Learn six easy ways to improve your memory and brain health
We sometimes joke about memory lapses being “senior moments,” but medications may be an overlooked culprit. For example, research done at the University of Montreal in Canada examined 68 trials of benzodiazepines such as Xanax ( prescribed for anxiety and insomnia) and found that they consistently impair memory and concentration. Antihistamines and sleeping pills, such as Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata, can also reduce mental capacity ( see “Top 10 Memory Robbing Drugs,” right).
Nine out of 10 people age 65 or older take at least one prescription drug, and many take a combination. Consequently, it makes sense to have a pharmacist evaluate your medication regimen if memory, concentration, or other mental tasks become problematic.
Here are six natural ways to enhance your memory and brain function, no matter your age or health situation.
Eat for Better Memory. The wrong foods can rob mental function. David Perlmutter, MD, author of Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar— Your Brain’s Silent Killers, has identifi ed sugar, starch, and gluten as contributors to dementia, whereas good fats protect against it. These include grass- fed beef, eggs, fi sh and fi sh oil supplements, avocado, nuts, coconut oil, and olive oil. B vitamins, especially B , are also necessary for optimum mental function, and can be taken in a B com-
Herbalists often suggest sage, which means " to cure” in Latin, as a prevention therapy for Alzheimer's.