Not feeling your normal self? Are you having trouble concentrating and solving mental tasks? Maybe your memory is going?
The answer could be in what you are eating. Recent research is proving that what we eat has a huge impact on how our brains function. Unhealthy foods and habits have been identified to actually sap away human intelligence and make cognitive tasks and problem solving more difficult.
1. Eating Highly Processed Junk Food
Fast food is easy, it’s quick, and some of it tastes good. Most people know it is generally bad to eat. What you might not know is that eating fast food actually results in lower intelligence levels.
One recent study determined that children who eat fast food diets—those high in fat, processed food, and sugar—had lower IQs in later childhood than children who consume nutrient-rich homemade food.
2. Too Many Sweets
Foods high in sugar have a drastic effect on vital brain receptors. One report published by researchers determined that excessive dietary sugar alters the way dopamine works in the brain.
This is particularly troubling for weight loss. Appetite is one of the many things controlled by dopamine.
Eating sugar-rich foods ends up being a cycle of weight gain and dopamine malfunction. Dopamine also plays an important role in happiness and preventing depression—two factors that can alter your ability to learn.
3. Low to Zero Carb Diets, It’s Not For Everyone
Many nutritionists promote low carb diets as a quick way to lose weight.
If you have ever tried one you’ll know immediately that stripping your body of carbohydrates is one of the fastest ways to become irritable and susceptible to mood swings.
Academic research substantiates the idea that lack of carbohydrates in a diet cause mood problems.
Further, a study by researchers at Tufts University found that acute intake of simple carbohydrates improve performance on “high-load cognitive tasks.”
Removing carbohydrates in the short run can definitely help you lose weight but you shouldn’t live the rest of your life without this important macronutrient.
4. Chewing Gum
Some researchers argue that gum actually improves mental function, so this one is still up for debate. However, researchers in a recent article published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology argue that chewing gum can negatively impact short-term memory recall.
Their argument goes in the face of current studies that contend chewing gum improves short-term memory. The research effectively qualified and proved the brain-impairing abilities of gum with three separate experiments.
While the research is unique and goes in the face of what many other scientists have said, it is enough to consider avoiding gum if you have short-term memory problems.