Scientists are calling for more attention to what astronauts will eat during future trips to Mars. After all, radiation and disruption of circadian rhythms can severely damage their brains. However, a diet can prevent this.
Space affects astronauts’ brains
Experts who deal with the issues of future flights of astronauts to Mars advise reconsidering approaches to their nutrition. It is known that long-term space travel has an extremely negative effect on a variety of systems of the human body. Previously, scientists have already investigated how radiation and weightlessness affect blood and bones.
However, this time experts paid attention to the astronauts’ brains. Prolonged stay in space also affects it in a bad way. Firstly, radiation harms it. Secondly, staying in an enclosed space with artificial lighting disrupts circadian rhythms. Thirdly, the psychological burden in these conditions is also very high.
If you add dietary changes to all this, astronauts may well experience cognitive loss. And in the conditions of traveling to Mars, every mistake can be expensive. However, scientists believe that nutrition can correct this situation.
Scientists have long established that diet is closely linked to the risk of depression. Clinical studies also show that dietary changes in combination with other measures help to overcome this condition well.
Diet also affects the size and function of a specific area of the brain, the hippocampus, which is crucial for learning and memory, as well as for maintaining mental health. When even healthy young people eat junk food, aspects of cognition related to the hippocampus deteriorate rapidly.
On the other hand, studies show that a diet containing more and a variety of plant foods and seafood (which are rich in components called long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoids) leads to improved cognitive performance. This study was conducted in a closed chamber for 45 days, designed to simulate conditions in space.
In addition to all of the above, diet also affects the gut microbiome. This is of great importance for overall well-being and also affects the cognitive abilities of an astronaut. Therefore, scientists believe that one of the main tasks during the expedition to Mars will be to provide people with a healthy diet. And upon arrival on the red planet, they must start producing the necessary products on site.
According to www.space.com
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