Helmets don’t prevent concussionsForyoui3/Shutterstock
According to the Weill Cornell Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic, helmets don’t actually stop the brain from banging around inside your skull, which is the cause of a concussion. But many people don’t realize this—one survey found that only a quarter of Americans understand that helmets can’t prevent concussions. Although studies show that football helmets aren’t very effective at reducing concussion rates, some companies are designing new ones they say work better. As for right now, what is the point of wearing one? Helmets prevent skull fractures, which injure your brain as well.Here are more concussion myths every parent must know.
Brain health may start in the gutPurino/Shutterstock
Science is uncovering more and more info about how the bacteria in our gut, known as the microbiome, affects the brain. “Although we still have much to learn about the microbiome, animal studies indicate that gut bacteria may impact everything from mood to anxiety levels and even impact our response to stress,” Palinski-Wade says. “Since diet has a direct impact on gut bacteria, a diet rich in prebiotics and probiotics may help to alter gut health to favorably impact mood and fight against depression and anxiety.” Chemicals in gut bacteria may even have an influence on autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, according to research. Learn the signs you have an unhealthy gut.
High blood pressure affects brain functionVoraorn Ratanakorn/Shutterstock
Since healthy brain function is linked with blood flow to the brain, it might not be surprising that studies show high blood pressure has a negative effect on cognition—as well as an increased risk for dementia and stroke. This is another reason to adopt a healthy diet and exercise regimen. “Regular exercise improves cardiovascular function and reduces blood pressure, which may help to protect the brain against damage that may increase dementia risk,” Palinski-Wade says.