A Harvard nutritionist and brain expert says avoid these 5 foods to keep your ‘memory and focus sharp’

1. Foods made with industrial and processed seed oils

Highly processed oils are usually extracted from soybean, corn, rapeseed (source of canola oil), cottonseed, sunflower and safflower seeds and contain a large number of omega-6 fatty acids.

excessive consumption omega-6s can trigger the body to produce chemicals in the brain that can lead to inflammation.

If you’re sautéing vegetables or grilling fish or meat, I recommend using olive, coconut, or avocado oil.

2. Foods containing added and refined sugar

Our brain uses energy in the form of glucose, a type of sugar, to fuel cellular activities. But a high-sugar diet can lead to excess glucose in the brain.

This may cause memory impairments and less flexibility of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory.

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Be aware that many savory foods also contain hidden added sugars, such as store-bought pasta sauces, ketchup, salad dressings, and even canned soups. Replace them with homemade products made with whole foods.

3. Processed foods

Diet Being high in ultra-processed foods can put you at risk of having shorter telomeres, or the “cap” in our DNA. Longer telomeres tend to promote healthy cellular aging. Shortening our telomeres may mean we are at risk for degenerative disease early in life.

A 2022 study found that participants who consumed high amounts of ultra-processed foods, such as baked goods and sodas, were more likely to experience mild depression compared to those who consumed the least.

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Here’s a tip: If you can’t pronounce an ingredient or have no idea what it is, it’s usually best to avoid it.

4. Foods with artificial sweeteners

5. Fried foods

While battered, crunchy, or deep-fried foods top the comfort food list, they can be brain-damaging.

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a work on 18,000 people found that a diet rich in fried foods was linked to lower memory and cognition scores.

Alternatively, I recommend opting for baked, air-fried or steamed versions of your favorite foods.

Doctor Uma Naidoo He is a nutritional psychiatrist, brain specialist, and lecturer. Harvard Medical School. He is also the Director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of the bestselling book. “Your Brain on Food: An Essential Guide to Surprising Foods to Combat Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, and More.” follow him twitter and instagram.

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Harvard nutritionist: This is the #1 vitamin that keeps your brain sharp


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