Protect your brain
Although we cannot remove pollution from the air, or prevent our exposure to it, there are some ways to help mitigate its risks.
Eating junk food, not exercising and experiencing high levels of stress are some of the tangible things that negatively affect brain health, but another dangerous and invisible factor is the air pollution we breathe around the clock.
More exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, depression and anxiety in a number of studies.
Air pollution leads to encephalitis, according to Psychologytoday, In brain research, people exposed to higher levels of air pollution were more likely to have increased inflammation.
What is air pollution?
Air pollution is made up of various elements, including gases, chemical compounds, metals, and tiny particles known as particulate matter.
Long-term exposure or exposure to high levels of air pollution can be dangerous, leading to health conditions that affect the lungs and heart.
Most of the research has focused on a component of air pollution known as particulate matter, or PM 2.5, which are particles 40 times finer than the width of a human hair.
Studies show that people who are exposed to high levels of pollutants perform poorly in cognitive tests over time.
Air pollution and dementia
According to the British Alzheimers website, there is evidence that small air pollution particles can enter the brain, but it cannot be said whether they play a role in the development of dementia.
However, studies of rats and dogs living in polluted areas suggest that air pollution can be associated with cognitive impairment.
Exposure of mice and rats to traffic pollution in the laboratory led to symptoms such as impairment in learning ability, memory and motor skills.
As for humans, studies show that people who are exposed to high levels of pollutants perform poorly on cognitive tests over time, but this does not mean that they have or will develop dementia.
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According to the “University of Southern California” (USC) website, a study on the health of children at the university concluded that children who live in more polluted areas suffer from poor lung function and decreased lung growth, in addition to more asthma and lung damage, compared to those in less polluted areas.
A study conducted by researchers at the university showed that exposure to toxic air affects the size of a developing child’s brain, and exacerbates cognitive and emotional problems in adolescence.
For reasons that are not understood, women in their 70s and 80s who live in areas with high levels of air pollution are at particular risk of Alzheimer’s-like brain shrinkage, compared to women who routinely breathe clean air.
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Women in their seventies and eighties who live in areas with high levels of air pollution are particularly vulnerable to brain shrinkage
How do you protect your brain?
Although we cannot remove pollution from the air, or prevent our exposure to it, there are some ways to help mitigate these dangers:
Diet. Data suggests that diet can help offset the negative effects of air pollution. The researchers highlighted the role of vitamins B, C, E and D, and omega-3 fats.
Eat fish, especially those loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
Studies have found that women with higher blood levels of omega-3s had higher amounts of white matter in their brains.
White matter loss is an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease.
Quit smoking, and reduce as much exposure to smoke as possible, including being among smokers, as well as wood fires and other types of smoke, as well as incense.
Recycling things, which contributes to the manufacture of new items that reduce air pollution.
So it is preferable to buy durable and long-lasting products. Be more aware of not wasting food, and recycle or reuse as many of the items you own as possible.
Celebrate with trees, not flowers. Instead of sending flowers on a birthday or other occasion, plant a tree in honor or memory of the person.
Cooking. When cooking indoors, you must adhere to a healthy ventilation system and open windows.
Close the car windows, as a study conducted by the University of Southern California, published in 2013 in the journal “Environmental Science & Technology” found that closing car windows and pressing the button to recycle the air inside the car can reduce exposure to pollution, especially in High traffic areas, according to brainandlife.
When practicing cooking indoors, a healthy ventilation system must be adhered to, and windows must be opened.
Choose places to exercise carefully, and if you exercise outdoors, or by walking or exercising in parks or other places away from traffic, that’s okay.
And you shouldn’t exercise during rush hours and heavy traffic, when weather reports indicate that the outside air quality is poor.
So, do exercise, including walking, indoors in places like gyms and recreation centers.
Purify the air Air monitors and portable air purifiers can protect the home, and elsewhere, from excessive exposure to air pollution.
“Psychology Today” states that air pollution is a global problem that affects all of us, so in addition to taking personal steps to reduce exposure to air pollution, we should also think about reducing our impact on producing more polluted air.
To achieve this, there are strategies to consider, such as:
Use cars when necessary.
Turn off your engine while traffic is slowing.
Switching to electric equipment instead of gas-powered ones.
And if you’re buying a new car, look for one that’s low on pollution.
Cut back on car trips in favor of public transportation, walking or cycling.