Anti inflammatory lifestyle Part 4, the importance of stimulating the brain
Against stress, inflammations and the risk of developing degenerative illnesses it is important to keep the brain active and break the daily routine.
Chronic inflammation is a process that can take years to blow up, it works silently and creates the environment for aging and illnesses of body and mind, such as Alzheimer, arthritis, cancer, depression or more visible signs like wrinkles or skin aging. In order to counteract this condition, we should start changing our lifestyle, as we have seen in the previous posts. We have seen also the importance of a good night rest, to regenerate and fight stress and inflammations. Today we will see that, together with a good sleep, also the brain activity during the day is needed. Because in this way the brain can create continuously new connections and synapsis that it will be able to use in the future in case of a possible decline (Eliana Liotta, Age isn’t the same for everyone). And there isn’t an age limit, sentences like “I’m too old for this” make no sense especially now, in view of the latest scientific studies. A few months ago indeed an article has been published on the journal Cell Stem Cell and the study has been carried out by a team of the Columbia University (Boldrini et al, Cell Stem Cell, 2018). According to this study, the brain of old and healthy people keeps on producing new cerebral cells. Not an inexorable decline, but the brain continues to renew over the years and this happen especially in the area of the hippocampus, that is involved in memory and in the emotional response to stress. And how to keep the brain stimulated? An answer comes from the same scientist who performed the above mentioned study, dr Maura Boldrini. Boldrini claims that social relationships, physical activity but also a healthy and stimulant lifestyle are the essential factors to preserve neurogenesis. In general, the routine should be broken. Because, if we keep on doing the same actions in the same way, it’s like there is the automatic pilot and the brain decreases its activity, on the contrary, the brain should be stimulated and kept active and productive. For example, you can start changing your way to work, if it is possible, try a new hobby, or you can learn a new dance, change the order in which you do the actions in the morning, or, if you like cooking, prepare new recipes or study a new language. And for what concerns this last statement, science has shown that speaking at high levels a second language has a protective role on the brain against the risk of developing Alzheimer, that, in case, may be observed in older ages and with less intense symptoms (Perani et al, PNAS, 2017 or also Alladi et al, Neurology, 2013). To sum up, the most important thing is to amaze the brain and use it in order to keep it active and healthy.