Want to Keep Your Mind Alert and Your Body Fit? Avoid These Foods
About the author: Adana Baro loves writing about nutrition, health, fitness, and beauty. Currently, she writes blogs and guest blogs.
You’re probably already aware that certain food can help you keep your mind and body in the best condition. What you may not be aware of is that there are also foods that can actually harm your body and aren’t really good for your mental alertness and intelligence. If you want to keep your mind alert and your body fit, not only do you need to eat the right kinds of food, you should also avoid certain food.
Commercial Smoothies and Yogurt
Smoothies and yogurt are normally associated with healthy eating, right? So why are they the first items on our list of foods to avoid? Take note that we’ve specified “commercial” smoothies and yogurt on our list. That’s because many of these products actually contain hidden calories. Look closely at the ingredients of these products and you’ll likely be surprised to see several forms of sugar that can actually lead to the storage of those unwanted fats. Whenever you buy yogurt, be sure to read the label and choose only those that don’t contain added sugars and artificial sweeteners. As for smoothies, it’s advisable to buy fresh fruits and make your own smoothies at home.
You’ve probably heard countless times before that fried foods aren’t very healthy, but you may not really know why. The primary reason is that many of the oils used for frying can actually release chemicals that cause hyperactivity, thus affecting your cognitive function and behavior. With excessive and prolonged consumption, fried food can gradually destroy the nerve cells in your brain. That’s something you surely wouldn’t want to happen, right? You can eat fried food from time to time, but be sure to use healthy oil (e.g. olive oil) and limit the frequency and quantity of fried food in your diet.
There’s good reason why, as a child, you were told junk food will rot your brain. A study has found that children who started eating junk food as young as three have lower IQ five years later as compared to children who followed a healthy diet. Another study seems to provide the reason for this reduction in IQ level; it revealed that junk food alters the chemical component of your brain, thus leading to anxiety, withdrawal, and even depression. Junk food has also been found to rob your bones of essential nutrients, thereby causing bone weakness.
There’s good reason why chips and soda are called JUNK food; just like these pieces of junk, they actually don’t hold that much value and are best avoided. Flickr.com photo by garryknight
Just because a food item is labeled “low-fat” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. In many cases, food labeling can be deceptive. Remember that low-fat doesn’t always equate to low-calorie. Make sure you check the label of “low-fat” food items to see exactly how many calories they contain. People have a tendency to eat too much of certain types of food just because they have low fat content. Reading labels helps you avoid falling into the same trap.
Just like fried food, pre-cooked and processed food also has a negative impact on your central nervous system, particularly when you consume them in excessive amounts and on a regular basis. What’s worse is that these foods can increase your risk of developing any of the identified degenerative brain disorders as you age. It is best to avoid these foods or at least keep your consumption to the barest minimum.
Salty and Sugary Food
If you’re a fitness buff, then you know that too much sugar is bad for your waistline, but did you know that it’s bad for your mental function as well? Long-term consumption of sugary food in excessive amounts can interfere not only with your memory, but also your capacity for learning. Even artificial sweeteners do not help because they can mess with your cognitive function and eventually cause brain damage. Stop adding spoonfuls of sugar in your coffee (a teaspoonful should be enough), covering your pancakes with syrup, and stuffing yourself with candies and chocolate bars in-between meals. Go for healthier snacks instead. For a boost of energy in the middle of the day, go for a drink of water rather than a bottle of energy drink.
Trans fats do more than just increase your risk of developing heart problems and obesity; they can also make your brain more sluggish, thus slowing down your reflexes and making you less alert. Long-term consumption has also been found to result in a kind of brain shrinkage akin to that which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This shrinkage is caused by the arterial damage that gradually results from long-term consumption of trans fats. You can avoid a host of physical and mental problems simply by keeping your trans fat consumption to a minimum.
There you have it: the food you need to avoid or at least minimize if you want to keep your mind alert and your body fit. You see, health and fitness aren’t just about what you need to take into your body; it’s about what you need to keep out as well.