Most of us are aware of the foods that boosts the brain activity. But do you know that there exist certain foods that are actually harmful for your brain? These foods not only alter your mental health but also increase your risk to various clinical complications associated with your brain. Here are few foods that are found to cause negative impact on your mental well-being.

High-fructose foods

Foods such as soft drinks, sports drinks, cakes and candies are all high in fructose content. Studies have reported that consuming diet rich in fructose sugar can cause brain damage along with affecting your memory and learning ability over time

[1]. Replace these foods with natural fruits as they contain less amounts of this sugar that helps in keeping your brain active and healthy.

Foods rich in saturated fats and trans-fats

Trans-fats and saturated fats are normally found in many baked or fried snack foods as well as commercial baked foods – donuts, breads, pastries, cookies, chips, etc. These unhealthy fats are found to contribute the production of free radicals which in turn cause inflammation of the brain leading to neuron death and Alzheimer’s disease. Avoid these bad fats and instead include foods that contain good fats in your diet such as fish, avocados and nuts.

Wheat-based foods

Wheat based foods that are normally consumed include white breads, pizzas, pastries, etc. Starch present in these foods is bad for mental function because causes dramatic blood sugar swings, which in turn results in unstable mood and depression. Low blood sugar levels cause less supply of energy to the brain thereby affecting its normal action mechanism. Replace these with foods that contain resistant starch such as legumes (lentils, peas, beans, etc), whole grains (brown rice, barley, etc) and bananas.

Junk food

These include candies, sweet desserts, fried foods, processed foods, carbonated beverages, gums, pizzas, etc. A recent research study has showed that eating junk food for a week triggered memory impairment in rats [2]. These foods that are high in bad fats, sugars and salt tend to replace healthy fats in the brain along with hindering the normal brain mechanism. Replace these with home-made foods, nuts and natural fruits to boost your brain activity.

Toxic foods

Foods that contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame though considered safe are found to cause neurological complications in some people. Replace these foods with nutrition-rich, natural sweetening agents to lower the risk of brain diseases. The chances of mercury poisoning are high in certain fishes like tuna, shark, tile-fish, etc. which cause long-term negative effects on the brain. Hence limit the intake of these fishes and instead opt for fishes such as salmon, trout and other fresh water ones.


  1. Kimber L Stanhope – Endocrine and metabolic effects of consuming beverages sweetened with fructose, glucose, sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup
  2. Richard J. Simpson et al – Brain, Behavior and Immunity
  3. Andrew F. Smith – Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat
  4. Paul J. Pistell et al – Cognitive impairment following high fat diet consumption is associated with brain inflammation
  5. Richard J. Wurtman – Dietary Treatments That Affect Brain Neurotransmitters

You may also like to read: