7 Foods That Are Impacting Your Brain

Soft Drinks(Either Regular or Diet Soda):

sfOne simple change to lower your risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia is as simple as ditching the diet soda you drink:

Diet cola beverages

Diet root beer beverages

Diet lemon lime beverages

These diet drinks usually include the artificial sweetener and food additive aspartame, which contains what Dr. Blaylock refers to as a powerful “excitotoxin.” Excitotoxins are substances added to certain foods and beverages that can literally stimulate nerve cells to death, causing gradual damage to your brain.

Research presented at a recent conference of the American Stroke Association indicates that drinking diet soda daily is linked to a significantly higher risk of vascular events that correlate with vascular dementia.

And other new research published in the journal Natural Chemical Biology has found that phenylalanine, an amino acid found in aspartame, can form the toxic amyloid fibrils that are the hallmark of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

2. BlueBerries: 

bbAmericans apparently cannot get enough of the delicious fruit. In 2008, the latest year that data are available, per capita blueberry consumption in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 12.3 ounces, roughly the size of one standard supermarket carton—an increase from 9.2 ounces in 2007. Whether we are eating more blueberries because they are good for us or just taste good is anyone’s guess, but now there is even more reason to load up the shopping cart with plump Vaccinium cyanococcus: they may protect our brain.

Emerging research suggests that compounds in blueberries known as flavonoids may improve memory, learning and general cognitive function, including reasoning skills, decision making, verbal comprehension and numerical ability. In addition, studies comparing dietary habits with cognitive function in adults hint that consuming flavonoids may help slow the decline in mental facility that is often seen with aging

British scientists who made the discovery believe the antioxidants in blueberries stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain – and keep the mind fresh. The finding means people could use blueberries and other fruit rich in anti-oxidants to improve their chances during exams or on long, difficult days at work.

Blueberries. “Brainberries” is what Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, calls these tasty fruits. Pratt, who is also on staff at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., says that in animal studies researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats. Ann Kulze, MD, author of Dr. Ann’s 10-Step Diet: A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss & Lifelong Vitality, recommends adding at least 1 cup of blueberries a day in any form — fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried.

3. Donuts & Pastries: 

ddStep away from the doughnuts—if not for your body, then for your brain. There’s growing evidence that eating sugary, processed foods can trigger what some experts are calling “Type 3 Diabetes”: brain-altering Alzheimer’s disease.

Suzanne de La Monte, MD, a neuropathologist at Brown University whose team coined the term type 3 diabetes says that, according to her research, consuming too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance in the brain—a very bad thing.

“We found that by making the brains of rats insulin resistant, the rats developed an Alzheimer-like disease pattern, including neurodegeneration,” she says.

4. Almonds:


Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E, says Pratt, explaining that higher levels of vitamin E correspond with less cognitive decline as you get older.

Add an ounce a day of walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, and unhydrogenated nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini.

Raw or roasted doesn’t matter, although if you’re on a sodium-restricted diet, buy unsalted nuts.

5. Fish N Chips or Fried Chicken:

friedYou probably already know some of the harmful health effects of these foods, but long term effects on your brain are yet another…

Trans fats – strongly inflammatory in your entire body including damage to cell membranes throughout your body.

Avoid hydrogenated oils in processed foods and deep fried foods.



6. Artificial Sweeteners(i.e Splenda, Agave Syrup, etc ):

sweetnersIn a 2012 UCLA study published in the Journal of Physiology, researchers found that a diet high in fructose over time can damage your memory and learning ability.

Beyond the harm to your brain, it’s well known in the research world that a high fructose diet can also cause insulin resistance in your body over time, and possibly lead to type-2 diabetes and extra body fat.  If that’s not enough, a high fructose diet also detrimentally affects your triglyceride levels in your blood as well as small dense LDL particles that cause plaque in your arteries.

So what we have here is high-fructose intake = impaired memory and learning in your brain, increased risk of diabetes, and increased risk of heart disease. Oh, and we forgot to mention extra belly fat too…  Yum – who wants another can of soda pop or a bowl of corn syrup sweetened ice cream, or even store bought salad dressings!

Energy Drinks (i.e Red Bull ) –  Have Fructose. Note that many sports drinks, even though marketed as “healthy”, can have large amounts of corn syrup or even crystalline fructose as their main sweetener.  These sports drinks can be equally as bad as a soda for your body and your brain.  Don’t be fooled by the clever marketing showing pictures of pro athletes guzzling this stuff.

7. Salmon

salmonWild salmon. Deep-water fish, such as salmon, are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function, says Kulze.

Both she and Pratt recommend wild salmon for its “cleanliness” and the fact that it is in plentiful supply.

Omega-3s also contain anti-inflammatory substances. Other oily fish that provide the benefits of omega-3s are sardines and herring, says Kulze; she recommends a 4-ounce serving, two to three times a week.

8. Green Tea:  Green tea has been known for decades to help you fight heart disease and obesity, but did you know how much it can improve your brain? 

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