Is your food making you stupid? | Brain health

People say, “You are what you eat” but what you eat can also make you very stupid. Have you had a day where you can’t remember your own phone number? Or when a simple crossword leaves you scratching your head?

You shouldn’t worry about it; everybody feels stupid sometimes. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, or maybe the crossword was planned to be extra hard that day.

Then again, maybe all that crap you are eating is finally getting to your brain health.

Nutrition and your Brain Health

brain health

We have talked for years on how nutrition can affect your brain functions. It is true that lack of important vitamins and minerals can screw us up big time. If you don’t eat certain things that your body needs on a regular basis, it can impair your physical and mental functioning. Not only might junk food make you a moron, but eating a lot of it will lead obesity and could permanently affect the brain.

But the main factor is obesity. The things we do eat, often in excess, can influence the way we think. Many studies indicate that obesity can increase cognitive decline and memory impairment in adults and older people.

Proof through Studies


Many studies have been documenting how excessive body fat can impair brain health and its functions. For these studies, Scientist focused on the serious degenerative changes that occur in the hippocampus region of our brains. Proper functioning of the hippocampus is vital for forming new memories, without which memory impairments start occurring.

Not only that, studies also claim that the negative impacts of obesity lead all the way to the heart of brain cell problems: DNA alteration. Specific genes that are very critical to making memories can no longer function properly.

Does all this sound scary? Thinking you better stick to salads and keep your weight now?

Well, not necessarily. Eating junk and gaining weight may be mental murder, but nibbling on salad day-in and day-out is an even more foolish approach. Studies show that women who are dieting to lose weight show slower reaction times and poorer recall in memory tests. This may be because they are not getting enough of proper food fuel the brain needs to function properly. And thinking about the food that they are not allowing themselves to eat is distracting and can be a drain on their mental energy.

As with many things in life, the multitude of evidence on this problem shows that balance is best.

Achieving optimum body weight and brain function need not be as hard as you think. Just don’t starve yourself so much that you start fantasising about French fries and overwhelm your reasoning skills, but don’t stuff yourself too much that you go into a meltdown.


Shalini Prasad

She has been a content specialist for more than four years. She is a passionate reader and loves to read about Science, Philosophy, History and Psychology. She also enjoys sci-fi books and general fiction.

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