Ways to Prevent “Space Brain” Here on Earth

Ways to Prevent “Space Brain” Here on Earth

If Elon Musk can ever get his SpaceX Falcon-9 safely off the launching pad—his second exploded at Cape Canaveral a couple of months ago—he’ll be offering a manned space shot to Mars around 2025.

Of course, the risks are going to be huge. First, passengers who pony up a sizable chunk of cash might not make it there alive, and if they do they probably won’t be returning to Earth. (They’ll be colonizing, after all.) But there’s one more thing you should know about space travel before you hop a SpaceX rocket. Exposure to solar and galactic cosmic rays (radiation) could lead to memory deficits, anxiety, depression and impaired decision-making. That’s what University of California, Irvine, scientists are calling "Space Brain."  

However, you don’t have to leave the planet to develop Space Brain. If you’re a fan of food loaded with the Five Food Felons (added sugar and sugar syrups; all trans and most saturated fats and processed grains) you can develop memory deficits, depression and impaired decision making too! As those nasty-nuggets-of-nutritional-nothings clog your circulatory system with lousy LDL cholesterol and amp up body-wide inflammation (just like those cosmic rays do), you’ll feel further and further away from good health and less at home in your own body.

We suggest you launch yourself into a healthier orbit: Make sure to get 10,000 steps a day, or the equivalent activity, eat 5-9 servings of produce daily, sleep 7-8 hours nightly and stick with star gazing for now!

Medically reviewed in June 2018.

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