Does it ever seem like practically everyday you are either forgetting something, can’t find what you are looking for, or sayig “why can’t I remember the name of that guy?”
Many of us turn to our trusted personal assistants for help (our SMART phones) but wouldn’t it be great if we could recall these things through our own mental efforts?
For many people, the problem is simply a lack of sleep, multi-tasking, or temporary stress. But sometimes lapses become more frequent and more worrisome. Alzheimer’s disease affects nearly half of Americans by age 85. However, declining memory could be down to other reasons too. For example, you may have suffered a traumatic brain injury. In which case, it might be a shrewd move to contact an Orange County brain injury lawyer in order to pursue legal action against any responsible parties.
The good news is recent research has shown that that foods can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and may even reverse memory problems if they are caught early.
When scientists examine the brains of people who have had Alzheimer’s disease, they find that between the brain cells are tiny specks, called beta-amyloid plaques. Under the microscope, they look like little meatballs or balls of yarn. Scientists believe that these plaques gradually destroy brain cells.
Why do they occur? Researchers in the US and Europe have found that the answer may be found in our eating habits. Some foods make Alzheimer’s disease more likely; others help prevent it.
So What Should I Do & Eat?
1. Nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, which has been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Especially good sources are almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pecans, pistachios, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseed. Just one ounce – a small handful – each day is plenty.
2. Blueberries and grapes get their deep colors from anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants shown to improve learning and recall in studies at the University of Cincinnati.
3. Sweet potatoes are the dietary staple of Okinawans, the longest-lived people on Earth who are also known for maintaining mental clarity into old age. Sweet potatoes are extremely rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant.
4. Green leafy vegetables provide iron in a form that is more absorbable when the body needs more and less absorbable when you already have plenty, protecting you from iron overload, which may harm the brain. Green vegetables are also loaded with folate, an important brain-protecting B vitamin.
5. Beans and chickpeas have vitamin B6 and folate, as well as protein and calcium, with no saturated fat or trans fat.
6. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerves and brain cells. Together, folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 eliminatehomocysteine, which can build up in the bloodstream – rather like factory waste – and damage the brain. As well as these vitamins that you can take to increase your brain function, additionally, looking into something like amazon ashwagandha could also be a solution to improving your memory. With anything you are not too familiar with, it is important to do your research before going ahead with anything.
Vegetarian and especially vegan diets are especially powerful. A study at Loma Linda University showed that vegetarians not only live longer than meat-eaters; they stay free of memory problems longer, too.
Exercise Your Brain
For extra credit, it pays to “exercise” your brain. Here’s how:
7. Get Your Heart Pumping: A 40-minute brisk walk three times per week brings oxygen to your brain and can even reverse age-related brain shrinkage according to studies at the University of Illinois.
8. Mental Exercises: Brain stimulation – from books, newspapers or online brain-training exercises – measurably strengthens the brain.
9. Sleep. It’s essential for preserving memories. The first half of the night is important for slow-wave sleep, when your brain integrates facts and words learned during the day. The second half of the night emphasizes REM sleep, when emotions and physical skills are integrated. My advice is to go to sleep by 10:00 every night, and aim for eight hours of sleep – or as much as you can get. If you are someone who suffers from insomnia or do not have a proper sleep pattern, this can take its tole on your body. But with the help of potential solutions like searching something like Online Dispensary Canada to consider the use of medical marijuana or even switching off your devices before bed could make a change in your life and allow you to have a good night’s sleep.
10. “Bad fats” found in meats, dairy products, and snack pastries
Putting it all together, it pays to avoid the “bad fats” found in meats, dairy products, and snack pastries, and to take advantage of the powerful nutrients in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient you’ll want to add to your shopping list. And don’t forget to lace up your sneakers and to give your brain a bit of mental exercise every day.By Neal D. Barnard, MD Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC Author of Power Foods for the Brain