- Sitting too much may lead to thinning of brain regions linked to memory.
- No amount of physical activity may be able to reverse the damage.
- Tomatoes, blueberries, seeds and nuts may protect brain.
The researchers conducted the study on 35 participants who were all middle-aged and older adults between the ages of 45 and 75. The participants' history of physical activity was analysed. They were also quizzed about the average number of hours each of them spent sitting. Each person then underwent an MRI scan to gain a detailed view of the medial temporal lobe, or MTL, which is a brain region related to memory. The results made it clear that there was a link between a largely sedentary lifestyle and thinning of the MTL.
What was more worrying was the finding that even high levels of physical activity can remedy the effects left on the brain by sitting around a lot. The reduction in the thickness of MTL is linked to a number of mental disorders like dementia and other cognitive disabilities. The researchers are hoping to use the results of this study to devise an effective intervention strategy for people who are at an increased risk of Alzheimer's.
Talking about the results of the study, the report concludes, "In this preliminary study of middle-aged and older adults, self-reported hours per day spent sitting, but not physical activity level, was associated with less thickness in the MTL substructures." It added: "These findings are novel and require further exploration in longitudinal studies and analysis of mediating mechanisms."
There are certain foods that you may include in your diet to protect your cognitive health and boost brain power. Here are some of these foods you can eat to ensure a healthy brain:
1. Whole grains: Whole grains ensure a steady supply of energy to your bloodstream, therefore keeping your brain alert and help you concentrate better.
2. Blueberries: A study by Tuffts university has concluded that eating blueberries may prove to be effective against short term memory loss.
3. Tomatoes: Lycopene present in tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant which protects the cells against the free radical damage that takes place during development of dementia.
4. Seeds and Nuts: Pumpkin seeds and certain nuts like almonds are also great brain foods. Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, stress-busting magnesium, B vitamins and the precursor to serotonin- tryptophan. Nuts are rich in Vitamin E which might protect the brain against cognitive decline.
5. Broccoli: Broccoli is a rich source of Vitamin K, which enhances cognitive function.
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