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Brains – the new wonder head filler? by Dr.Iain Corness

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Brains

Hands up all those who remember the second of December, 1954, in the days of hardship before ball point pens and Glad Wrap…… nice to see some of you aren’t lying about your age!

In 1954, Peter Sellers, playing the part of Bluebottle in the Goon Show, uttered the famous phrase, “Thinks, thanks to brains, the new wonder head filler.” And BTW, yours is still a wonder, so how did you keep it going?

Research has now shown that intellectually stimulating leisure activities have a ‘protective’ effect for the brain and its capabilities. If you are doing a job you enjoy, then this was again protective, but a dull job with no stimulus or challenge was another way to dementia. The old adage – “Do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life” comes to mind.

Even better news is the fact that it has been found that physical exercise stops memory loss and stimulates growth of nerve cells.

There are 7 Dietary Principles mentioned in the literature to keep your brain healthy. Here are the suggestions:

1. Minimize saturated fats and trans fats.

2. Vegetables, beans, peas, and lentils, fruits, and whole grains should be the primary staples of the diet.

3. One small handful of nuts or seeds daily provides a healthful source of Vitamin E.

4. Take a reliable source of vitamin B12, such as fortified foods or a supplement providing at least 2.4 μg per day for adults.

5. Take multivitamins only if your diet is very poor. Consume iron supplements only when directed by your physician.

6. Avoid the use of cookware, antacids, baking powder, or other products that contribute dietary aluminum. (I wouldn’t get too excited about this one – the theory may sound appealing, but I am not convinced.)

7. Engage in aerobic exercise equivalent to 40 minutes of brisk walking three times per week.

So the secret to keeping the head filler healthy is to have a job you enjoy, get some exercise, watch a limited amount of TV and settle down with a good cook (sorry, I meant “book”).

However, we do have a fully staffed and equipped Neuroscience Center if you need us.

 

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