No matter how old you are, it’s never too late toin a way that gives you the best possible chance of staving off dementia as you age and making sure that you feel focused and sharp every day.
As a nutritional psychiatrist, faculty member at Harvard Medical School and author of,” I study how our gut bacteria can trigger metabolic processes and brain inflammation that impact memory. point to the idea that we may be able to reduce the possibility of dementia by avoiding foods that compromise our gut bacteria and can weaken our memory and focus.
Here are the foods I try to avoid or cut back on to fight inflammation and promote brain health, sharp thinking and good decision-making:
Consuming unhealthy processed foods like baked goods and soda, which are often loaded with refined and added sugars — often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup — floods the brain with too much glucose.
Although each body has different needs, therecommends that women consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, and men stay under 36 grams added sugar per day. (To figure out if a packaged food contains added sugars, and how much, check the “added sugars” line in the .)
looked at 715 people and measured their levels of depression and mental resilience. It also documented their level of fried food consumption. Sure enough, researchers found that those who consumed more fried foods were more likely to develop depression in their lifetime.
If you’re eating fried foods daily, switch to weekly. If it’s a weekly habit, try enjoying them just once a month. If you don’t eat fried foods, you’re already on your way to happier times!
sought to evaluate which particular carbohydrates, if any, had an association with depression. They administered a questionnaire called the “carbohydrate-quality index” to 15,546 participants.
“Better-quality” carbohydrates were defined as whole grains, foods high in fiber, and those ranked low on the glycemic index (GI). The GI is a measure of how quickly foods convert to glucose when broken down during digestion; the faster a food turns into glucose in the body, the higher its GI ranking.
Researchers discovered that people who had the highest score on the carbohydrate-quality index, meaning they were eating better-quality carbs, werethan those who were eating high-GI carbs.
High-GI carbs include potatoes, white bread and white rice. Honey, orange juice and whole-meal breads are medium-GI foods. Low-GI foods include green vegetables, most fruits, raw carrots, kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils.