As if you needed another reminder to stop eating processed foods: a new study has found that foods high in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) can make you stupid. But there's good news, too: eating foods high in omega-3s can help combat loss of brain function.The study looked at different groups of rats that had been trained on a maze. After a few days on the maze, some of the rats were fed an HFCS-sweetened solution as their drinking water for six weeks, with some also receiving a diet high in omega-3s. After the diet, the rats were tested on how well they could recall the maze. The researchers found that the rats who ate the omega-3 diet were faster at completing the maze than the other rats, whether or not they were also given HFCS. Not only that, but the rats given the HFCS and not omega-3s were the slowest at completing the maze, and their brains showed a decline in activity and memory function.
This latest lab study is yet more evidence that processed foods can mess with our minds (other studies, for example, have linked fast food to depression) and that a diet high in omega-3s can help protect your brain from aging and mental decline. Ready to swap that fast-food burger for a mind-sharpening meal instead? Here's a list of vegan sources of omega-3s and five staples of the omega-3-rich Mediterranean diet.