey, sweetened drinks, pastries, sugary cereal bars and even some fruits are high in the glycaemic index. These foods raise blood sugar and have been linked to higher rates of depression. You can replace high glycaemic foods with healthy fats like avocado and grass-fed butter to satisfy you and reduce cravings quickly. Consuming nutritional yeast and organic grass-fed meats supply B Vitamins. These can reverse depression, prevent nerve damage and help to keep blood sugar levels under control.
7. Iron Tablets: Many doctors prescribe iron tablets or supplements which are not easily absorbed by the body and can cause damage. These are made from elemental iron and you may notice dark stools, stomach problems, brain fog, heartburn and nausea when taking these. Switch to a high-quality grass-fed spleen extract or liver extract. This is a natural form of iron bound to protein, which your body can absorb and use to strengthen the blood. Potassium and Calcium tablets also often contain the wrong types of these minerals. You can get the natural bio-available forms of minerals from eating leafy greens, sea kelp and making kale smoothies.
8. Soda Pop: Fizzy drinks contain lots of phosphoric acids which can block your body from absorbing calcium and magnesium. This is added to the drink to prevent the growth of mould or bacteria. A deficiency in magnesium can prevent the mitochondria from generating energy for the brain. The neurons of the brain become deprived of energy, causing a loss of density in the synapses. People who drink lots of soda will notice that they have poor sleeping patterns, memory loss, poor learning and brain fog. Try to cut this out and switch to water infusions with fruits and berries. You may also take a supplement of Magnesium L-Threonate to boost the health of the brain and reverse damage caused by soda.
9. Soy: Foods which contain soy can cause a range of different problems in the body. Soy is considered an anti-nutrient as it blocks the absorption of proteins and minerals in the body. Soy is hidden in many different foods such as vegetable oils, protein bars, diet shakes, ready meals, vegetarian meat substitutes and even some baby milk formulas. Phytic acid found in soy inhibits the absorption of zinc in your body, a vital mineral needed for brain health. Zinc prevents amyloid plaquing in the brain, reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. To reverse damage caused by eating lots of soy, eat pumpkin seeds and Alaskan crab to boost your zinc intake. Intermittent fasting and prolonged fasting are excellent ways of cleaning out calcified plaque in the brain tissues.
10. Alcohol is the worst food for brain: Drinking alcoholic drinks on a daily basis actively damage dendries (neuron endings) In the brain. This makes it difficult for them to send messages to one another. You will notice that your thoughts are not clear and are unable to memorise things with ease. Alcohol also causes a B1 (Thiamine) deficiency and in extreme cases can lead to Wernicke Korsakoff encephalopathy. This can affect the vision, cause sleep apnea and drooping eyelids. Cut out the alcohol and save it for special occasions and start taking nutritional yeast or benfotiamine to boost your B1 levels.
As you can see there are many foods that are causing damage to the brain, and there are also lots of natural foods that can be used to heal the brain. It is important to learn about which foods to avoid so that we can secure our long term brain health, leading to a more enriched, healthy and enjoyable life. When using cell phones, do not press the phones against the ear. This gives off EMF, a form of radiation which can affect the brain. Keep the Bluetooth switched off. A small amount of aerobic exercise like jogging each day boosts oxygen levels in the brain to trigger healing at the cellular level. Getting more sunshine on the skin is the best way to boost your Vitamin D levels which helps to regulate your sleeping patterns and make you feel more alert and calm. Eating large amounts of leafy green cruciferous vegetables is the best way to detoxify the brain and trigger healing within the cells. Eating lightly steamed kale is one of the most nutrient-dense and can rapidly boost your memory, cognition and recall. The very best supplement you can take is virgin cod liver oil, preferably from an Icelandic source. This is rich in DHA the most important omega 3 fatty acids for improving brain health.