Wednesday, April 24, 2013

4 tips to improve your memory

Combat those "senior moments" with these 4 simple ideas:

1. Fast 12 hours at night
There is scientific evidence that substances called ketone bodies, which are produced when there are no carbohydrates to burn, may have a protective effect on the brain. If your last meal was at 6 p.m., try not to eat again until at least 6 a.m. the next day. That means no late night snacking!

2. Proportion your fat-carb-protein intake
Aim for your daily diet to consist of 25% brain-healthy fats (think avocados, olive oil, fish and natural peanut butter), 30-45% complex carbohydrates (fruits, veggies and other whole foods low on the glycemic index) and 25-35% high-quality protein (lean chicken breasts and the like).

3. Boost your brain nutrients
Omega-3 fatty aids can aid memory function and boost brain power. If your diet isn’t supplying enough, try fish oil capsules. Antioxidant-rich foods such as kale, berries, mushrooms, beans and salmon are also great for mental function, as well as other essential vitamins such as folic acid, B6, B12 and vitamin D.

4. Eat whole foods, Mediterranean-style
Strive to eat only whole foods — foods that have only one ingredient. Stay away from processed foods and eat more lean chicken, fish and turkey. Up your intake of fruits and vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheese, nuts, grains and seeds.

— Richard Isaacson, M.D. and Christopher Ochner, PH.D. Adapted from their new book, The Alzheimer’s Diet

Read more about improving memory function in the our current issue of Today's Transitions.

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