HEALTH & NUTRITION: six ways to boost your memory

Reduce sugar As someone with an exceedingly sweet tooth, I was dismayed to hear that a whopping 70 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes go on to develop Alzheimer’s. And since a diet low in sugar can reverse type 2 diabetes, it may also prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s. While the idea of this initially seemed close to impossible, I was surprised how quickly my taste buds changed and how I came to appreciate the natural sweetness of foods. Eat eggs They are a source of top-notch protein, omega-3 fats, antioxidants and choline, all of which are paramount for brain health. The World Health Organisation recommends up to 10 eggs a week. And since eggs don’t in fact increase cholesterol levels (it’s actually a myth), you can boil, scramble or poach your way to your weekly allowance. More vitamin D please Just being moderately deficient in vitamin D increases your risk of dementia by 53 per cent, and this rises by a staggering 125 per cent if you are severely deficient. The best way to get your vitamin D is to go outside (yes, with your mask) – our bodies can synthesise it from sunlight. Spend 20 minutes in the sun (without sunscreen), but not between 10am and 3pm. For those of you who prefer the dietary alternative, choose from oily fish, such as salmon and omena, and liver, milk and eggs. Zap your stress levels The chances of developing dementia are about 15-20pc higher if you’re stressed. Taking the so-called “stress nutrients” as a supplement can be beneficial here, namely B-vitamins (a complex is best), vitamin C and magnesium. Adaptogenic herbs like Siberian ginseng and rhodiola can also be beneficial. Use it or lose it The old adage is true. Learning a new dance, walking in a new park, jigsaws and sudoku are all great. Little mental challenges can also be both beneficial and fun: try counting backwards from 100 in twos, threes or fours is a good one. And if you combine that with something else like say, tapping your foot, you’ll be improving your mental capacity further. Get into music While playing an instrument can reduce your risk of cognitive impairment by 36 per cent, singing can help you to remember words more easily (word sequences are far more memorable when they are sung rather than spoken).


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