Did you know that the food you consume directly affects your cognitive function?
The foods you’re eating might be causing or amplifying symptoms of ADHD. And the worst part – you might be eating them for breakfast.
Artificial food colouring “may have adverse effects on activity and attention”. That phrase was taken directly from one of the most common breakfast cereals in the US and Canada (🍀🌈 cough cough). Disturbing, right?
Studies suggest that these processed foods have negative and measurable side effects on the brain. Amongst many unsettling facts surfacing about artificial colouring, “Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 contain benzidene, a human and animal carcinogen permitted in low, presumably safe levels in dyes”, so these ingredients are probably cropping up sneakily in your pantry.
So… why are these ingredients hiding in your pantry? It’s a good question – one that I’d love to hear answered by the companies using them. Hopefully, one day these ingredients will be banned in every country. Until then…
How can you avoid these ingredients?
Buying whole foods is your best option for avoiding potentially harmful ingredients. “Whole foods” are basically foods that come from nature rather than processed industrially. For example, an apple versus and apple pie. By avoiding packaged or processed food you’ll lesson your exposure to ingredients that could potentially upset your wellbeing. And, as an added bonus, the natural pigmentation that occurs in fruits and vegetables contains polyphenols, which are antioxidant-rich compounds that help detoxify and nourish the body.
In moments when you do buy packaged food make sure you read the label. Some products have substantially more quality ingredients than others.
How can you optimise your brain health?
Just as there are certain foods that have negative effects on the brain, there are foods that optimise your brain health. Sourcing foods that are rich in antioxidants like blueberries, beets and green tea are supportive of your brain health. For extra support you can talk to a healthcare professional about natural supplements like lions mane mushroom.
Your environment may also be affecting your brain health. Toxin exposure can negatively impact your brain health. If possible try to avoid spaces where you could be exposed to chemicals. And get outside for fresh air as often as possible.
Altruistic thoughts support your brain health too. These thoughts cultivate positive connections in your neural-pathways, which impacts not only your peace of mind, but also the physical health of your brain.