How Healthy Is Your Brain? The At-Home SAGE Test + Smell Challenge Could Help You Find Out


Last time Max Lugavere, the author of Genius Foods, visited our show, he gave us the lowdown on four foods that could boost our brain health.

And this time, he taught us how to *measure* our brain health with something called the SAGE test and a blindfolded smell challenge.

Max put Rach and co-host Jesse Palmer to the test in our studio -- and you can try the activities at home, too!

MORE: Can Food Make You Smarter? Here Are 4 Foods That Will Boost Your Brain Health


The first thing Max asked Rach and Jesse to do was write a list of 12 things commonly found in the kitchen that *aren't* food.

"This is a component of a test devised by researchers at Ohio State University called the SAGE test," Max explains, "which is an at-home test that you can fill out and bring to your physician [for them] to use to assess your cognitive health."

And while Max told Rach and co-host Jesse Palmer that they weren't being timed, they turned it into a friendly competition anyway in the video above.

"This is a good test of memory function," Max tells them after they're done with their lists, "and even if you can't get all 12, that's not necessarily cause for concern."

The food journalist stresses that the test is meant to be brought to your physician so he or she could establish a baseline and note future changes in your cognitive behavior.

"If you notice a change," Max says. "that's when you should start to be concerned."

MORE: How Drained Is Your Brain? Take This Quiz to Measure Your Anxiety Level


"It seems that odor identification is strongly linked to potential changes that would precede cognitive decline," Max tells us.

"Physicians can see if your cognition has changed based on whether or not you're able to perceive the odor and identify it with a food item you have stored in your memory."


So, Max put Rach and Jesse to the test with peanut butter, tangerines and peppermint candies.

See how they performed in the video above!

Oh, and as Max notes, don't be alarmed if your odor identification skills are failing you when you have a cold -- because that's understandable!

For more from Max, watch the video below to see how you can food shop your way (and shower your way?!) to a healthier brain!

Max says the full SAGE test usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes -- and anybody can access it online!

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