If you are aware of what you eat, you can take good care of your health. That’s why it’s important to understand how harmful junk food can be for your brain.
Instead of feeding you, this kind of “food” affects the functioning of your organism. Science has discovered that high-calorie and low-nutrient foods hinder the proper functioning of your body and mind. So in today’s article, we’ll analyze the effects junk food has on your brain.
The journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity published a study conducted at the University of New South Wales, Australia. This study showed that a diet high in sugar and fats impairs the cognitive ability of the brain.
The researchers noted that childhood is a critical period in this regard. This means that if a person follows a diet that is low in essential nutrients during the early years of life, this will have a significant impact in the long run.
The Effects of Junk Food on the Brain
Research from the University of New South Wales has shown that eating junk food has harmful effects on the brain. To verify this, an experiment was performed with two groups of mice.
One of the groups fed on high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods. This was mainly food rich in sugar and saturated fat. Although the other group followed a healthier diet, they were allowed to drink sugar water now and then, similar to a regular soda.
The results surprised the scientists. Just a week after the start of the experiment, the first group of mice showed a significant decline in the brain area related to memory. Worryingly, the second group also showed a decline almost as severe as the first group.
Another Revealing Junk Food Study
The evidence surrounding junk food’s harmful effects on the brain doesn’t stop there. Another study, published by the journal Cell Metabolism , shows that a group of American scientists came to the same conclusion in a different way.
The researchers started with the knowledge that the cells of the brain’s immune system, known as microglia, become inflamed when high-calorie, low-nutrient foods are consumed. They found that when this happens, the feeling of hunger also increases.
To reach that conclusion, they also worked with a group of mice. The doctors caused a microglia inflammation in the mice with artificial means. As a result, they ate more food than before. They also weighed about four times as much as normal.
You are what you eat
This statement is fully supported by science. The fact that what you eat affects your mental health gives us a vital opportunity to be the architect of our mental state. Isn’t that beautiful?
We know that low-nutrient and high-calorie foods generate physiological patterns similar to those of an addiction. If you eat more of this type of junk food, you’ll eventually want more of it. As with most addictions, the temptation for immediate gratification is thus stronger than the desire for long-term well-being.
Over time, Galen and other physicians became convinced that food and good health go hand in hand. So much so that one of Hippocratic principles was, “Let your food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
When you eat, you either have a positive or negative impact on your mental health. Just as there is evidence for the negative impact of junk food on the brain, a healthy diet has a positive effect on your health.
It’s not that difficult. Just include healthy foods in your daily diet. For example, you only need to eat a handful of nuts a day. That alone is a good way to satisfy your appetite and take care of your brain.
Foods such as fish, blueberries, oatmeal, yogurt, chocolate and avocado are also very good for the brain. Eat a small portion of one of these products each day, just pick what you like best. Your brain will surely thank you for it!