It’s never too late to begin eating a diet that provides you with the greatest chance of avoiding dementia as you get older and helps make sure that you are focused and sharp daily.
As a nutritional psychiatrist, I study how our stomach bacteria can cause brain inflammation and metabolic processes that affect memory. Current studies suggest the idea that we might be able to lessen the chance of dementia by staying away from foods that compromise our stomach bacteria and weaken our memory and focus.
Here are 3 foods I try to stay away from to fight inflammation and promote sharp thinking, brain health, and good decision-making:
1. Added sugars
To fuel cellular activities the brain uses energy in the form of glucose. A high-sugar diet can cause surplus of glucose in the brain.
Eating processed foods such as soda and baked goods, which often contain a large amount of added and refined sugars, floods the brain with too much glucose.
The American Heart Association suggests that women intake less than 25 grams of added sugar during the day, and men intake less than 36 grams of added sugar during day.
2. Fried foods
Tempura, french fries, fish and chips, samosas, and chicken-fried steak. Does this sound tasty?
When it comes to a healthy brain, it is good to lessen the amount of fried foods you eat. A study of 18,080 people found that a fried food-rich diet was associated with poor learning and memory. Possible reasons: These foods can cause inflammation, which can hurt the blood vessels that bring blood to the brain.
Another study measured the levels of mental resilience and depression in 715 people. This study recorded the amount of fried food they consumed. In fact, they found that those who ate more fried foods had an increased chance to develop depression in their lifetime.
If you eat fried foods daily, you should consider switching to weekly. If you do not eat fried foods, you are on a healthy path!
In my practice I often meet people who live stressful lives. The idea of “work hard, play hard” sometimes leads to consuming large amounts of alcohol on weekends as a stress reducer. Drinking might relax them at the moment however they will pay for it when they wake up with brain fog and they are jittery.
Archana Singh-Manoux, a research professor, followed 9,087 people over a 23 year period to determine how alcohol contributed to the incidence of dementia.
They reported in the British Medical Journal, that people who had avoided alcohol altogether or who consumed more than 14 drinks a week had a greater chance of developing dementia compared to those who drank moderately.
Whenever I work with nervous patients who drink, I usually ask them to consider why they may be using alcohol in an unhealthy way and to consider cutting back on the amount they drink.
Author: Scott Dowdy