Foods That Dumb You Down
7 February 2018 - Accommodation
Whilst certain foods can positively impact your mood, ability to focus, and energy levels, other foods can have a more negative effect on your body and mind. To make sure you've got enough energy and in the right frame of mind, we've put together a list of foods to avoid (especially during revision and exam time)!
Here are the top worst foods for your brain:
Sweets and energy drinks
While you may think having a Red Bull or some Haribo will give you more energy (hello, sugar rush), the effects from these sugar-filled snacks will make you crash and burn just as fast. These sugary items are not only bad for your waistline but also terrible for your short and long-term memory.
Substitutes: fresh fruit (not fruit juice), yoghurt with fresh fruit or honey, dried beans, dark chocolate
Crisps, chips, pizza...
While it's convenient to grab a bag of crisps or just throw a pizza in the oven when you're busy, all these processed foods are high in sugar and fructose, which slows the metabolism, reduces alertness and leads to fatigue.
Substitutes: hummus with vegetables, broccoli, avocado
Pasta, white rice, bread, potatoes
These starchy foods are harder to digest, which means they use more of your energy. As if that's not enough, the high carbohydrate content and glycemic index values are linked to fatigue, mood swings, and depressive symptoms.
Substitutes: baked sweet potato, grilled chicken, kale, nuts and seeds
If you're a cheese lover, this is indeed a sad day. Unfortunately, most cheeses are high in fat and calories which can slow you down and make you feel sluggish. High in saturated fats, consuming cheese can affect your memory and cause inflammation of the brain.
Substitutes: almonds, milk, broccoli, eggs
As healthy as tuna is, you shouldn't have too much of it, especially when you need to retain information and focus. Tuna can have high levels of mercury which leads to a decline in cognitive functioning. Why make things harder for yourself?
Substitutes: salmon, white fish, peanuts, chicken
Soy sauce and foods with a high amount of sodium are best avoided if you need to think critically or study. Salt has the ability to affect your heart rate, blood pressure, and impair your ability to think. Too much salt can also lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke - not good!
Substitutes: Himalayan pink salt, edamame with sea salt, pistachios
Ensure you're powering your brain instead of draining it, and avoid these foods - You'll be glad you did when your exam results come back!