Whether it's becoming a Sudoku champion or remembering the name of someone you just met, everyone probably wishes they could muster up a little extra brain power. There are no quick fixes when it comes to improving (or preventing the decline of) cognitive functions like memory, info processing, or critical thinking, but there are some very basic steps you can take to keep your brain as healthy as possible.
"A lot of things that should be recommended for reducing dementia are actually just common sense and work for general health too," says Dr. Joe Verghese, professor of neurology and medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "The challenge is getting people to do it." Eating right, exercising, and staying mentally active top the list of brain-health boosters, but they aren't the only options.
10. Eat Right
There is a well-documented link between what we eat and how our brains function. One study showed that putting rats on a high sugar diet for a mere six weeks impaired their cognitive functioning. Being overweight has also been tied to increases in mental health problems. If you just can't get enough of your high-fructose corn syrup, the researchers also found that consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids – like salmon, walnuts, and soybeans – may help counter sugar's brain drain.
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