4 Types of Food to Help Boost Your Memory

If you're feeling forgetful, it could be due to a lack of sleep or a number of other reasons including genetics, level of physical activity, and lifestyle and environmental factors. However, there's no doubt that diet plays a major role in brain health.

The best menu for boosting memory and brain function encourages good blood flow to the brain — much like what you'd eat to nourish and protect your heart. A recent study found that the Mediterranean Diet helps in keeping aging brains sharp, and a growing body of evidence links foods like those in the Mediterranean diet with better cognitive function, memory and alertness.

Strengthen Recall by Adding These Foods to the Rotation

Eat your veggies. You're not likely to forget this message. Getting adequate vegetables, especially cruciferous ones including broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy greens, may help improve memory. Try a raw kale salad or substitute collard greens for the tortilla in your next sandwich wrap. Broccoli stir-fry is also an excellent option for lunch or dinner.

Be sweet on berries and cherries. Berries — especially dark ones such as blackberries, blueberries and cherries — are a rich source of anthocyanins and other flavonoids that may boost memory function. Enjoy a handful of berries for a snack, mixed into cereal or baked into an antioxidant-rich dessert. You can reap these benefits from fresh, frozen or dried berries and cherries.

Get adequate omega-3 fatty acids. Essential for good brain health, omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in particular, may help improve memory in healthy young adults. "DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain. It makes sense that if you have higher levels of DHA in the blood, then the brain will operate more efficiently," says Andrea Giancoli, RD, registered dietitian and past Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.

Seafood, algae and fatty fish — including salmon, bluefin tuna, sardines and herring — are some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Substitute fish for meat a couple of times each week to get a healthy dose. Grill, bake or broil fish for ultimate flavor and health. Try salmon tacos with red cabbage slaw, snack on sardines or enjoy seared tuna on salad greens for dinner. If you don't eat fish, discuss supplementation with your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist. You can get omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, seaweed or microalgae supplements.

Work in walnuts. Well known for a positive impact on heart health, walnuts also may improve working memory. Snack on a handful of walnuts to satisfy midday hunger, add them to oatmeal or salad for crunch or mix them into a vegetable stir-fry for extra protein.

These foods are not just good for the brain, they sustain a healthy heart and all parts of the body. While there's no guarantee that these foods will help you remember where you put your keys tomorrow, over time they can support lifelong good health.

1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep

More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a new study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This is the first study to document estimates of self-reported healthy sleep duration (7 or more hours per day) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.

“As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.”

Prevalence of healthy sleep duration varies by geography, race/ethnicity, employment, marital status

CDC researchers reviewed data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based, random-digit–dialed telephone survey conducted collaboratively by state health departments and CDC.

Key Findings:

  • Healthy sleep duration was lower among Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (54 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (54 percent), multiracial non-Hispanics (54 percent) and American Indians/Alaska Natives (60 percent) compared with non-Hispanic whites (67 percent), Hispanics (66 percent), and Asians (63 percent).
  • The prevalence of healthy sleep duration varied among states and ranged from 56 percent in Hawaii to 72 percent in South Dakota.
  • A lower proportion of adults reported getting at least seven hours of sleep per day in states clustered in the southeastern region of the United States and the Appalachian Mountains. Previous studies have shown that these regions also have the highest prevalence of obesity and other chronic conditions.
  • People who reported they were unable to work or were unemployed had lower healthy sleep duration (51 percent and 60 percent, respectively) than did employed respondents (65 percent). The prevalence of healthy sleep duration was highest among people with a college degree or higher (72 percent).
  • The percentage reporting a healthy sleep duration was higher among people who were married (67 percent) compared with those who were never married (62 percent) or divorced, widowed, or separated (56 percent).

Healthy Sleep Tips:

  • Healthcare providers should routinely assess patients’ sleep patterns and discuss sleep-related problems such as snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Healthcare providers should also educate patients about the importance of sleep to their health.
  • Individuals should make getting enough sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits.
  • Employers can consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.
  • Employers can also educate their shift workers about how to improve their sleep.

For more information on CDC's Sleep and Sleep Disorders Program, please visit www.cdc.gov/sleep.

courtesy www.cdc.gov

Physical Activity in Older Adults

In a 2010 CDC study, more than 30% of adults aged 65 or older report no leisure-time physical activity. But even older people need regular exercise.

The Benefits:

  • It can help prevent bone loss (reducing the risk of fractures) and reduces the risk of many diseases associated with aging.
     
  • It increases muscle strength and may improve balance and coordination, which can reduce the likelihood of falling. It also increases the ability for basic living, making it easier to carry grocery bags, get up from a chair and take care of household chores. Being physically active is a real key in maintaining quality of life and independence.
     
  • Elderly men with high blood pressure can lower their risk of death with even moderate levels of fitness compared to those who were less fit.
     
  • Studies have shown that increased levels of physical activity are associated with a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease, hypertension, non-insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, depression and anxiety.
     
  • Active people with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes or other chronic diseases are less likely to die prematurely than inactive people with these conditions.
     
  • Fitness can have a positive impact on health regardless of age or the presence of chronic illness.

Exercise Tips:

  • Older adults can work with their health care provider to develop an activity plan to consider chronic conditions, activity limitations, and reducing risk of falls. Fitness professionals can also be a good resource for recommendations on physical activity and injury prevention for healthy, asymptomatic older adults.
     
  • Focus more on increasing moderate activity and give less emphasis to attaining high levels of activity which can has a risk of injury and lower adherence. Pick activities you enjoy and exercise at an intensity appropriate for you.You may find that you can gradually increase your physical activity over time.
     
  • Pick activities that are fun, suit your needs and that you can do year-round.
     
  • Wear comfortable clothing and footwear appropriate for the temperature, humidity and activity.
     
  • If you decide that walking is a great activity for you, choose a place that has a smooth, soft surface; that does not intersect with traffic; and that's well-lighted and safe. Many people walk at area shopping malls.
     
  • Find a companion to exercise with you if it will help you stay on a regular schedule and add to your enjoyment.
     
  • Because muscular adaptation and elasticity generally slows with age, take more time to warm up and cool down while exercising. Make sure you stretch slowly.
     
  • Start exercising at a low intensity (especially if you've been mostly sedentary), and progress gradually.
     
  • If you plan to be active more than 30 minutes, then stay hydrated by trying to drink some water every 15 minutes, especially when exercising in hot, humid conditions. As you age, your sense of thirst tends to decrease and you may not be able to completely rely on your internal sense of thirst.

Courtesy American Heart Association www.heart.org

No Time to Exercise?

You found the motivation to clean out your closet. Now you’ve got to find 30 minutes in your day to get physically active — and there are plenty of easy, no-cost ways to do it.

Think you don’t have time? You don’t have to do all 30 minutes at once.

You can even get heart-healthy benefits if you divide your time into two or three 10- to 15-minute segments a day. Here are some tips for getting active:

  1. Get out the leash and walk your dog. It’s a great activity for both man and man’s best friend. Your heart — and your pooch — will thank you!
     
  2. Take your child for a brisk walk. It’s an excellent way to get some one-on-one time (or one-on-three, depending on the size of your brood.) Spice up your routine by exploring new neighborhoods or turning your walk into a scavenger hunt.
     
  3. Mall walk. Are you sweating (or shivering) at the idea of walking outside? Take a brisk stroll around your local mall instead. Window shop, people watch and give your heart a workout in a climate-controlled environment.
     
  4. Join a team.  Pick an activity you love and round up some friends. Team sports can be fun — and keep you motivated and accountable.
     
  5. Walk and talk. Even if you’re glued to your phone for work calls, you don’t have to be glued to your seat. Make it a habit to talk and walk. Some workplaces have walking paths to make it even easier to burn while you earn.
     
  6. Tune into fitness during TV time.  Reject your inner couch potato. Walk, jog in place or use the treadmill at the gym while you watch your favorite 30-minute show.
     
  7. Park and walk. How many times have you circled the parking lot to find “the” spot? Spare yourself the stress and gain more energy by parking far away (or even in a remote lot) and walking farther to your destination.
     
  8. Take the stairs. The elevator may go up — but it doesn’t make your heart rate climb. Take the stairs instead. You may huff and puff at first, but over time, your body will thank you.
     
  9. Dance! Do it in a ballroom, at a club or even in your living room. You’ll burn calories and gain a new hobby.
     
  10. Skip the cake, say goodbye to pie and take a walk after dinner. You’ll get a reward that’s sweeter than dessert: more family time.
     
    If these ideas don’t work for you, find something that you enjoy. Ditching the excuses can be the first step to a healthier you. Of course, if you have an injury, talk to your doctor first to see if there’s a low-impact exercise you can do or find out if you should wait until you’re healed.

Courtesy American Heart Association www.heart.org

The Painter and the Puzzle Maker

Client Success Story—Bedford, NH

The thought of homework can bring back memories of math class, late night study sessions, essay writing, report cards and more. However, it was homework that drove this couple together sixty seven years ago and with Valentine’s Day approaching we feature this wonderful couple whose love is as strong today as the first day they met after school, during a study session for History class.

Just like a love story in a novel or the movies, the Painter was studying with a friend when her friend’s little brother came in the room during the session and the rest as they say, was ‘history.’

On June 6th, 1948 they exchanged vows and traveled to New Hampshire for their honeymoon. Visiting locations such as the Lost River and vacationing at Salisbury Beach, where one of their most vivid memories was the jammed window of their 1948 Ford. The window fell down into the door and they had to spend the entire day waiting for it to be fixed.

With $165 in their pocket for the first time, they left Gloucester and moved to Connecticut to find work. Upon returning a couple years later they found permanent residence in Burlington where the Puzzle Maker worked in an iron shop and the Painter for Burlington High School where she earned the title of “Cookie Lady.” For 24 Years she remained at the High School, while the Puzzle Maker became part owner of an Iron Shop for almost 15 years.

As work remained steady they raised their three children and continued to pursue their love for traveling by visiting locations all over the world such as Alaska, Hawaii, Jamaica, Italy, Greece and their favorite stop, Australia!

After missing the coast, they decided to move to Danvers where the Puzzle Maker took on a job with the Auxiliary Coast Guard for eight years and also became a member of the Danvers Yacht Club. During the ten years residing in Danvers, they made many memories with the family taking boat rides to Manchester by the Sea and whale watching. They enjoyed the water so much, the Puzzle Maker decided to construct a 20x40 pool so the family could spend more time together.

BarbaraBrownPaintings

When not in the pool or at the school they spent time together watching football, taking music lessons and dancing Saturday evenings for 30 years. One evening while bowling with her friends from church the Painter and her friends decided to take art lessons. Some chose illustration while she chose the complex process of oil painting. A Medium that requires layers of oil paint patiently applied to a canvas.  Her basement gallery includes many beautiful paintings of landscapes to still lives and more, ranging in sizes from 8x10 all the way up to 24x36. The Painter loved painting subjects from her past such as locations and monuments in the Rockport and Gloucester area.

EldridgeBrownpuzzles 1

When not building a closet, work bench or installing a pool, he’s building something that requires much more patience…Puzzles! Puzzles with hundreds even one thousand pieces forming imagery of landscapes all over the world, animals, cars and more.  The most amazing aspect of these puzzles is after they are completed, they are secured permanently by gluing the back and hung, literally lining the basement walls intricately wrapped through corners, ceiling to floor creating a life size puzzle created by thousands of puzzle pieces all different sizes.

EldridgeBrownPuzzles 2

From a painter and a puzzle maker there’s a lesson to be learned. Both hobbies require incredible amounts of patience and hard work. Two factors at the root of making this wonderful relationship last as long as it has.  When asked what the secret was to making their relationship last, the Painter said “Patience with everything,” she proudly added. “You get out of it, what you put in to it.”

67 years later, the Painter and the Puzzle Maker got back what they put in to it…the missing piece to each other’s puzzle.

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