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The 7 Worst Foods for Your Brain

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Your brain is arguably the most important organ in your body. Sure, there are several others that you can’t live without, but the brain controls them all. And not only does it keep your heart beating and your lungs breathing all the time, it is also the repository of everything that makes you, you. All your thoughts, feelings, and memories originate or reside in the brain.

Obviously, it is important to keep this most vital organ happy and healthy. Proper nutrition can mean the difference between a clear head with a sense of purpose and a foggy head with a sense of desperation. As a lifelong habit, healthy eating also slows the rate of aging-related cognitive decline and reduces the risk of developing dementia.

On the flip side, there are foods that are just the worst for your brain. Indulge too often and you will likely experience confusion, low mood, and slowed reaction times. In a vicious cycle, a depressed brain has poor ability to make the right decisions in order to improve.

If you know you have some bad habits, it is time to start scaling back. Your brain won’t like a massive dietary overhaul all at once, and even though you know it’s the right choice, you’ll struggle to maintain it. Instead, remove the following 7 items from your diet one by one, making a gradual shift that will protect the health of your brain for the long haul. The easiest one to quit is probably #7.

1. Trans Fats

The good news is that not all fats are bad for you. However, a particular kind of fat called trans fat does have a detrimental effect on the brain. Trans fats are found naturally in animal products including meat and dairy, but even these are not as problematic as the industrially produced trans fats that get pumped into all sorts of packaged foods.

Otherwise known as hydrogenated oil, people who eat a lot of trans fat in the form of margarine, store-bought baked goods, chips and crackers, frozen and canned meals, and creamy beverages are at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Studies have shown that high consumption of trans fats also leads to earlier cognitive decline, lower brain volume, and poorer memory.

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2. Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and even fruit juice have little to no nutritional value. Regular consumption of sugary drinks can lead to a whole host of physical impairments, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and yes – Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

A high intake of fructose, a mega-concentrated sweetener that’s found in many sugary drinks, has been shown to reduce learning ability, memory, overall brain function, and the formation of new neurons in the brain. It may also lead to increased inflammation in the brain, which negatively affects all types of brain function.

3. Refined Carbs

 

Refined carbohydrates are products made with processed grains. They may not necessarily taste sweet, but they break down into sugar in your body very quickly. That’s because the refining process strips all of the fiber and nutrition out of the original grain. A meal rich in refined carbs represents a high glycemic load that spikes your blood sugar.

That causes all the same issues as if you had eaten straight sugar, including memory impairment, inflammation, and a higher risk of developing dementia. Studies have shown that children who consume diets high in refined carbohydrates score lower on nonverbal intelligence tests. And elderly people who take in more than 58% of their daily calories in refined carbs have twice the risk of mental impairment and dementia than those who eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

4. Processed and Packaged Foods

Processed and packaged foods remove important nutrition from whole food and replace it with sugar, fat, and salt. This is our so-called Western diet, one which relies on convenience and fast foods over slow-cooked homemade meals. And we get it – people are busy and sometimes it just isn’t possible to make your own sauces, dressings, pastas, and baked goods.

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However, it is important to cook with whole nutritious foods as often as you can swing it, because the Western diet is notorious for causing an accumulation of fat around the vital organs. This, in turn, is associated with damage to the brain tissue and a reduction in the brain’s volume. It may also cause disruptions to the blood-brain barrier, the membrane that is responsible for protecting the brain from harmful substances.

5. Alcohol

 

It’s probably no surprise that alcohol can harm the brain, considering how much stupid stuff people tend to do under the influence. Getting tipsy every once in awhile probably won’t cause permanent damage, but alcoholism and bouts of binge drinking absolutely can.

Chronic consumption of alcohol tends to shrink the brain and disrupt the neurotransmitters that your brain uses to communicate. Alcoholics also often experience a vitamin B1 deficiency, which can lead to the development of Korsakoff’s syndrome. That syndrome is responsible for severe brain damage that causes memory loss, confusion, unsteadiness, and intermittent loss of eyesight.

6. Fish High in Mercury

 

Fish in general is a healthy addition to your diet. It is low in saturated fat yet contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well as vitamin B12, zinc, iron, and magnesium. However, some fish is especially high in mercury, which is a heavy metal contaminant and neurological poison. Mercury stays stored in animal tissue (including human) for a long time.

Fish that are longer lived and predatory tend to have the highest concentration of mercury in their flesh. That’s because as long as they live, they are consuming other fish that contain lower levels of mercury. Over a lifetime, these fish can accumulate mercury levels of 1 million times the concentration in the water they swim in. It is best to avoid or seriously limit your consumption of tuna, swordfish, orange roughy, king mackerel, shark, and tilefish to prevent disruption of your brain’s neurotransmitters.

7. Aspartame

 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to avoid the harms of too much sugar by replacing it with an artificial sweetener – especially not aspartame. While producers of this sugar substitute swear that it is safe, several studies have linked aspartame to behavioral and cognitive problems. As a chemical stressor, it can cause deleterious effects on the ability to learn and regulate emotions.

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In one study, just 8 days of a high-aspartame diet cause participants to score lower on mental tests and feel more irritable and depressed to boot. Another study revealed that people who drink a lot of diet soft drinks, which replace the sugar with artificial sweetener, have an increased risk of dementia or stroke. For now, the FDA says aspartame is safe, but also mandates warning labels on products that contain it.

Conclusion

There is no question that your diet plays a huge role in brain health over the course of your lifetime. Avoiding or seriously reducing your consumption of the 7 foods on our list can improve your cognitive abilities every day as well as into the future when your risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia increases.

In general, the more healthy whole foods you can eat, the better protected your brain will be. And a clear, happy brain will remind you of how much good you’re doing for your body, too. In the end, it’s worth it to be able to look back on your life and still have all of your good memories

 

Source : organicwelcome

 

 

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Health

138 NYSC members test positive for COVID-19, NCDC reveals

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No fewer than than 138 members of the National Youth Service  Corps (NYSC) had so far tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and have been isolated, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed.

NCDC also revealed that 34,685 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) across all the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camps in the country.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, made this known on Monday at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Dr. Ihekweazu added that those whose samples were collected included corps members and NYSC officials in various camps.

“We tested over the last few weeks a total, so far, of 34,785 people of which we found a total of 138 positive only.

“So, we have a total prevalence of 0.4 per cent; in fact, about one in 200 new people coming into the camps turned out to be positive.

“None of them were allowed into the camp; all of them were excluded and either managed at home or the treatment centre depending on if they had symptoms and what state they were in,” the NCDC boss added.

He also spoke about the progress made so far in the area of vaccination against the disease, noting that four vaccines had already been announced.

Dr Ihekweazu stated that while these have brought excitement, there were lots to consider to guide decisions on which to go for when they became available.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who also briefed reporters, gave an update on COVID-19 infections, treatment, and fatalities.

He was that Nigeria was by no means out of the woods yet and urged the people to present themselves for testing.

Dr Ehanire said the PTF would continue to keep vigilance as COVID-19 cases surge in other parts of the world.

He gave an assurance that the ministry was taking measures to ensure that vaccine security was sure once they were available for the public.

The minister also disclosed that it has been confirmed that the strange deaths in Delta and some other states were as a result of yellow fever.

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Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Shows 95% Effectiveness – Pfizer, BioNTech

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Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that a completed study of their experimental Covid-19 vaccine showed it was 95 percent effective.

They said the two-dose vaccine had no serious safety concerns and that the companies will apply for emergency use authorization from US regulators “within days.”

The announcement came as coronavirus cases are surging in the US and other parts of the world, and boosted hopes for an end to the pandemic that has upended life around the globe.

“The study results mark an important step in this historic eight-month journey to bring forward a vaccine capable of helping to end this devastating pandemic,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

“With hundreds of thousands of people around the globe infected every day, we urgently need to get a safe and effective vaccine to the world,” he added.

Pfizer had said last week after a preliminary analysis that its product was more than 90 percent effective.

On Monday another biotech firm involved in the race to develop a vaccine, Moderna, said its own vaccine was 94.5 percent effective, according to a preliminary analysis.

Pfizer has previously said it expected to contact the US Food and Drug Administration to apply for an Emergency Use Authorization by the third week of November.

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The FDA had imposed a requirement on Covid-19 vaccine makers of having at least two months of follow-up with volunteers after their second dose, taken 28 days after the first, in order to ensure the drugs are safe.

Moderna developed its vaccine along with the US National Institutes for Health.

Both vaccines use mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) technology to deliver genetic material to the body that makes human cells create a protein from the virus.

This trains the immune system to be ready to attack if it encounters SARS-CoV-2.

Other vaccines that are in late-stage trials, such as one being developed by Johnson & Johnson and another by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, use modified viruses to deliver genetic material for the same purpose.

No mRNA vaccines have ever been approved, but Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease scientist, told AFP Tuesday the technology had now “established itself.”

-AFP

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Health

Oyo govt. denies cholera outbreak in community

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Oyo State Government on Wednesday denied reports of alleged cholera outbreak  in Lagun Village of Lagelu Local Government Area of the state, declaring that there is no evidence to back recent claims.

According to a report of the Ministry  of Health’s technical committee that investigated the matter, signed by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello, the claims of cholera outbreak were unfounded.

The report, titled “Re: Rumours of suspected cholera outbreak in Lagelu LGA of Oyo State,” revealed that investigations by the state’s Epidemiological Team, including the DSNO and LGA Teams in Lagelu and surrounding LGAs, showed there is no evidence to back such rumour.

Dr. Bello in a statement issued by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, added  that the team dispatched to carry out the investigation, was also not shown any fresh grave or fresh burial ground to ascertain claims of mass death.

The statement stated, however, that the Ministry had placed pre-positioned antibiotics and intravenous fluids at the state’s health facility in Lagun to prevent an outbreak of cholera in the area.

The Commissioner further  disclosed that the state has also begun an active case search in affected communities and neighbouring states as well as community engagement and enlightenment on the prevention of diarrheal diseases including cholera.

He explained that findings from the field showed that the ailment recorded affected only four individuals and not 10 people as claimed in the media and that there was no evidence to back the claim of six deaths.

He maintained that the ailment could be ascribed to poor hygienic conditions, adding that the Ministry also suspected cases of gastroenteritis or likely food poisoning.

The report stated: “The Ministry of Health received reports of suspected cases of cholera in Lagun Village on Friday, 6th of November, 2020. Following the notification, the state and the LGA surveillance network began intensified action at investigation and response, and findings from the field investigation are as follow:

“Ten (10) cases of diarrhoea and vomiting were reported to have occurred in Lagun Village by members of the community. Six of the cases were said to have died.

“But, upon investigation, no freshly dug graves were found in the said community and we only found two cases at Faith Clinic, Ejioku, and another two cases at the Lagun Rehabilitation Centre both private hospitals.

“All four cases are alive and are no longer stooling, therefore, stool samples could not be collected from them for confirmation of the aetiological agent (causative), while they have also been treated and stabilised.

“We observed poor sanitary conditions in the village, as the wells were not covered and were in poor sanitary conditions.

“We hereby confirm that with the active efforts of the state epidemiologist and his team (DNSO, LGA Team in the affected LGA and neighbouring LGAs), no real death attributable to cholera had been confirmed.

“The reported deaths were neither seen nor traceable and, therefore, cannot be attributed to cholera outbreak, as no patient within the community actually reported to any government or local government facility in the said local government.

“The ailment recorded (and deaths, if any) could be ascribed to very poor hygienic conditions and we suspect cases of gastroenteritis or likely food poisoning in the affected community.”

Speaking on preventive steps already taken by the Ministry, Bello added: “We have pre-positioned antibiotics and intravenous fluids at the General Hospital, Lagun, for care of emerging cases. 

“The Ministry has also embarked on community engagement and enlightenment on prevention of diarrheal diseases including cholera.

“We have also embarked on active search in affected communities and neighbouring communities and have also alerted the neighbouring local government areas.”

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