While it’s good to keep one’s brain limber by taking on activities like crossword puzzles or Wordle, one’s diet also has an effect on brain function – and some of the things you eat might actually reduce it, experts say.
- For starters, margarine should be avoided because it causes blood vessels to the brain to constrict, says Dr. Shae Datta, a neurologist at NYU. “Better to stick to olive oil and real butter,” Datta says. Soda and beer are also no-no’s, experts say. Soda’s high concentration of simple sugars can damage the brain’s blood vessels, and beer contains empty calories and a neurotoxin that hurt one’s central and peripheral nervous system, says Tufts Medical Center’s Dr. Byran Ho.
Even supposedly healthy foods can be bad for your noggin. Most protein powders contain too much added sugar and artificial sweeteners, while the process used to decaffeinate coffee uses chemicals that increase the chances of brain cancer, according to Sean Callan, a neuroscientist and CEO of Ellipse Analytics