All of us from time to time forget things. Wait… where did I put my keys? Ooohh, I know you but I’m embarrassed to say your name has escaped me. Or even, "Why did I just walk in this room?" Sometimes it’s not really about being “forgetful” or memory loss so much as it is having too much to think about at any given time, juggling too many plates at the same time, competing with the possibility of being mindful and attentive in the moment.
And we also know that some age-related memory decline is very common. But have you noticed that even among the very old, there is quite a bit of variance from person to person in mental sharpness and memory? And while all the reasons for that variance are not yet elucidated, there are some known strategies to keep the mind sharp and the memory strong. Here are a few.
Go Nuts! At the Nutrition and Health Conference in Phoenix in May, one of the very interesting lectures was an update on the research on nutrition and memory. Fran Grodstein, ScD, a professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard, highlighted the value of nuts. Her research has shown that at five or more servings per week, nuts protect against cognitive decline in the elderly! I knew there was a reason that walnut half looked like a brain.
For now, don’t worry, that’s all I’m going to ask you to remember. Just nuts. With the next newsletter, I’ll add some more tidbits.
Until then, be well!
Robert Pendergrast, MD, MPH
Aiken-Augusta Holistic Health