"One lives in the hope of becoming a memory." That’s a nice quote from poet Antonio Porchia, but what happens when we start forgetting? As we get older, many people find that their memories aren’t as reliable as they once were — and I’m no exception. Recently, I’ve found that I need to make more notes and set up more reminders on my computer and phone than I used to. It happens to everyone, right? But, what if there was something we could do to stop or slow memory loss?
As you might have guessed, the answer doesn’t come in pill form. In order for your brain to work properly, it must be fueled with the right nutrients. A 1997 Journal of the American Geriatric Society study found that patients who had higher blood levels of vitamin C and beta-carotene scored better on tests of memory, vocabulary, recall, and recognition. Both vitamins work as antioxidants, which can prevent cell damage within the brain (and the rest of the body).
A 2010 Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association study found that omega-3 fatty acids may improve memory and learning in older adults with minor cognitive impairments. Omega-3 fatty acids can be taken in supplement form, but they are also found in certain foods. As always, consult your doctor and health care provider before taking any supplements.
Although there are specific nutrients that have been proven to have a direct impact on memory function, it’s important to remember that these nutrients don’t work in isolation. That’s why it’s always better to get as much nutrition from food as possible.
Here are a few tips for getting more of these brain-boosting nutrients into your diet (in their natural form).