Have you ever eaten stupid for breakfast? No, I haven’t lost my marbles to be asking a question like that, but there indeed are certain food items that kill intelligence. Allow this NutriNeat post to elaborate.
“The food that you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
– Ann Wigmore
All of us are all too familiar with food items that cause heart attacks, obesity, cancer, and other nasty unmentionables. But to have grub that kills intelligence seems like something really OTT.
This list includes alcohol, junk food, artificial sugars; more or less the same set of offenders that cause the aforementioned ailments. So, basically, what is bad for the rest of our body does not spare the brain as well.
Hectic that our lives are, there is no escaping from all the food items that are mentioned in this list. But remember, that the key to living a healthy life lies in moderation. If we manage to strike a balance between the healthy and the not-so-healthy, it definitely allows us to enjoy the occasional binge or indulgence.
Top 10 Intelligence Killers
Certainly no surprises here, as alcohol’s reputation as a brain killer precedes itself. We commonly know of alcohol wreaking havoc with our liver, but it can cause some serious damage to the brain cells as well. Well-known side effects of alcohol include memory lapses and a lack of focus. Prolonged alcohol abuse has also caused disruption in cognitive faculties. Therefore, stick to the recommended alcohol intake, and respect your intelligence.
There is a reason why it’s termed ‘junk’ food, and I suppose we’re already acquainted with it. Burgers, fries, and the like manage to tempt the devil in us, all thanks to their excessive fat content, which is responsible in creating an addiction. Unrestricted consumption of junk food interferes with the production of dopamine, our ‘happiness’ chemical, fueling symptoms associated with mood swings and depression.
Added sugar is understood to be the causative factor behind neurological problems. Excessive consumption reduces the production of a brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Its absence impairs learning and memorizing as well. Sugar’s addictive nature promotes indulgence, long-term consequences of which are affected learning ability and poor cognitive skills.
Deep-fried food items, typical to the Southern style of cooking, have been singled out as the reason behind Southeast America’s reputation as the ‘stroke belt’. The high levels of fat and cholesterol present in fried food lay deposits on the walls of the arteries supplying blood to the brain. Lack of adequate blood supply is what eventually causes a stroke. So, when your regular diet consists generous helpings of fried chicken, you know you are inviting trouble.
Processed meals sound like a blessing, considering the hectic lives we lead. With very little time on our hands, frozen meals have become constant companions to most of us. However, regular consumption of packaged meals can up your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which is a form of dementia that degenerates brain cells over time.
Just like sugary substances, salty food items can be addictive as well, and with dangerous consequences. Sodium is known to interfere with our blood pressure, but did you know that it disrupts our thinking abilities as well? Not for nothing do doctors advise us to cut down on salts. Salt, as a premium preservative, is generously used in pickles, so refrain from over indulgence.
Proteins – good, fats – bad, is what we learned in school. But when proteins include processed proteins, as in sausages, pepperoni, and salami, we’re treading dangerous ground. Preservatives, like sodium nitrate, that go into processing meats, combine with the proteins to form the cancer-inducing agent nitrosamine.
Nicotine may not exactly qualify as food, but to many among us, it rates higher than food. The cancer stick is known to restrict the supply of oxygen and blood to the brain. Further, it tightens the capillaries, and affects the function of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that aid communication within our body.
Many of us live with the misconception that artificial sweeteners are damage-free, but we couldn’t be more wrong. Like most other things mentioned in this list, moderate consumption of artificial sweeteners does no harm, but yes, abuse them, and you’ll have to suffer the consequences, which include brain damage.
Trans fats are present in most of our packaged food items, particularly in the delicious chips that we love to wolf down. Trans fats, over a period, make us susceptible to suffering a stroke, as they clog arteries with deposits of cholesterol. Also, they beget the shrinkage of the brain, not unlike what happens to patients of Alzheimer’s disease.
Not a single food item on this list came as a surprise, as these happen to be health offenders all the way. The intelligence now remains in seeing how we manage to hoodwink these food items, and slip as far away from them as possible.