Food for Thought
A poor diet may hurt your memory, says Cynthia Green, Ph.D., of Mount Sinai school of medicine in New York. Be sure to eat some of these:
- Fortified grains: Getting too little folic acid, a B vitamin found in cereals and breads, has been linked with a reduction in nerve cells in the part of the brain where age-related memory loss occurs first.
- Blueberries: Their ability to improve memory and other mental functions in animals may be due to the high antioxidant content, which can protect brain cells from damage.
- Green leafy vegetables: In a Harvard study, women who ate more antioxidant-rich vegetables, like spinach and chicory, did better on mental tests than women who ate less.
- Citrus fruits: Consuming vitamin C (in foods such as oranges and grapefruits) may prevent dementia. Also consider taking in supplemental doses of 500mg.
- Nuts: Vitamin E, an antioxidant found in almonds and walnuts, may also reduce the risk of developing dementia. In one study, supplements of 400 IU were found to be beneficial.
- Fish: People who eat fish with omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon) at least once a week have a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.