Great news from Harvard scientists: Thanks to all the healthy diet and lifestyle changes we’ve been making, the rate of age-related memory loss and dementia has been dropping by 15 percent every decade. And experts say these four natural ways to power up your protection even more can help reverse brain aging over time.
Try a Better B
As stomach acid production begins to decrease after age 50, it becomes harder to absorb vitamin B-12. And even mild deficiencies can cause memory problems that mimic Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, say Tufts University scientists. Luckily, German findings suggest that taking B-12 in liquid or lozenge form facilitates absorption to improve learning and memory by up to 48 percent. A lozenge form to try: Life Extension Vitamin B12 Methylcobalamin (Buy at LifeExtension.com, $7.46).
Enjoy a PB&J
Love peanut butter? That’s great news for your brain! Australian research found enjoying 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter daily boosts recall and reasoning ability by 60 percent, plus cuts your risk of age-related memory lapses and foggy thinking by 40 percent. Study authors credit peanuts’ unsaturated fats, vitamin E and polyphenol compounds, all of which tame brain-damaging inflammation.
Pick Up a Puzzle
Solving sudokus or crosswords keeps your mind sharp. British experts found that folks who did word and number puzzles often had brains up to eight years younger in terms of memory, attention and reasoning abilities than those who didn’t engage in the activities. Mental stimulation boosts growth factors in the brain that help generate new brain cells and make new connections between existing cells. Not into puzzles? A study in Neurology found reading on a regular basis reduced age-related memory decline by 30 percent.
Pour a Glass of Vino
That wine or beer you enjoyed with dinner safeguards your memory. French scientists found that people who regularly sip wine or beer (up to one serving daily) are up to 75 percent less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s than non-drinkers. Experts say these antioxidant-rich beverages prevent harmful plaque buildup in brain vessels that can hamper memory.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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