No matter how many TV shows, apps, and games are dedicated to helping us think more critically and learn, you could still be participating in bad habits that are severely dumbing you down. From checking your phone to what you’re eating and how well you’re sleeping, even the brightest among us may be making themselves dumber without even realizing it. To retain your intelligence and stay as quick thinking as possible, you’ll need a little self-awareness to make sure you’re avoiding these bad habits. Try limiting these six behaviors to save your brain and keep your intelligence at an all-time high.
1. Eating sugary foods
We all know that sugary foods contribute to a wealth of issues from diabetes to heart disease, but your daily dessert could also be making you dumber. Men’s Fitness explains that high-fructose corn syrup — the processed sugar product that is added into many processed foods and is found in high quantities in processed dessert — might have profound effects on the brain.
Researchers from UCLA fed rats a diet that was loaded with high-fructose corn syrup with varied amounts of omega-3 fatty acids (a substance that is key to a high-functioning brain). The rats that ate a lot of high-fructose corn syrup and low amounts of omega-3s were found to have a far worse memory than rats that ate no high-fructose corn syrup. The corn syrup has been found to steeply alter your brain’s ability to learn as well, so it’s not just your memory that’s affected.