Which foods could it be wise for us to avoid if we’re wanting to really hone our brain function to improve our mental focus?

Here are some insights that a Harvard nutritionist has come up with¹ -namely the foods that have been shown to weaken our memory and focus –

1. Added sugar – given that our brain uses sugar, having sugar-dense foods makes logical sense, although a high sugar diet can actually lead to excess glucose in the brain which has been linked with memory impairment.

Plus it can also affect our neuroplasticity and inhibit the function of an area in the brain called the hippocampus – the area that looks after our memory. Baked goods and sodas are the worst culprits, so opting for teas and water is always a good option.

2. Fried foods – whilst these can be a treat sometimes, regularly eating french fries, tempura, samosas, fish + chips, and fried chicken, etc is not necessarily great for our brain health – according to several studies. The theory is that eating those foods causes an increase in inflammation in our blood vessels, including those that supply our brains with blood.

Another study found out that people who are eating a diet rich in these foods are likely to experience depression.

3. Alcohol – it’s not uncommon for some of us to think that if we feel stressed, then a drink might help us unwind. Interestingly, the research is showing that those who go to the next step and have more than 14 drinks per week had a higher risk of dementia compared to those who drank alcohol in moderation (meaning a small shot or a small glass of wine here and there.)

Generally, if more than 14 drinks a week are being consumed, this qualifies as ‘heavy drinking’ – however, the ultimate is to check in with oneself to see if it feels like our intake is on the higher side.

Personally, I’ve found it so much easier to simply avoid alcohol. I find my brain functions a lot better if I don’t consume it, although as with most things – it’s bio-individual. Each and every one of us are different.

4. Nitrates – these are often added as preservatives to some foods, such as deli sliced and cured meats, including salami and sausage.

These additives have been linked to depression, so they’re worth avoiding or keeping to a minimum for those wanting to look after their brains.

I trust this has been useful – please let me know! And in the meantime, I look forward to seeing you on this week’s #AlivewithFi. Ciao for now! 😊

¹ It’s encouraging to note that there are now some studies suggesting that we may be able to reduce the possibility of dementia by avoiding foods that can damage our gut bacteria and possibly weaken our memory and focus. Check out the link for more info –


A Harvard nutritionist and brain expert says she avoids these 5 foods that ‘weaken memory and focus’

U. Naidoo (2021)

Fi Jamieson-Folland D.O., I.N.H.C., is The LifeStyle Aligner. She’s an experienced practitioner since 1992 in Europe, Asia and New Zealand as a qualified Osteopath, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, speaker, educator, writer, certified raw vegan gluten-free chef, and Health Brand Ambassador.

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