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Monday, 05 September 2016 01:00

Brain exercise could stave off the effects of a bad diet

Scientists have proven time and again how bad our Western diet is for us.  High sugar, lots of processed food and plenty of red meat can spell disaster for our bodies – and our brains.  Regular consumption of these is known to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and could be the reason it is fast becoming the number one cause of death in the world .  Now, scientists have discovered that there could be a way to counter this risk.   
 
Research presented by a team of scientists from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference held in Toronto this year, showed that mental agility and regular social interaction may help protect against the risk of Alzheimer’s caused by bad diet.   
 
The study showed that people with a high level of education and stimulating careers such as teaching, engineering and law could offset harmful food consumption, whilst positions least likely to offer mental agility and therefore no assistance in fighting the onset of the disease are cashiers, labourers and machine operators.   
 
The researchers assessed the Alzheimer’s risk of 284 participants through brain scans and traced regions of the brain associated with high intensity levels.  Those with brain stimulating careers that involved interaction with other people  - as opposed to machinery, for example, were found to have fewer signs of Alzheimer’s, principally a lifestyle that includes intensive thought and interaction with others, protected  the brain against the risk factors associated with a poor Western diet. 
 
It is not too late to challenge your brain but this doesn’t mean that machine operators should change careers and become lawyers to lower their risk of developing Alzheimer’s.  It simply means that you should be constantly challenging your brain in any way possible and looking after yourself.  Be conscious of what you eat and keep your body active through regular exercise and your brain active with social interactions and thought-provoking activities.   

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