How Ultra-Processed Foods Damage Our Brains

The fact that ultra-processed foods damage our brains is nothing new. But is the harm really that bad? Numerous studies show how eating these foods can alter our brain’s function. Sugary drinks can also change brain development in teenagers, making it more difficult for them to make decisions as adults. There are more ways that sugary beverages and ultra-processed foods harm our brains. Let’s see what they are.

How Can Ultra-Processed Foods Damage Your Brain?

There are different ways that eating ultra-processed foods can harm your brain. The more you eat these foods, the more harm you cause your brain and alter how your brain can process information.

Ultra-Processed Foods Damage Your Brain By Causing Inflammation

Ultra-processed foods can cause neuroinflammation, which causes your brain to be inflamed. Just like when you sprain your ankle and then see how it gets inflamed, but in this case, it would be your brain. This inflammation can hurt your neurons, which send motor commands to your muscles and receive sensory input from the outside world. It also damages your hippocampus, which is part of your brain that receives fullness signals from your gut. The signs that these ultra-processed foods are harming your brain are:

  • Brain fog.
  • Poor memory.
  • Low mood.
  • Poor concentration.
  • Feeling tired all the time.
  • Migraines
  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems.
  • More sensitive to pain.
  • Feeling constantly hungry.

Do Ultra-Processed Foods Affect How You Learn?

Yes. Regularly eating ultra-processed foods impacts your learning capabilities and reduces your brain’s ability to learn new things. When our brain creates new memories and learns new things, that process is called neuroplasticity. Eating these non-healthy foods affects that process, so you forget what you went into that room to do. A study done in Britain with 4,000 kids discovered that junk foods caused their IQ to fall by 1.67 for every increase on a chart.

| See also:  Chia Seed Health Benefits

How are Ultra-Processed Foods Killing Us?

Ultra-processed foods can cause all sorts of health problems, such as:

  • Strokes and heart attacks.
  • Premature death.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Weight gain.

The body gets its fuel from one of two sources: the sugar we eat from ultra-processed foods or the stored fat. As long as we consume ultra-processed foods, our bodies will always get fuel from them, so those extra pounds never disappear.

How Ultra-Processed Fods Hurt Your Mental Heath

You know that ultra-processed foods hurt your body, but they can also significantly impact your mental health. Sure, you feel happy when you eat that bucket of ice cream and feel extremely happy. But you know what they say: what goes up must come down; that also goes for your mental health. When the sugar spike comes down, you experience those periods of anxiety and depression.

Another study discovered that for every ten percent boost in ultra-processed food consumption, there was a 25% increase in the risk of dementia. Artificial sweeteners can hamper the production and release of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which are brain chemicals that impact your emotional well-being. Ultra-processed foods can also be very addictive and cause fat cells to be dysfunctional and, as a result, release inflammatory molecules that cause dementia, depression, and anxiety.

Are Processed Foods As Bad as Ultra-Processed Foods?

No. Many processed foods can be healthy, but you must watch for ultra-processed foods. There are processed foods that are considered healthy. Examples of processed foods include:

  • Frozen fruit.
  • Flour.
  • Seafood.
  • Pasta.
  • Vegetable oil.
  • Corn starch
  • Sugar.

The ultra-processed foods are the ones that cause the most damage. Examples of ultra-processed foods are:

  • Cookies.
  • Soda.
  • Cake.
  • Candy.
  • Shakes.
  • Meal replacement bars.
  • Energy bars.
  • Fruit-flavored yogurt.
  • Cereals.
  • Frozen meals.

How Ultra-Processed Foods Damage Your Liver

Eating foods high in added sugars, saturated fats, and processed foods could accumulate fat in your liver. If you continue with this way of eating, it’ll lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It can also cause enduring liver damage called cirrhosis and lead to liver cancer. Something that can be avoided by eating a healthy diet. Besides eating healthy, getting regular exercise is essential.

| See also:  Scientific Study Discovers The State of Our Brain and Aging Process

NAFLD is more common in people with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or who are insulin resistant (prediabetic). But if you have NAFLD, not all is lost since this can be reversed by avoiding ultra-processed foods and eating healthy. If you need assistance in planning a healthy diet, please contact your doctor.

Give Healthy Eating a Try

You can try many healthy and delicious recipes and leave those ultra-processed foods behind. For example, you can try vegan spaghetti with avocado. This is just one of many other recipes you can try. You’ll feel better, and your body will thank you for it.