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How to beat memory loss

Just because you forget a few things every now and then, doesn’t mean you have dementia or Alzheimer’s, so stop worrying!

health and fitness Updated: Dec 30, 2011 12:59 IST

Just because you forget a few things every now and then, doesn’t mean you have dementia or Alzheimer’s, so stop worrying! It’s time to stop blaming your work schedule and focus on improving your brain health. Nutrition’s current spotlight is on foods that do exactly that, as an increasing trend in the incidence of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease has been noticed. Forgetfulness is so easily accepted as part of aging, but that is not the norm. You may experience temporary forgetfulness after drinking alcohol, not sleeping enough, if your blood sugar is low, after a high fever, post an epileptic fit or surgery. Anxiety and high stress also affect your memory, as do long term use of statins, sleeping pills and blood pressure medicines.

FruitsAvoid junk

If you want to keep your brain sharp, avoid eating the wrong fats (saturated, hydrogenated fats, trans fatty acids) and eat the right ones (omega3 found in fish and flax seeds). Fish like salmon, tuna, halibut, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Vegetarians can derive their daily dose of omega-3 from flaxseeds and flaxseed oil. Walnuts, soybeans, mustard seed and pumpkin seeds are other substantial sources.

Research shows that people who eat junk food, fried food, high salt food or nutrient poor food seem to have poor memory as compared to those who eat nutrient dense antioxidant rich foods. Fruits like amla, berries, dark grape, pomegranates, jamuns, citrus fruits and melons are rich in antioxidants. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts etc are also good sources of Vitamin E, which is a potent anti-oxidant. Green leafy vegetables, capsicum, tomatoes, beetroot, alfa-alfa sprouts and broccoli are some of the vegetables

with excellent antioxidant content.

Avoid sugar rich foods and eat whole grains and avoid refined foods. The more oxygen you get in your brain the less likely you are to lose your memory. Meditate, play crosswords and word games. Never use a mobile phone more than 20 minutes at a time.

Herbs that help

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is known to have a preventive role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Brahmi, Shankapushpi and Ashwagandha are potent brain tonics. Gingko Biloba also improves blood circulation, as does Rosemary.

Dr. Anjali Mukerjee, Nutritionist and Founder, Director - Health Total.
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First Published: Dec 30, 2011 12:33 IST