You don't need to be a senior citizen to have a senior moment... we've all had our own bouts with the memory mistress.
But if you want less of them, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself sharp and savvy.
For starters, make sure you're getting enough magnesium. One new study out of China published in the journal Neuron found that magnesium improved memory in rats. And a study in 2004 found that magnesium could reverse that infamous middle-age memory loss.
As you get older, you're more likely to suffer from a deficiency in this brain-boosting mineral. So to make sure you're getting enough, be sure to eat plenty of nuts, especially almonds, as well as beans, artichokes, spinach, pumpkin seeds and buckwheat flour. Or you could pick up a supplement--they're cheap and easy to find.
Like all good health, maintaining a good memory isn't only about what you take--it's also about what you do. We know that sleep is crucial to retaining knowledge, but now researchers think there's something you can do while you're awake as well: Nothing.
They call it "active rest," but you and I might call it "zoning out."
Researchers asked 16 subjects to identify the connections between two sets of pictures--like a beach ball and a surfer dude. Then, they told the participants to take a break.
It wasn't an ideal break, because during that time the researchers used MRIs to peek into their brains. But they found that this wakeful rest caused the two areas of the brain associated with long-term memory storage to light up.
Those with the most activity in that part of the brain during rest did the best on memory tests afterwards, according to the study, which was also published in Neuron.
It was a small study, but feel free to use it as an excuse for a little downtime at the office. If anyone asks, be sure to tell them your brain is hard at work.
For more great brain boosters, visit the Health Sciences Institute's website. Use the keyword "memory" to search the online library--you'll find a lot of fantastic free advice.