The brain , together with the heart , is one of the most important vital organs for the proper functioning of the organism. Thus, the intake of certain foods can benefit or impair cognitive functions and memory.
As explained by the Spanish Alzheimer's Confederation, for the brain to stay healthy it is essential to exercise the body and mind, have good lifestyle habits and present a good state of mind.
These types of factors help reduce the risk of developing different neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementias as we age.
Diet, key to brain health
However, the differential factor that has considerable effects on the brain and memory is diet. Following a certain type of diet can be beneficial or detrimental to the correct functioning of the brain as a whole.
Just as we need to follow an adequate nutritional structure to have a good body weight, it is also important to incorporate a series of basic nutrients that the brain requires to function properly.
Although, we must bear in mind that there are certain groups of foods that cause damage to memory and brain health in general.
Foods harmful to memory
Following a healthy, balanced and complete diet is ideal to enjoy great physical health and a good brain condition. However, a poor diet can cause different problems in terms of the normal functioning of the brain.
Thus, from the Spanish Alzheimer's Confederation they list 20 food groups that can be detrimental to memory:
- Fried foods: Saturated fat in this type of food can increase cholesterol levels and cause its accumulation in the arteries. Specifically, they generate a slow destruction of nerve cells in the brain, affecting memory and the ability to learn.
- Sugars: Foods rich in sugar cause neurological and long-term memory problems.
- Processed foods: They are rich in fructose, sodium, sugars and hydrogenated oils, all of them elements that damage brain health. Its consumption increases the risk of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's and can also affect the nervous system.
- Fast food: The consumption of these foods can affect the body's production of dopamine, a hormone that intervenes in the capacity of learning and memory.
- Trans fats: Foods with trans fats cause a reduction in reflexes and slow down the brain's responsiveness .
- Fructose: Excess fructose in the body can hinder the proper functioning of brain cells.
- Caffeine: In small amounts it is beneficial to keep brain functions activated, but in excess it can cause damage and disorders.
- Sodium: Excess sodium in the blood increases the risk of hypertension and therefore the chances of developing a cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease. Affects cognitive function and memory.
- Artificial sweeteners: In high doses they cause damage to cognitive ability.
Finally, foods with monosodium glutamate can also damage brain nerve cells and increase the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases, as stated by the Spanish Alzheimer's Confederation.