Memory and Concentration
One of the curses of growing old is the feeling that your memory is failing you and your powers of concentration are in decline. In the most severe cases, there is the specter of Alzheimer’s Disease lurking on the horizon. But, as with so many of the physical and mental problems, there are things you can do to overcome them. The starting point is, as always, what you eat.
As with all bodily functions, a constant supply of glucose and oxygen is required for your brain cells to work at their optimum level. This means the regular consumption of balanced meals to provide a constant, even conversion of food into glucose, plus an adequate intake of easily absorbed iron in order to ensure the blood has adequate oxygen-carrying properties.
In addition, maintaining your IQ requires memory and concentration, both of which depend on good nutrition. Several studies of children have shown that those on the worst diets showed the biggest improvement in IQ and learning ability when they were given an all-in-one vitamin, mineral, and fish-oil supplement. There’s no doubt that boosting nutritional status with this type of pill is s good insurance policy for those of any age who may be having difficulty with memory or concentration, but taking a pill does not wholly compensate for bad diet. People have survived down the millennia by eating food, not by taking pills.
Top Four Foods for Memory
- Shellfish is a particularly rich source of zinc, which is key for both memory and concentration and is commonly lacking in diets that consist largely of convenience foods. Oysters are the richest source of all, but there’s plenty of crab, other fish, whole grain cereals, beans and peas, mushrooms, wheat germ, pumpkins and sunflower seeds.
- Rosemary is the king of memory-enhancing-herbs. It stimulates the adrenal cortex and is of great value for memory loss, nervous tension, anxiety and general emotional debility. In ancient Rome, rosemary wine was used to treat all these mental problems.
- Fresh fruits, particularly grapes, pears and apples, and a handful each day of fresh unsalted peanuts, walnuts, and almonds should be eaten to keep your boron levels up to scratch. Boron has not been thought essential for humans, but recent research suggests that it may play an important part in the transmission of electrical impulses in the brain.
- Dried fruits such as dates, figs, and apricots, should be eaten every day, as they contain the minerals that prevent the body from absorbing aluminum. Aluminum is a possible factor in the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Although not yet proven, there are enough question marks surrounding the toxicity of aluminum to make it better not to use aluminum cooking pans or deodorants and anti-perspirants containing aluminum.
The leaves of Ginkgo biloba tree have been used in China for 5000 years to improve short-term memory and concentration. This herbal medicine increases the blood flow to the brain cells and there is considerable scientific evidence (University of Maryland medical center) that it helps overcome the early signs of mental aging.
Garlic, whether in food or as pills, also helps improve blood flow and reduces cholesterol, high blood pressure and the stickiness of the blood. All these actions are good for the brain as well as for the rest of the body.
Maintaining your IQ requires memory and concentration, both of which depend on good nutrition.
What to Avoid
Watch out for animal fats which slow down brain function, and go easy on the drink. Whilst one glass of wine may relax your nerves and help you cope better with the mental stresses of difficult situations, be warned that alcohol is a depressant and at crucial times for memory and concentration it should be avoided.