You may have witnessed the short-term effects of food on your brain: the sugar rush after too many sweets or a mental fog from hunger. But what we eat also affects us in the long term. Starting in the womb and continuing into old age, our diets don’t just shape our bodies, but our brains as well. This is known as neurostimulation.
Poor diets lead to a host of medical issues: obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But diet also influences the brain and can increase the risk of mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers are uncovering the details of how the foods we consume affect more than our cravings and moods.
Like mother, like child
Food preference first develops in the womb. Studies show that if mums to be drink carrot juice during pregnancy, infants are more likely to prefer the flavor of carrots.
Sugar highs and lows
Some recent studies show what you eat during development affects what you want to eat later in life.
A recent survey revealed that teens consume more sugary drinks (sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and the like) than people in other age group. Sugar — which is in everything from drinks and salad dressing to yogurt and bread. Eating too much added sugar can increase levels of stress hormones in the brain. As adolescence is a crucial time for brain development, high sugar consumption and the subsequent increase in stress hormones during this time may contribute to unseen health problems, like anxiety and depression.
Our brains are sculpted by what we eat. If it’s too much fat, too much sugar, or just too much, there may be permanent consequences for our brain function. Our brains and waistline often work in harmony together.
When eating a favorite food, dopamine levels rise, creating that feeling of pleasure experienced by chocolate lovers everywhere. (A similar surge happens with addictive drugs). But eating too many treats leads to a decrease in the effects of dopamine — the brain tries to turn down the signal. Suddenly, it takes more chocolate cake to feel the same rush.
Sugarmedown supports it’s members through the first 12 weeks of lifestyle change. New diet, exercise and planning. Begin lifestyle change today, lower added sugar intake, lower food intake, work out a little more and love to live life. #SUGARMEDOWN #Forpeoplewholovetolivelife