Everyone forgets things when tired, stressed or experiencing the common ‘brain fog’ of menopause. When Dr Shirley Bond and I used to give our menopause seminars together she would point out that for every year we are older there is more information for the brain to store. It can be like trying to get a piece of paper from an overstuffed filing cabinet – it takes longer than if the cabinet was half empty!
Need some help?
First thing is to keep calm, take a deep breath and don’t give yourself a hard time about it. Then help yourself to better all-round health, and improved brain fuctioning by including these in your diet.
This is a good source of folic acid and known to help memory problems as it protects the brain. It is an excellent way to lower blood levels of homocysteine, which is thought to damage blood vessels.
Eggs are rich in vitamins B6 and B12 and if you have a deficiency in these two essential nutrients that has been linked to a more rapid decline of memory than those who had adequate blood levels of them.
A Harvard study of 13,000 women suggests these cruciferous veggies can protect your memory as those who ate relatively high amounts had less age-related decline in memory. Cruciferous vegetables and leafy green vegetables — including spinach — had the biggest effect on helping women retain their memory during the course of the study. Cruciferous vegetables are also high in the antioxidant quercetin, folic acid, and vitamin B6.
Not just a summer treat they are an excellent source of anthocyanin – an antioxidant that has been shown to reverse memory loss in animal studies. Very high in folic acid and vitamin B6 and they help keep blood cells and neurons healthy and prevent plaque buildup in arteries, allowing a steady flow of blood to your brain.
Red wine, like strawberries, contains the antioxidant anthocyanin and – in moderation – the quercetin it contains is another antioxidant thatcan actually help protect your memory.
Coffee and Tea
Researchers from the University of Innsbruck in Austria found that caffeine improved performance on a memory task. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, chocolate and tea also contains quercetin for an extra boost.
Very high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help maintain a sharp mind. If you eat fish at least once a week you have a 10 percent slower decline compared with those who did not eat fish. One study found that their fish-eating participants had the memory and thinking ability of a person three years younger than their actual age.
Menopause is certainly a time when women notice their thinking is not as clear as it once was, and it is unbalanced hormones that can be the problem. If you are noticing some signs of this, then check for signs of oestrogen dominance and stress as they can affect many of our abilities and functions, not just our memory.