How an Unhealthy Diet Can Shrink Your Brain

Unhealthy Diet Can Shrink Your Brain!

Alarmingly, junk food and fast food leaves adverse effects on us. Latest research shows that unhealthy food has an impact on our intelligence. It includes diets containing a high amount of refined sugar. Doctors say that this results in oxidative stress and mood disorders. UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla says that junk food and fast food affect the brain cells in a negative manner. These contribute to brain tissue injury. Besides the brain, an unhealthy diet has adverse effect on all stages of life, from a baby's development to old age. 

Food and Moods

Most of us may have already seen this in young children when we give them candies or chocolates. They have a sudden rush of sugar making them energised. Sugar spikes their energy level. Sugar must be avoided through regular meals and right snacks. Apart from being fuel for the body, it helps in keeping the mood stable. Meals not be skipped because it only creates more problems. It leaves the body prone to sicknesses and overeating. There's no denying that carbonated and soda drinks, milkshakes white bread and crackers only heighten the amount of sugar in our bodies. Thus, it's best to be avoided. Food such as chicken, yoghurt, eggs and seafood improve the mood. Doctors say that vitamin D relieves mood disorders, and vitamins folate and B-12 ease depression. Fibre, which is found in beans, peas and oats are known to decrease mood swings. The saying that 'we are, what we eat' is very much true. We should pay more attention to what we eat and avoid processed foods and sugars. 

Does Food Impact the Brain?

According to the Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology, Ralph Di Leone at Yale University, whatever we eat affects the brain, behaviour, neural circuits and overall health. Scientists support this statement by saying that quoted: adaptations that facilitated food acquisition and energy efficiency exerted strong evolutionary pressures on the formation of the modern brain and the energy-demanding development of cognitive skills. Plus, the latest research shows that unhealthy diet can shrink our brain! It can reduce the size of the left hippocampus. On the other hand, a healthy meal can increase the hippocampus. The research further says that a high-fat diet reduces brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels; this leaves an impact on behaviour and learning. Unhealthy diets lead to mental health disorders such as an increase in anger and schizophrenia.

This is very much shocking but true at the same time. And it's about time; we gave relooked at the foods we consume and turn over a healthy leaf.

Unhealthy Diet and Lifestyle Diseases

Diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, gout and obesity, etc. are diet-related disorders. High consumption of foods, high in calorie foods for some years often leads to lifestyle diseases. Fast food such as greasy French fries, burgers and pizza are high in salt as well as in calories and saturated fat. People should opt for green vegetables and fruits. It can be eaten in large quantity as it contains few calories. What one eats should be matched with physical activity such as through exercise or sports. To maintain health exercise is important, balanced diet, and consumption of water. Balanced diet plays positively in the body's metabolism system. With fast food joints at every nook and corner, diet has become challenging. Moreover, the choice of food is determined by one's society, culture and religion.

Opting for Health and the Brain

Eat fresh and healthy. Say no to burgers, nachos and French fries. Say yes to salads, yoghurts and fruits. It is a good start for a better brain health. Here are some noble food habits:

Fruits and veggies: take it as a snack or have it for lunch and dinner, either way, it's good.

Never skip breakfast: this is the first meal of the day, and our body needs it to kick start the day.

Exercise: a simple walk does wonders. But you can also go for a jog or a little run. It leaves a positive effect plus a good mood.

Water: one should drink at least eight to twelve glasses of water per day. It freshens and detoxifies the body.

Green tea: increases the metabolic rate as its high in antioxidants.

Carbohydrates/Protein: this is a good energy combination, not too high in calories e.g. wholegrain bread tuna or chicken sandwich; fruit and yoghurt.

Avoid saturated fats and cholesterol

Decrease your intake of red meat, opt for white meat such as chicken or fish which is rich in Omega 3 (good fat)

Use olive oil in salads: avoid salad dressings that are rich in fat.

Going healthy is great, but maintaining it is quite challenging. Many restaurants and cafes tempt us. We give in effortlessly, thinking that a small burger or a mini-serving of French fries will not do much damage. And this kind of thinking can lead from one thing to another. First, it will be French fries, then milkshake, then a burger and before you know it, you are back where you started - unhealthy diet. Moreover, healthy nutrients are not restrictive. There are so many great methods to try plus a variety of foods to eat. The only thing to keep a look out for is the portion. Small quantity is right. And if one feels hungry, then a light snack comes in handy. One should make their mind and heart healthy and walk towards what is best. An unhealthy diet will only leave in the hospital with hefty medical bills to pay. And no one likes the hospital or wants to pay bills. To prevent and avoid this, stay healthy, eat well. Make the right choice. Initially, it will be difficult but then, we all love challenges, so let's take this as a trial and strive. Good health means a lot of things such as stamina, more friends and one can work properly and spend time with the children and family. 

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