Amy McGorry: We all have those moments when we forget where we put our glasses or blank on a friend's name, such occasional lapses are common especially once we hit our 40s. The good news is that you can boost memory and brainpower by keeping your brain healthy and fit. Here are few easy things you can do to stay sharp.
First, work up a sweat. One of the best ways to preserve brain health is through regular exercise. Researchers recently found that aerobic exercise boost not only speed and sharpness of thought but also the volume of brain tissue, as little as 15 minutes of brisk walking three times a week was found to have this brain expanding effect.
For an added boost, walk in the park, those that walk through a tree filled setting perform 20% better on memory and attention tests than those who walk downtown. Second, snack on nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds contain brain boosting vitamin E. In one study, researchers found that people who consume moderate amounts lowered their risk of Alzheimer's by 67%. Chew for 2 ounces of almonds a day.
Third, brush and floss, oral health has been clearly linked to brain health. One study found that gingivitis and periodontal disease were associated with worst cognitive function throughout adult life, not just in later years. Be sure to follow your dentist's advice. Floss daily and brush your teeth for two minutes at least once a day.
Lastly, do puzzles. According to one recently study, doing puzzles can shade a decade of your cognitive age. Start small, carry a booklet of basic puzzles with you to do on the train, riding to work and while waiting in a long checkout line. As your skills improve, graduate to more challenging brain teasers.
Follow the right diet and make these few easy tweaks to keep your mind young sharp and healthy.