- Active brain
Keeping your brain working is essential. But it is good to clarify that reading a little or doing crossword puzzles is not enough.
Learning something new can make a huge difference, for example. It may even paralyze the deterioration of the brain.
The How to Stay Young (BBC) program brought together a group of people over 60 to take table tennis lessons. The program found that sports had a powerful effect on their brains – for some of them the cerebral cortex got even bigger.
By starting a new hobby that tested their reflexes and coordination between hands and eyes, they were able to stimulate the brain to create new connections between neurons.
Playing a musical instrument can also be useful, as the task involves different parts of the brain – areas responsible for fine motor coordination, hearing, and vision.
Because so many different areas work at the same time, the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres – the corpus callosum – is also exercised.
And it’s never too late to learn how to play an instrument. An American study concluded that learning to play piano improved the memory and other cognitive functions of a group of people between the ages of 60 and 85.
Physical activities are also good for the brain. A person can create more cells in the brain area that is important for memory – the hippocampus – by exercising.
And you do not have to run a marathon or lift too much weight to get these benefits.
The BBC program has found that a vigorous walk for one hour, twice a week, can release substances that stimulate the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus.
Purple sweet potato
Proper nutrition can also play a key role in the youth of the brain.
One example is the Japanese island of Okinawa, a place where there are a large number of people over one hundred years old and dementia rates can be up to 50% lower than in Western countries.
Some scientists believe that one of the island’s favorite foods plays a very important role in all this health: the sweet potato (which has that color inside it and not just the shell).
Scientists say these vegetables help islanders maintain good blood circulation, which makes their brains get plenty of oxygen.
Taking into account that it must be very difficult to find this type of potato in any supermarket, what should we eat to have so much health?
There are other foods with this purple color that have this same “magic” ingredient, the anthocyanins, antioxidant power plant pigments that help prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
All fresh fruits and vegetables will help maintain health, but purple fruits such as blackberry or purple greens such as aubergine can bring even more benefits.
- Progress in medicine
Scientists “hack” nervous systems to fight chronic diseases
The future looks promising in terms of treatments for the brain.
For example, researchers have been able to improve the memory of elderly rats by injecting the blood of young rats into them. This research is already being tested in humans.
Scientists from the United States Air Force say that a small electrical charge applied to the scalp seems to strengthen connections between neurons.
And, also in the United States, researchers are working on creating an implant that would be placed in the brain to help people with dementia form new memories.
Experts also recommend social activities to keep the brains young
Humans are social animals; We need each other to survive.
Social activities stimulate the brain in a way similar to activities such as reading and crossword puzzles.
Just like learning new things or being physically active, social activities help develop connections between neurons in different areas of the brain.
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