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6 Foods To Avoid When Trying To Keep Your Memory Sharp

Updated: Feb 27

Have you ever entered a room and completely forgotten why? If you sometimes struggle with memory, it might be caused by what you eat! Our daily diet plays a significant role in our memory capacity — and certain foods may cause memory gaps.

Here are some foods to avoid if you want to help optimize your memory and keep it sharp and clear.

woman with hands up
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

1. Beverages High in Refined Sugars

spoon full of sugar and raspberry
Photo by Myriam Zilles

It's enjoyable to drink an ice-cold soda on a hot day, but it is healthier to drink more water than other beverages. This is because sugary drinks — sodas, concentrated fruit juices, and energy drinks — contain high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Consuming large quantities of HFCS and refined sugar can create memory problems and other potentially serious health risks.

In studying rats with a diet high in sugar consumption, scientists found that too much caused increased inflammation of the brain and memory loss. And a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that even mildly elevated blood sugar levels could result in brain atrophy, dementia, and memory problems.

In addition, too many sugary drinks can cause type 2 diabetes, a metabolic syndrome with a range of symptoms, including:

  • Obesity

  • Fatigue

  • Increased hunger

  • Lack of blood flow to the brain

In a recent study, this lack of blood flow to the brain was found to contribute to:

  • Tingling & cramping in feet and hands

  • Poor focus and concentration

  • Memory loss

And because caffeine can constrict the blood vessels in the brain, sugary and caffeinated drinks begin to decrease healthy blood flow to the brain subsequently causing memory loss.

2. Refined Carbs