The Marbles Index


Here are five ways to fortify your grey matter against ageing.


A firm handshake

Grip strength is an indicator of your overall strength – and of your Alzheimer’s risk. Research from the Boston Medical Center associated a stronger grasp with improved memory and a ‘higher cerebral volume’. Test your risk with a farmer’s walk: grab a dumb-bell in each hand, the weight equal to your 1RM for a squat. If you can’t walk 25m with the weights, you’d be wise to start a strength programme.


Regular flossing

Bleeding gums = leaky mind. Studies have shown that people with poor gum health are more likely to experience lower cognitive function. There’s a strong link between gums and heart health, and it may be that the effect on your heart leads to a short circuit in your synapses.


Brain shocks

Your mind likes surprises. Research at the University of California, Berkeley, found that lifelong mental stimulation leads to fewer deposits of a destructive protein in the brain. The odd crossword won’t cut it. This is about embracing mental challenges, from trying different roles at work to getting your feet around a paso doble at dance classes with the wife.



Or rather, the folate and other B vitamins you get from the vegetable. Increasing folate in your diet has been linked with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s, as has boosting your intake of fish, red wine, coffee, vitamin E and turmeric (a spice used in many curries).


Bicycle kicks

Any kind of head trauma is bad for the brain – even if it’s just from a cross whipped in at speed. Heading a football has been linked to long-term damage by researchers at the Albert Einstein College for Medicine as balls can travel at over 35mph. Next time, do a Rooney and use your feet instead.



Image from Stockexchange


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