As we get older, many of us have concerns about our memory and concentration. Recalling names and recent events can become increasingly difficult and can make us worry about dementia. There are many things we can do however to feed the brain and aid the ageing process.
Scientists believe one of the causes of age-related cognitive decline is due to oxidation in the brain. Fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants so eating a wide variety in a rainbow of colours will be good for your mental health as well as overall wellbeing.
Another factor in cognitive decline is thought to be inflammation. Scientists have identified that a deficiency of DHA, a component of omega 3 fish oils, is linked to poor memory function. For those who don’t like fish, supplementation is an option.
Try to include more greens, eggs, whole grains and lean meat. These foods are rich in B vitamins. B vitamins play a variety of important roles for our brain health. Vitamins B3, B5 and B12 support mental performance, vitamin B5 is important for the production of some neurotransmitters and vitamins B3 and B12 also aid normal psychological function.
Nuts and seeds are a rich source of zinc, which contributes to cognitive function and also stimulates the appetite.
5-6 cups of fluid per day, making sure to include water, is essential. Insufficient fluid to the brain can make it sluggish, leading to confusion and memory problems.
Studied extensively, this herbal remedy is known as a traditional remedy for memory. It is believed to help the circulatory system in the brain and improve cognitive function.
Walking, dancing or swimming is ideal at any age. Daily exercise provides the brain with 25% of the body’s blood supply, bringing essential oxygen and nutrients needed to maximise brain function.
Studies have proven that specifically exercising the brain, for example by learning a musical instrument or language, encourages it to make new nerve pathways and stimulates regions involved in memory function.
As we age, memory lapses occur more and more frequently, which is part and parcel of an ageing brain. However, this isn’t an inevitable pathway to dementia or Alzheimer’s and there is much we can do by improving our diet and lifestyle to help maintain brain function.