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
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 a bad
diet. People have survived down the millennia by eating food, not by
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.
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.
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.
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 antiperspirants containing aluminum.
The leaves of the 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.