5 Things That Are Damaging Your Mental Health

Moments when we feel at our absolute best in terms of happiness, confidence and health can be hard to come by sometimes. But it is astonishing how amazing those moments feel. Achieving those moments consistently is done by ridding yourself of the negative things in your life.

Here are five things to avoid when building a happy, healthy brain:

Sugar

Sugar’s extreme negative health effects are slowly starting to be realized as more and more of the world’s population becomes overweight. The substance has been seen to cause a number of chemical reactions in the body that promote chronic systemic inflammation, AND it suppresses BDNF, a key growth hormone in the brain.

Grains

Similar to refined sugars, grains can incite inflammation around the body, affecting the brain negatively. Proteins such as gluten and lectins have been tied to negative effects in the gut, and subsequently, the brain.

MSG (Monosodium glutamate)

This popular flavor “enhancer” is often used in processed meats, convenience foods, soups, frozen meals and many Asian dishes. As an excitotoxin, MSG alters brain chemistry and the body’s hormone system.

Look for MSG on ingredient lists as glutamic acid, glutamate, autolyzed yeast protein, textured protein, natural flavors and hydrolyzed corn.

Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame, the ingredient used in artificial sweeteners, was used in a double-blind study to test its effects on people suffering from mood disorders, and a significant boost in serious symptoms was seen in those consuming aspartame.

Aspartame consists of about 50 percent phenylalanine, a neurotoxin that travels to the brain and depletes serotonin levels, which is what causes a number of mood disorders.

Chronic Stomach Conditions

Seeing as the stomach is our “second brain,” its health is very important to the health of your first brain. About 95 percent of the serotonin in our bodies resides in the stomach, meaning fungal, bacterial and yeast infections can do quite a number on both the stomach and the brain.

In fact, several disorders regarding moods and the brain have been tied to poor stomach health.