With every birthday, we all realize that we are inching closer to the down side of the hill. Most of us realize around age 40 or so that we don’t see as well as we used to. We start wondering why all the young people mumble these days.
And we all feel that little jolt of panic when we forget where we put the keys.
But scientists have been working hard to figure out how we can protect our brains from the ravages of aging.
Everyone knows by now that we need to eat our fruits and vegetables if we want to stay young at mind. The compounds in these healthy foods are good for the heart, the arteries and the brain. If you want to stay sharp, eat your broccoli.
Berries, like blueberries and strawberries, are also filled with the antioxidants that can keep our brains from slowing down as we age. They seem to help with maintaining word retrieval, one of the markers of early Alzheimer’s disease.
All that’s fine, but here is some new information that comes at an interesting time in history. Just as the world, and particularly the United States, seems hell bent on keeping out foreigners, it turns out that speaking more than one language is one of the best ways to keep your brain young and agile.
Mon Dieu, what interesting news!
Researchers from Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan have studied the brains of people who are bilingual and compared them to monolingual peers. It turns out that speaking more than one language fluently and regularly reduces the chances of developing degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
The brains of the multilingual participants in the study showed more agility. That means that they were better able to plan, solve problems and carry out instructions.
Molto bene, si?
It turns out that learning a second language in childhood and remaining fluent in that language throughout your life is one of the best ways to avoid significant memory loss and dementia in later life.
Slamming all the borders closed and trying to homogenize the country probably isn’t going to help with that solution, is it?