Eat bright food
Individual studies have flagged up the importance of diet to the brain, but there’s no convincing evidence that it can improve the averagely well-nourished mind. Animal studies look promising, however, and research at the University of California in the US shows that old dogs can learn new tricks if their diet is fortified with vitamins.
What might work
‘There’s probably not one brain scientist who’s not drinking red wine or eating blueberries,’ says US science and health editor Barbara Strauch.
Along with other dark fruit and veg, and fish oils, these are good sources of nutrients that fight inflammation and ageing.
Also turmeric, which researchers hope may stave off Alzheimer’s disease.
Too much sugar and fat. Midlife obesity doubles the risk of dementia, according to a study in the Archives Of Neurology. (If you have high blood cholesterol too, times that by six.)
Even spikes of high blood sugar, an increasing problem in middle age, when blood-glucose control deteriorates, can impair memory.
Text originally appeared in Good Housekeeping, November 2012.