According to the latest research, you can start losing your memory as early as your 20's. And it only gets worse as you get older. Here are a few ways to keep the memory strength you have . . . and even improve it.
* Load up on carbs. Eat things like cereal and whole-wheat toast for breakfast. Studies have found that people who cut back on carbs tend to do worse on memory tests. It's because the brain needs glucose, which is derived from carbohydrates.
* Work out more. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, and with it oxygen and glucose. One study showed that people can learn new words 20% faster after doing an intense workout, as opposed to something low-impact like walking.
* Use a different font on your computer. It sounds weird, but changing your font may improve your long-term memory.
--Your brain has to work just that much harder to recognize letters in a form it's not used to seeing . . . and that helps you recall the information more easily.
* Do more Internet searches. A UCLA study found that spending an hour a day online can actually help improve your short-term memory. But it has to be something you're interested in. And no, porn doesn't count.
* Do eye exercises. Researchers in
--Here's what you do: Stand in place and look straight ahead, then sweep your eyes from side to side for 30 seconds at a time. That's it.
* Have a drink with dinner. Obviously, drinking too much is bad for your memory. But studies have found that having seven or fewer alcoholic drinks a week actually LOWERS your risk for memory problems, compared to people who don't drink at all.
--It may be because alcohol tends to reduce inflammation, but scientists don't know for sure.
* Floss your teeth twice a day. When you skip flossing, your gums become inflamed, which allows bacteria into your bloodstream.
--Then they can cause inflammation all over your body . . . but in your BRAIN they can impair your thought processes.