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Foods to Avoid: 10 Foods That Make You Less Smart

Foods to Avoid: 10 Foods That Make You Less Smart

There has always been a lot of hype around foods that make you smart. This is why college students eat bananas when they study and why the product Smart Water is so popular. But have you ever thought about foods that make you dumber? It’s true that researchers at prestigious universities, such as UCLA and Oxford University, have found that there are certain foods that make you less smart. It turns out that “eating dumb” diminishes all of your efforts to be smart. Eating poorly affects your alertness, memory, mood and your nervous system, such as your neuromuscular response time. Read the following list of dumb foods so that you know which foods to avoid.

1. Sugar

 
donut

    The idea that eating too much sugar is bad for you isn’t anything new, but eating a lot of sugar over an extended period of time causes neurological problems. High consumption of sugar affects your memory and your ability to learn. Also, too much sugar in your blood slows down your brain cells’ use of insulin to break down sugar to aid in processing thoughts and emotions, leading to a decrease in brain activity. This information is daunting because the average American consumes 47 pounds of sugar annually. You should try to limit you sugar intake, including high-fructose corn syrup and high-carb foods.

    2. Salt

    Aside from affecting your heart rate and blood pressure, salt affects your cognitive functioning. Adding raw salt to your food is worse than cooking it with salt. Not only does salt impair your ability to think, but it also causes many other problems such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke. Try to consume salt in moderation.

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    3. Junk Food

    Potato chips, soda, burgers and fries. It all sounds so tasty, but junk food is addictive, and addiction is a matter of the brain. It turns out that the cessation of eating junk food triggers symptoms similar to withdrawal, depression and anxiety. The fats in junk food impart the creation of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine plays a role in giving you an overall feeling of well-being, learning, alertness, memory, cognitive function and motivation. When everyone told you not to eat junk food or it will rot your brain when you were a kid, it turns out they weren’t kidding. In fact, consuming high amounts of junk food for an extended period of time can lead to memory loss, and in some cases, Alzheimer’s disease.

    4. Fried Food

    Fried food is kind of implied under junk food. However, there are still healthy foods that, when fried, become unhealthy. For instance, eating fish has many health benefits, but eating fried fish is unhealthy. The same goes for other fried food like chicken. Stay smart by opting for non-fried foods.

    5. Artificial Sweeteners

    Artificial sweeteners drain your brain power. Consuming too many artificial sweeteners slows your brain response, effectively making you dumber. Items that contain artificial sweeteners, other than packet food, include mouthwash, toothpaste, cough syrup and chewable vitamins. Also, consuming high quantities of artificial sweeteners for an extended period of time causes brain damage.

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    6. Trans Fats

    trans fat

      Researchers who conducted the Oregon Brain Aging Study found that the consumption of trans fats is linked to brain shrinkage. The study examined 104 adult over the age of 65 and tested the subjects for the consumption of 30 nutrients over time. The findings show that those with high trans fat diets had brain shrinkage similar to people who have Alzheimer’s Disease.

      7. Precooked and Processed Foods

      sausage

        Precooked and processed foods contain harmful chemicals that make you dumber. Preservatives, additives, dyes and artificial flavors are some examples of the chemicals in these foods that affect your behavior and cognitive functioning. Consuming large quantities of processed foods over a lifetime slowly destroys your nerve cells and causes your brain to shrink.

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        8. Nicotine

        Having nicotine in your bloodstream causes the capillaries between your blood vessels to constrict, which affects the function of neurotransmitters and, ultimately, brain function. The cessation of nicotine intake causes a brain fog, and this causes nicotine users to develop dependency.

        9. Alcohol

        Consuming alcohol causes a mental cloud of confusion that has several effects. First, alcohol use is a liver killer. Also, the consumption of alcohol lowers your ability to think clearly and to recall information. If you have trouble recalling the names of common items or can’t differentiate between reality and your dreams, then you are likely a heavy alcohol user and need treatment. Fortunately, these symptoms are reversible if you stop consuming alcohol or limit your consumption to two drinks or less a week.

        10. Tofu

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        tofu

          This last one is surprising, because tofu is generally regarded as a healthy food. However, research from Loughborough University and Oxford suggests that tofu can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. The two universities conducted a study that looked at 700 participants between the ages of 52 and 98. The results show that those who consumed a lot of tofu were more at risk for memory loss. It hasn’t been proven, but researchers suspect it is the phytoestrogens in tofu that are responsible.

          These are 10 foods that make you dumber. Other than these foods to avoid, you should also avoid becoming dehydrated. A lack of water also causes brain shrinkage and affects memory, focus and decision-making. So eat smart, drink your water and maybe then you could pass for being smarter than a moron.

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          Last Updated on March 13, 2019

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

          1. Work on the small tasks.

          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

          2. Take a break from your work desk.

          Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

          Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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          3. Upgrade yourself

          Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

          4. Talk to a friend.

          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

          5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

          Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

          Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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          6. Paint a vision to work towards.

          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

          7. Read a book (or blog).

          The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

          Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

          8. Have a quick nap.

          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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          9. Remember why you are doing this.

          Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

          What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

          10. Find some competition.

          Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

          Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

          11. Go exercise.

          Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

          Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

          As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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          Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

          12. Take a good break.

          Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

          Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

          Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

          Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

          More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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