The brain is the most important part of the body because it controls all the inner workings of the body. Eating a diet that nourishes your brain is therefore essential for an overall healthy body. Similarly, avoiding foods that are harmful for the brain is also necessary. Here are five such foods that you should avoid consuming.
1. White rice:
Studies show that some carbs, especially those with a high glycemic-index, increase the risk of depression and other emotional problems.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2015 proved this in post-menopausal women. Those who ate more refined carbs like white rice, white bread and potatoes were more frequently depressed whereas those who consumed more lactose, fiber and vegetables were less likely to get depressed.
This is because such foods shoot up your blood sugar suddenly which results in a spike of insulin in your body, causing depression, mood swings and fatigue. And this change in blood sugar has a lasting effect on your mood.
2. Fruit juice:
Boxed fruit juices are almost as harmful for your brain as fizzy drinks because they too contain excess sugar.
A study showed that mice subjected to high-sugar and high-fat diets had a significant reduction in their cognitive flexibility, as well as their long term and short term memories.
The biggest reduction in mental ability was shown by the high-sugar diet group. This is also because fat and sugar affect the healthy bacteria present in your body which further adds to its harmful effects.
Cheese is high in saturated fat which causes inflammation in the brain and affects your memory. As mentioned above, high-fat diets have a strong correlation with poor memory, and they also hurt the hypothalamus which is a part of your brain that controls body-weight regulation.
A study examined brains of obese people and found this region injured, proving that consuming such foods alters your brain’s ability to regulate the intake and leads to weigh gain. Foods high in fat also cause inflammation in other parts of the body, including arteries, and this can possibly lead to a stroke.
Consuming a lot of fried food increases the content of saturated fat and cholesterol in your body, and may damage your blood-brain barrier and increase your risk of getting Alzheimer’s.
When the blood-brain barrier is disrupted, harmful substances can get in your brain. Additionally, blood cholesterol levels increase due to fried foods which is a major cause of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
5. Microwave popcorn:
Foods like microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, coffee creamer and frosting contain trans fats which can damage brain function and memory.
A study showed that eating too much trans fats resulted in lower cognitive function and total cerebral brain volume. Another study showed that out of a thousand men, those who ate more trans fats performed worse on memory tests.
Furthermore, in an analysis of 50 studies on trans fats, it was found that diets high in trans fats increase your risk of dying from heart disease by 28 per cent and from any other cause by 34 per cent.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.