Preventing memory loss

Recent studies have shown that aging is NOT associated with significant memory loss. Significant decline is associated with brain disease.

Risk factors for brain disease are high BP, high cholesterol and other vascular risk factors. Those who take BP and/or cholesterol-lowering medications regularly cut their risk of developing memory loss to less than half of what it would be otherwise.

To prevent memory loss: diet, exercise, sleep and vitamin E.

MEMORY PROTECTION PLAN:

1. Diet for a better memory:

  • Eat five or six fruits a day (not all the same fruit; variety provides more nutrients)
  • Include dairy products, whole grains and vegetables in your diet every day
  • Eat fish at least twice a week
  • Keep salt intake to a minimum (1200 mg/day max)
  • Have variation in your diet. Make sure to include suggestions from each of the 5 groups

2. Exercise:

  • Make exercise a priority in your life
  • Increase your exercise routine gradually

3. Brain Exercises:

  • Use it or lose it – luminosity or “Mind Games” app
  • Do simple calculations in your head (e.g. guess your grocery bill before the cashier tells you)
  • Read
  • Keep learning

4. Hypertension medication:

  • Uncontrolled hypertension can triple the risk of developing cognitive decline
  • Controlling hypertension helps reduce the risk of memory loss

5. Cholesterol medication

  • Controlling cholesterol reduces the risk for Alzheimer’s and Dementia by at least 40%

FOODS FOR BETTER MEMORY

SOURCES OF B12:

Milk products

Meat

Poultry

Fish

SOURCES OF FOLATE

Leafy green vegetables (like spinach)

Dry beans and peas

Fortified cereals

Grain products

Tomatoes

Oranges

Chickpeas

Beets

Soybeans

Fish

Eggs

SOURCES OF VITAMIN E

Vegetable oil

Whole grain

Green leafy vegetables

Sweet potatoes

Avocadoes

OTHER SOURCES OF ANTIOXIDANTS

Blueberries

Sweet potatoes

Pomegranates

Carrots

Chia seeds

SOURCES OF POLYUNSATURATED OMEGA-3 OILS

Fish

Walnuts

Flaxseed

Canola

Chia seeds (also an antioxidant)

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