Dr. Lisa Mosconi, a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School and author of Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power, explains: “Food we eat every day is broken down into nutrients that are absorbed into the bloodstream and they transport to the brain. Once there, they replenish depleted storage, activate cellular reactions, and eventually become the very tissue of our brain”.
Proper nutrition is important for a healthy mind. To prevent early memory loss, the doctor assures that it is essential to eliminate foods that are consumed regularly and that pose a serious danger to memory and concentration from the diet.
For her part, the nutritional psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School, Uma Naidoo, has produced a study that shows how intestinal bacteria from certain food products can trigger a “cerebral inflammation process that affects memory” and that it can lead to dementia. Therefore, she has recommended avoiding these foods.
Pastries, chips, soft drinks, ice cream or pizza are just some of the ultra-processed foods that can have negative consequences for our health if we abuse them. Ultra-processed foods are often high in added fat, salt, and sugar, while being low in protein and fiber. A recent study of data from the United Kingdom Biobank published in Neurology, ensures that replacing these foods
The researchers showed that replacing 20% of the weight of ultra-processed foods in the diet with an equivalent proportion of unprocessed or minimally processed foods was associated with a 34% lower risk of dementia and a 39% lower risk of vascular dementia.
Sugar and sweeteners
Although glucose is necessary for the proper functioning of the body and especially of the brain, excess can lead to an increase in glucose in the body and affect the plasticity of the hippocampus – the part of the brain that is responsible for managing memory. According to the American Heart Association, the daily consumption for women is 25 grams per day, while for men it should not exceed 36 grams per day.
Other foods to avoid are artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, stevia or sucralose, because they have no nutritional value and their regular consumption can affect memory. Instead, you can opt for honey or spices.
Industrial seed oils
Highly processed oils such as soybean, corn, canola, sunflower, or safflower oils contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause inflammation in the brain when consumed in excess. The most recommended oil is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).
Carbohydrates, according to the expert, should also be reduced, especially those made with refined flour. Some of the products that contain carbohydrates are pasta, breads, pasta, white rice and pastries.
According to Uma Naidoo, carbohydrates with a high glycemic load should be replaced by those made with whole grains, foods with high fiber content and those classified low on the glycemic index (GI).
This is another group of foods that does not benefit the brain at all. Among these foods, breaded chicken, croquettes and French fries stand out, among others. According to the professional, it is advisable to consume these foods once a month.
According to a study from the University of Cambridge, it has been shown that people with a diet high in fried foods had a lower level of learning and memory data. This can cause the person to have long-term depression.
The British Medical Journal has reported that people who consume more than 14 glasses per week have a higher risk of dementia compared to those who drink alcohol in moderation.