Top Ingredients in Food that harm the Brain


An average human being is aware of taking care of their body, skin, health, etc., but rarely do we ever care about taking care of our brains. Isn’t it true? Our brain is the central functioning system of our body and controls various receptions from other systems. It is there as an integral part of who we are, but we do not often think about it. Maintaining a healthy brain is the uppermost goal in pursuing health and longevity. As the population ages, the burden of neurological disorders and challenges for preserving brain health increase. Therefore, it is vital to understand what brain health is and why it is important.

Moreover, barely any of us know how to take care of it. Our brains are integrally involved in everything we do. When a human brain is healthy and is functioning right, you are right too. But if the brain is distressed or troubled, you are bound to face distress and troubled time in life. It’ll be a wonder to know that the source of all this might be the hidden toxins in your food. Many studies establish the relationship between food and its impact on the brain. Thus, it is vital to keep an eye on what food affects your body and mind! Here are some ingredients that harm your brain

Top 5 Ingredients that Harm Your Brain

Aspartame

This artificial sweetener is also commonly known as NutraSweet. Aspartame is obtained using three brain-damaging chemicals: phenylalanine, aspartic acid, and methanol. The fact is that studies have found that aspartame is responsible for the development of brain tumours and seizures. With the FDA approving this compound to be used in edibles and beverages, it is causing severe brain damage in the long run. It seems big businesses are making profits over your well-being [2,3,4].

Diacetyl

Home-popped microwave popcorn generally contains butter flavouring with the additive diacetyl. Diacetyl can easily penetrate through the blood-brain barrier. This is a defence system that prevents harmful substances from entering the brain. It causes beta-amyloid clumping, which is a significant indicator of Alzheimer’s. You won’t get to see diacetyl directly stated on the label. But if you see “artificial butter flavour” or “natural flavours”, you should imagine sirens ringing around! So, avoid it! [5,6]

Monosodium glutamate

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is an umami substance widely used as a flavour enhancer. It is a universal element found in processed foods. It breaks down in the body into glutamate, a known excitotoxin, a substance that stimulates brain cells to death. Some studies have associated MSG administration with cardiotoxicity, neurotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, metabolic disarray, low-grade inflammation, premalignant alterations, and behavioural changes. Some links are found between MSG consumption and increased oxidative stress, apoptosis in thymocytes, tumorigenesis, and genotoxic effects in lymphocytes. [7,8,9]

Aluminium

More than any other food additive, aluminium is an additive found in baking powder and anti-caking agents. It is also used as much more than merely a food ingredient. It is an abundant metal in the earth’s crust and quite difficult to avoid. It’s in drinking water, deodorant, antacids, foil, cans, and cookware in the kitchen. Many studies suspect aluminium to be a cause behind Alzheimer’s. [10,11,12]

Trans fats

Trans fats are intensely inflammatory for the human body, including damage to cell membranes throughout the body. This is why health experts advise avoiding hydrogenated oils from processed foods and deep-fried foods.

The Bottom Line:

There are plenty of superfoods, spices, and herbs that can protect your brain, organs, and rest of the body system. For instance, turmeric is one of the most popular antioxidant spices with brain-protecting and immunity-boosting effects. In South Asian countries, curries containing turmeric and other spices are prepared and consumed daily. As a result, the rates of Alzheimer’s disease are among the lowest in the world, proving the brain-protecting effects of turmeric. Similarly, there are many other foods and natural herbs that help boost the functioning and processing of the brain. For example, the potent DHA and EPA omega-3 fats found in fish oil protect the brain from damage over the years. There are many ways food alters our brain, body, and mood. Ayurveda, in its scriptures, explain how and why food matters, which is what we need to understand today! Lastly, food plays a massive role in the quality and longevity of our lives; thus, be careful what you bring to your plate!

References and Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7555053/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1474447/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23280025/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28198207/.
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6051334/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22731744/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6952072/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5938543/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34328736/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3056430/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6040147/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11130287/

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